UFO house ridiculed after six years of building... and counting
A futuristic house which won the Royal Academy of Arts' prestigious architecture prize has been ridiculed by neighbours who claim it looks like a UFO and is still not finished after six years.Residents living in Wood Lane in Highgate, north London, say work on the house has been going on since 2006 and that it still looks like a 'scrapyard'.
They are fed up that the house - which they say looks like a 'giant spaceship.....complete with UFO-style elevated gangway' - is making the street 'a mess' and forcing property prices down.
The house, which is in a conservation area surrounded by homes built in the late 18th century, was designed by architects Birds Portchmouth Russum (BPR) and is owned by partner in the firm Mike Russum.
Last year the design won the Architecture Prize at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, which described the posh pad as a 'four-storey house (which) maximises the potential of a narrow infill site'.
It adds: "The traditional relationship of living and sleeping accommodation is inverted with the bedroom and bathrooms at garden level and the living area above to enjoy the south aspect and views over London.
"The high-level living element (is) prefabricated and craned into position."
But neighbours have this week slammed the house - saying it makes the prestigious road look a 'total and utter mess' with its fenced off entrance, scattered traffic cones and blue tarpaulin.
They are now demanding to know when the house - which is wedged between two existing homes - will be finished, six years since construction work began.
Neighbour Judith Steiner, who has lived on Wood Lane since 1970, said this week: "I originally supported the idea of having a home for the 21st century on the street.
"But work has been going on for years and now it just looks like a scrapyard surrounded by a chain link fence - it looks like something from War of the Worlds."
Another neighbour, who has lived in the street for the past 10 years but who did not want to be named, said: "It looks like a giant UFO just about to land.
"The gangway makes it look even more alien and you half expect martians to waddle down it at any second.
"To be honest though, everyone would just like it if the place was finished - it's been a bombsite for six years now and it's about time it was completed."
Owner Mike Russum blamed planning laws, which he says delayed the completion of the house.
"Certainly there has been fierce opposition by a few neighbours," he said.
"We understand the concerns about the delay to its completion, which has been painfully experienced by us.
"The house is not conventional and explores various architectural ideas about creating a joyful home appropriate to this age.
"It is unashamedly modern and we accept that it will not be everybody's cup of tea.
"However, the design won the Architecture Prize at the Royal Academy Exhibition last year and we consider that to be a cultured endorsement." ……BRAINDEAD?