A retired architect who has written a guide to Birmingham's Victorian buildings has criticised the city's modern structures such as Millennium Point, The Sealife Centre and Selfridges.
Birmingham-based author Roy Thornton accused architects of failing the city with their designs for some of the most high-profile projects in recent years.
The 79-year-old said Birmingham did not have an iconic building, and even dismissed Selfridges as a design he would not have been envious of when he was a practising architect.
Architects who came in for criticism include world-renowned designers, such as Norman Foster and Nicholas Grimshaw, and Future Systems, the practice behind Birmingham's Selfridges.
Mr Thornton said: "I am quite an admirer of Norman Foster but I don't think his design of the Sealife Centre is his best. It is quite ordinary.
"I have always had a high opinion of Nicholas Grimshaw but I do not think that Millennium Point is up to his usual standard."
Mr Thornton, who lives in Sutton Coldfield, said Birmingham's renaissance has "slowed down" in recent years after a promising start in the 1990s.
"We have got some better buildings, but we have nothing that is iconic," he said. "I cannot say that I am wildly enthusiastic about Selfridges. It is not the sort of architecture that appeals to me. Maybe I am getting old.
"It does stand out, I admit that. But it is not something I am envious about. I do not wish that I had designed it. The firm that designed Selfridges, Future Systems, has done work that I like more."
* Victorian Buildings of Birmingham is available from Sutton Publishing at £12.99.