When it comes to architectural design, we always celebrate the beautiful. Well, the researchers at Buildworld decided to take a slightly different approach.
They’ve compiled a list of the ugliest buildings in the world. They found them by analysing Twitter mentions of popular and famous buildings with a sentiment tracking software called HuggingFace. Those with the most negative mentions made the cut.
Let’s take a closer look.
The ugliest building in the world
If you want to see the world’s ugliest building, then book your next trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
The city is home to the Scottish Parliament Building, which, according to Twitter sentiment, is an absolute architectural eyesore. Nearly half (42.07%) of its Twitter mentions were negative, the highest of any building included in the study.
The J.Edgar Hoover Building in Washington DC and Boston’s City Hall also made it into the top 10 list of the world’s ugliest buildings. The stark, no-frills designs of both buildings embody the most brutal elements of Brutalism. This post-World War Two architectural movement showcased the raw materials and structural components of a building.
Detractors have described Brutalist structures as hulking piles of concrete projecting a palpable sense of menace and authoritarian power.
The UK’s top 10 eyesore buildings
Newport train station is the second busiest train station in Wales. Thousands of commuters pass through it every day. However, not many stick around to admire the view.
Because, at the risk of offending its designers, Newport Station is pretty grim-looking. And Twitter agrees. 25% of all tweets mentioning the station are less than flattering.
“It’s horrendous,” wrote one visitor, “It looks like something out of a badly dated 1970s dystopian sci-fi movie. I couldn’t get out of there quick enough.”
Preston Train Station was built around the same time. And, according to Twitter sentiments, it’s also in need of an upgrade.
“Felt like I’d travelled back in time,” reads one tweet. “The station has a certain retro charm, but it also looks and feels like a crumbling museum that could collapse at any moment.”
The MI6 building near Vauxhall Cross, London, is another of England’s biggest eyesores. Just over 1 in 5 tweets about the HQ of the British foreign intelligence services were analysed as negative by the HuggingFace sentiment software.
The fortress-like structure is one of London’s most loathed buildings, regularly featuring in British newspaper articles with titles such as “England’s Ugly Buildings.” Renowned design critic Tom Holbrook described the structure as “an assault on the eyeballs and aesthetic sensibility, a complete monstrosity.”
Ugly buildings in the USA
The previously mentioned J.Edgar Hoover Building and Boston City Hall take first and second place, respectively.
The bronze medal for the USA’s ugliest building goes to the Verizon Building in New York. The towering concrete monolith looms above 375 Pearl Street. According to its biggest critics, the Verizon Building is utterly devoid of style, finesse, and personality.
Trump Tower in Las Vegas makes an appearance on the list. The giant golden skyscraper dominates the Sin City strip. It’s bold, brash, and completely unapologetic. And whether you love it or hate it, you still can’t stop staring at it. Remind you of anyone?