Architects' Nightmare: Top 10 Ugliest Buildings in the World

Кошмар архитекторов: топ-10 самых некрасивых зданий в мире
1 November 2021 Liza Medvetskaya

As construction technologies develop, architects are trying to erect more and more original buildings designed to amaze the imagination of others.

However, not everyone is given to be unconditional geniuses, like, for example, Zaha Hadid or Norman Foster. Therefore, with enviable frequency, buildings appear in the world that become real architectural anti-masterpieces.

Instead of wild delight, these buildings cause misunderstanding both among architectural critics and residents of the regions they "decorate". And their authors are awarded not the Pritzker Prize, but the Carbuncle Cup.

In general, the unique design of a building is not always the key to success.

We offer you the TOP 10 most disgusting buildings in the modern world from an architectural point of view.

Zizkovskaya TV Tower in Prague (Czech Republic)

The construction of the television tower in Prague's Zizkov district was completed in 1992 and forever changed the panorama of the city. Its height is 216 m, the tower has become the tallest structure in the Czech Republic. The project was designed by architect Vaclav Aulitsky.

The tower consists of three pillars united by platforms on which there are broadcasting equipment, a cafe, a restaurant, an observatory with a 360° view, a meteorological laboratory, as well as a hotel with one room. The construction was criticized not only for its appearance — the location also caused discontent: there was a small Jewish cemetery nearby, and part of its territory was occupied for construction.

The building is often compared to a rocket on the launch pad. In 2000, its architectural appearance became even more bizarre: the composition "Babies" by the famous Czech sculptor David Cherny appeared on the tower. The figures of black children with barcodes instead of faces "crawling" along the supports in different directions caused a lot of questions and disputes. The object has been repeatedly included in various ratings — the ugliest buildings in Prague, the Czech Republic, Europe. But the fact remains that the Zizkovskaya TV Tower has become one of the most famous and popular tourist attractions in Prague.

Montparnasse Tower in Paris (France)

This office skyscraper is a regular of "scary" ratings. The mere fact that after the construction of the tower in Paris, the construction of high-rise buildings was completely banned speaks volumes. Banal, if not primitive, architecture. The design does not carry any special semantic load. In addition, the 59-storey building, standing alone in the city center, like an unbroken nail, spoils the harmony of the architectural ensemble of the French capital.

However, the building will be reconstructed before the 2024 Olympics. The original project was presented by the experts of the Chinese MAD bureau, who proposed to turn the skyscraper into a giant mirror. The use of special concave glass panels will create the effect of an inverted reflection and seemingly floating in the sky of Paris.

Elephant Building in Bangkok (Thailand)

The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand, and there is logic in the decision to give one of the office buildings the appearance of this noble animal. Another thing is that the final result was, to put it mildly, controversial. Even for 1997, when the high-rise was built, it looked unoriginal and out of date.

It seems that the architect loves right angles with all his heart and denies the existence of smooth shapes and lines. As a result, the structure looks like it was assembled by a preschooler from a cheap constructor. Nevertheless, although the "elephant" cannot boast of beauty, however, it has become an attraction of the Thai capital and consistently "spoils" photos of foreign tourists. The construction caused a mixed reaction among critics. Architectural Digest magazine and The Daily Telegraph newspaper included it in their ratings of the world's ugliest buildings.

MI6 in London (UK)

Do you remember how in the latest issues of "Bond" the villains brutally deal with the headquarters of British intelligence? More than one generation of architects has been dreaming about this. The headquarters of the British secret intelligence service MI6 is the very place where James Bond always returns after puzzling missions. The building is absolutely real and so secret that the whole of London knows it. The nest of British spies is located on the Albert Embankment, near the Vauxhall Bridge, it is clearly visible from the bridge and from the opposite bank of the Thames. 

The MI6 building regularly gets into all sorts of ratings of architectural "freaks", including even its own, national ones. The author of the project is an architect Terry Farrell. He was inspired by the temples of ancient civilizations: Maya and Inca. The building terraces down to the embankment and is perceived differently from different angles, which, however, does not benefit him. The fragmentation of volumes does not allow us to perceive the design holistically. It is literally falling apart before our eyes and without the machinations of world-class villains.

Mirador Building in Madrid (Spain)

The creators of the project - the Dutch company MVRDV and the Spanish architect Blanca Lleo - had the task of diversifying the overall architectural style of an ordinary residential area. And the architects coped with this task: the building cannot but attract the eye. The construction of the house was completed in 2005. There are 156 apartments in it, as well as premises that are rented out for offices.

The height of the 21-storey building is about 64 m. There are nine clusters in the house, each of them is highlighted with the help of materials and finishing colors. Also, each block has its own internal layout, different types of apartments and special entrances. The residential complex has a bright, unusual design, and its main highlight is a large hole in the facade, which is located at a height of 36.8 meters above the ground. This space has been set aside for public use. It was planned that an observation deck and a garden would be organized in it, but, as sometimes happens, the project diverged from reality. For its unusual "hole", the house received its second unofficial name from the locals – "Bin Laden's House".

By the way, it should be said that this building cannot be called some kind of elite, where wealthy residents live. This is an ordinary residential building, the apartments in which belong to ordinary people, with laundry on the windows, garbage in the yard and difficult teenagers. The ambiguous visual solution of the building caused a lot of criticism, the building was included in the rating of unsuccessful architectural objects of the British edition of The Daily Telegraph.

Ziggurat in Sacramento (USA)

A building inspired by Sumerian or Babylonian civilization? Welcome to Sacramento! Moreover, we are not talking about a casino, as one might think, but about an office building. A rather strange choice of the architect is to give his creation the appearance of an ancient temple structure. Because of its appearance (fortunately it was not created from raw bricks with reed layers), the structure looks doubly ridiculous against the background of modern development. It is not surprising that the local "Ziggurat" was included in the list of the thirty ugliest buildings in the world (for 2017) according to Telegraph UK.

National Library in Minsk (Republic of Belarus)

The authors of the project of the building of the National Library of Belarus are architects Mikhail Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko. Back in the late 1980s, this work became the winner of the All-Union competition, but construction began only on November 2, 2002 — there was not enough funding. 500 thousand dollars for the construction of a new building, according to some sources, was donated by Saddam Hussein. The construction of the library was completed in 2006. The building immediately began to be called a "diamond" due to its unusual multi-faceted shape, which seems to stand on a stand.

The 23-storey building can accommodate up to 2 thousand people at the same time. A complex shape - a rhombicuboctahedron - should refer to the diamond cut and symbolize the pricelessness of knowledge. The design includes 8 triangles and 18 squares (!) tied into one shape. Critics call the building nothing but a geometric nightmare. At night, the volume is highlighted, which makes it even more monstrous. In 2012, according to the British edition of The Daily Telegraph, the library took 14th place in the list of the ugliest buildings in the world.

Russian Embassy in Havana (Cuba)

In 1987, the construction of the USSR Embassy building was completed in Havana. The architects of the project were Alexander Rochegov and his wife Maria Engelke, Mosproject-1 also participated in the implementation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the diplomatic mission of Russia is located in the building.

A brutal modernist building with references to constructivism is located in the city center. The project was implemented taking into account the climate of the country, so it has small windows with sun protection devices and special canopies. The facade cladding is local limestone, which is easily processed and has a layered structure. Because of its massive shape, the building evokes many contradictory associations. Some say the building looks like a sword, others like a syringe. But according to the newspaper The Daily Telegraph, which included the building among the ugliest in the world, it reminds of the movie "Transformers".

Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool (UK)

Liverpool Cathedral is a striking representative of the architecture of the second half of the twentieth century and one of the main attractions of the city. The author of the project is Frederick Gibberd. The temple was built in just five years. Such a rapid construction, unfortunately, was not crowned with good quality.

After the opening of the cathedral in 1967, the mosaic tiles almost immediately began to fall off, and the roof began to leak. This is not to mention the first terrifying impression that this building, in principle, produces. The spires of the cathedral seem to be so hostile that you can only enter at gunpoint.

Velasca Tower in Milan (Italy)

The first thing that catches your eye from the observation deck on the roof of the Milan Cathedral is a powerful red-brown tower that looks like a giant in a crowd of midgets. If it were not for its size, it could be mistaken for an ancient fortification, but 110 m in height betray the modern origin of the Velasca Tower, the first Milanese skyscraper. 

The skyscraper, built in the 1950s in Milan by BBPR studio, was supposed to symbolize the new architecture of Italy. The height of the structure is 100 m, on the panoramas of the city it stands out strongly against the background of historical buildings. The building was named after Don Juan Fernando de Velasco, who was the governor of Milan in the late XVI - early XVII century.

The shape of the building is a modern interpretation of a typical Italian medieval castle. Such defensive towers were used during the war to protect castles from invasion. The skyscraper has a red-brown facade, the upper floors are larger than the lower ones and are supported by special supports. Residential apartments are located upstairs, the rest of the premises are occupied by offices and commercial spaces. The construction was met with an ambiguous reaction — the main claim was called the "spoiled" panorama of the city, where the famous Duomo used to dominate. The Daily Telegraph has included the tower in its ranking of the world's ugliest buildings.

As for Cyprus, it has so far been lucky enough to avoid the fate of other countries.

In the piggy bank of Aphrodite Island there is not a single cup for architectural anti-masterpieces. But Cyprus may well boast of unusual buildings. A small TOP 3 of the island's brightest buildings:

Limassol Oval

It would be simply unforgivable not to mention this building. Business CenterThe Oval is a landmark object of the city's business life. The Oval office complex in the center of Limassol was designed by the English architectural firm Atkins. According to the idea, the original oval shape of the building is the fruit of inspiration from the seascape with the round pebbles of Limassol beach and the graceful outlines of the wind-filled sea sails.

The developer of the project, began construction of this building in 2014. The cost of the project was estimated at 25 million euros. "Oval", "Egg" (as it is called "by the people") or "the new peak of the business world", as Cybarco calls it, causes delight for some, confusion for others. Local critics claim that it does not fit into the landscape of the city. By the way, today you can argue with this. It is foolish to say that it spoils the view of Limassol, if only because a dozen new skyscrapers have grown in the city in the last two years alone.

Tower 25 in Nicosia

An unusual house is located in Nicosia. The author of the project is the famous architect from France Jean Nouvel, winner of the Pritzker Prize. The building, which looks like a punch card, was named "Tower 25". A large number of windows measuring 40 x 40 cm are randomly scattered along the facade of the 18-storey building. In terms of height, which reaches 67 m, "Tower 25" took the fourth place among high-rise buildings in Cyprus. On the two lower floors of the "punch card house" there are retail areas, on the next six floors there are offices, another 10 floors are occupied by residential real estate. It is worth noting that the windows of residential and office premises, unlike green balconies, are glazed. On the upper floors of the building there is a duplex apartment with a rooftop pool.

Del Mar in Limassol

A new exclusive Del Mar project with magnificent apartments on the first line of the sea in Limassol. The innovative, award-winning project in Limassol is unique not only by the originality of architecture and cosmopolitan originality, but also by the collaboration of Leptos Group and D. Zavos, who take part in its implementation.

By the way! DOMa has luxury apartments for rent in this chic complex, check out the list of available apartments.

The complex consists of two buildings of 17 and 27 floors, respectively. There are 168 residential real estate units with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms and 31 commercial real estate units in the project. All apartments have a magnificent panoramic view of the sea. One of the main advantages of the complex and the reasons why it stands out from the general background is its architectural solution. Since it is turned to the south, as soon as you go out on any veranda or balcony, you will have the feeling that you are standing directly above the sea.

Have you decided to buy a property in Cyprus? Contact DOM! The site offers a huge selection of real estate - residential and commercial. Experienced agency specialists will be happy to help you make the right choice.

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