9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (2023)

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (1)

  • Some of the ugliest buildings in the world are home to luxury apartments and government facilities.

  • From Texas to Thailand, buildings across the world are ridiculed for their function and style.

  • North Korea's "Hotel of Doom" has been empty for decades, and is widely recognized as an eyesore.

Thanks partly to its blocky, concrete exterior, people in Massachusetts wanted to demolish Boston's City Hall before its construction was even completed.

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (2)

Completed in 1968, this building is an example of brutalist architecture — a controversial style known for its bare, blocky shapes and frequent use of exposed concrete.

Over the years, it has also been criticized for being "ugly" and "anti-urban."

"City Hall is so ugly that its insane upside-down wedding-cake columns and windswept plaza distract from the building's true offense," wrote columnist Paul McMorrow in the Boston Globe in 2013.

"Its great crime isn't being ugly; it's being anti-urban," McMorrow wrote. "... The primary function of cities is clustering people together, but City Hall goes to great lengths to repel them."

In addition, many people in Massachusetts called for the destruction of Boston's City Hall before the structure was even fully built, according to Current Affairs magazine.

North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel, also dubbed the "Hotel of Doom," has stood empty for over 30 years, sparking criticism about its design and construction.

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9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (3)

Once considered "the world's tallest unoccupied building" by Guinness World Records, the Ryugyong Hotel has been nicknamed the "Hotel of Doom," according to the BBC.

It's also been described as "the worst-designed building in the world" and one of "the world's ugliest hotels" by writers for publications like Esquire and The Telegraph.

When construction began in 1987, the Ryugyong Hotel was designed to become an impressive masterpiece: a building taller than the Eiffel Tower, complete with 3,000 rooms and five revolving restaurants, according to CNN Style.

Decades later, this hotel has yet to open its doors to guests.

A Washingtonian critic described Washington, DC's J. Edgar Hoover Building as visually unappealing, "cold," "unwelcoming," and "dystopian."

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (4)

The construction of the FBI's headquarters — officially known as the J. Edgar Hoover Building — began in the 1960s. It is emblematic of brutalist architecture, which originated in the mid-20th century.

An article from The Washingtonian, a prominent local newspaper in DC, states that the building, which is the home of the FBI, has long been considered the "scorn of Washingtonians." The author later describes the structure as "cold, unwelcoming, [and] almost dystopian."

According to a survey conducted by home improvement company Buildworld, the building is deemed to be the ugliest building in the US.

The FBI website states that the structure heavily "[contrasts] with the traditional marble, granite, or limestone government buildings."

In defense of the building, Deane Madsen, who runs an Instagram account dedicated to appreciating DC's brutalist buildings, stated, "DC isn't just Greek revival monuments or courthouse style buildings. It's not just these sort of white marble edifices."

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Many believe that the Verizon Building on Pearl Street contrasts too heavily with its surrounding buildings, disrupting the beauty of New York City's iconic skyline.

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (5)

Built in 1975, the Verizon Building on Pearl Street has remained the subject of much ridicule. Set behind the historic Brooklyn Bridge and adjacent to some of NYC's most beloved structures, many see the building as an affront to the city's skyline.

Paul Goldberger — a New York Times architecture critic — argued that the building might be the "most disturbing" structure in all of New York City in 1975.

In a TimeOut article that showcased critical tweets aimed at the building, Twitter users referred to the building as "stupid" and claimed that it "ruined" their otherwise beautiful photos of the NYC skyline.

Although criticized by locals for its ugly Brutalist exterior, apartments inside The Balfron Tower sell for close to $1 million.

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (6)

Similar to the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, The Balfron Tower is an example of Brutalist architecture. Although the structure was built in the 1960s, the residential building has newly-renovated interiors.

Various publications, including MyLondon, refer to the structure as one of "the ugliest buildings in the country." Nevertheless, after renovations, the Guardian reports that apartments in the Balfron Tower are being sold for upwards of £800,000, or $992,744.

In the same MyLondon article, Josh Bolton notes that in 2010 residents were forced to relocate — and eventually kicked out of the building — to allow for refurbishments. The building offers luxury amenities, including a private dining terrace, a yoga room, and a movie theater.

The Žižkov Television Tower in Prague has been called "the second-ugliest building in the world" and is said to evoke the country's communist past.

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (7)

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A structure builders began constructing in the 1980s, the Žižkov Television Tower in Prague, Czech Republic, has been nicknamed "the second-ugliest building in the world,"according to CBC Radio.

The building sticks out amongst the rest of Prague's charming architecture and is a divisive reminder of the city's former communist government.

Over a decade ago, to make the "eyesore" more unique, artist David Černý installed sculptures of giant babies crawling up the side of the tower.

First added to the tower as a temporary exhibit, the "Babies" sculptures were recently reinstalled with more durable construction, according to expats.cz. Although the building itself may inspire mixed feelings, the sculptures of babies are quite beloved.

In an article for The Washington Post, an architecture critic called the ROM Crystal in Toronto — considered one of the most hated buildings in Canada — "ugly" and "useless."

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (8)

When it first opened in 2007, the Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal did not receive much love for its design comprised of glass, steel, sloped walls, and angle joints.

"Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto surpasses the ugliness of bland functional buildings by being both ugly and useless," wrote Philip Kennicott, art and architecture critic, in The Washington Post in 2009.

Kennicott also questioned the wisdom of creating a building with slanted walls to display art.

In the past decade or so, some Torontonians have come to see the building as an essential addition to the city's landscape and a beloved landmark.

"Architecture needs time to sink in," said Alexander Josephson, cofounder of architecture and design firm Partisans, in Azure magazine.

San Antonio's Alamodome — a multi-use stadium — has been referred to as "an upside-down armadillo" and is hated by Texans and tourists alike.

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9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (9)

The Alamodome — which cost $186 million to construct — opened its doors in 1993.

Despite its hefty price tag, San Antonians aren't impressed with the stadium's aesthetic.

According to the San Antonio Current, "Locals have long referred to the 64,000-seat arena by nicknames including the 'Dead Armadillo' and the 'Doo Doo Dome.'"

In 2018, San Antonio Culture Map reported that Judge Nelson Wolff, who was San Antonio's mayor during the Alamodome's construction, explained that San Antonio residents referred to the stadium as "four telephone poles on an airplane hangar" and "an upside-down armadillo."

Strikingly dissimilar to the medieval architecture that Edinburgh is known for, the Scottish Parliament Building has been named the "world's biggest eyesore" by Buildworld.

9 of the world's ugliest, most hated buildings (10)

In Buildworld's survey of the world's ugliest buildings, the Scottish Parliament Building came out on top. They found that, at the time of their study, 42.07% of tweets that mentioned the building were negative.

According to the Scottish Parliament's archive, the building, which was completed in 2004, is made from a mixture of steel, oak, and granite.

According to Buildword, "The project was unpopular from the start, as a national building designed by a foreign architect that quickly spiraled ten times over budget and way beyond its deadline."

Read the original article on Insider


What is the world's ugliest building? ›

The Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, Scotland, is considered the ugliest building in the world, according to Twitter users.

What is Prague's ugliest building? ›

A structure builders began constructing in the 1980s, the Žižkov Television Tower in Prague, Czech Republic, has been nicknamed "the second-ugliest building in the world," according to CBC Radio.

What is the 2nd ugliest building in Prague? ›

A feature of the Prague skyline is the Žižkov TV tower found a few metro stops outside of the centre. Once voted one of the ugliest buildings in the world, Tower Park Prague (as the TV tower is named these days) is located in the Žižkov neighbourhood.

Where did brutalist architecture come from? ›

Brutalist architecture is an architectural style that emerged during the 1950s in the United Kingdom, among the reconstruction projects of the post-war era.

What is the world's prettiest building? ›

Barcelona's Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is the world's most beautiful building, with 16,104 mentions of the word “beautiful” in TripAdvisor reviews. Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris in France is the second most beautiful building in the world, with 12,931 mentions on TripAdvisor.

What is the weird shaped building in NYC? ›

The Flatiron Building, originally the Fuller Building, is a triangular 22-story, 285-foot-tall (86.9 m) steel-framed landmarked building at 175 Fifth Avenue in the eponymous Flatiron District neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City.

What is the crooked building in NYC? ›

161 Maiden Lane (also known as One Seaport, 1 Seaport, or Seaport Residences) is a 670 ft (205 m) tall residential skyscraper on hold in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The building leans 3 inches (76 mm) to the north as a result of the method used to construct its foundation.

Is Prague a friendly city? ›

Prague is one of the safest cities in Europe, with very little violent crime. Therefore, the likelihood that you'll run into trouble is minimal, but not totally insignificant. As such, it pays to stay aware of ordinary crimes and scams to avoid them. What is this?

Does anyone live in Prague Castle? ›

A. The President of the Czech Republic and his family currently reside at Prague Castle.

Why is Prague called Prague? ›

The Czech name, Praha, is derived from the Slavic word práh. The meaning is something like “ford,” or in other contexts “river rapids,” and it is generally accepted that this is a reference to the city's origin at the crossing point for the Vltava river.

Why is the Prague Castle Black? ›

The Black Tower belongs to the area of the Supreme Burgrave´s House at the Prague Castle. Its name “Black” originates from the time of the big fire of the Prague Castle in 1541 – its walls remained black for a long time. However, the tower was called “Golden” in the era of Emperor Charles IV.

What is 80s architecture called? ›

The Postmodern style was conceptualized in the 1960s, influenced interior design in the 1970s and hit its peak in the 1980s. The style mirrored social issues at the time and made reference to history, geography and pop culture.

What is Soviet brutalism? ›

Born in post-war United Kingdom, Brutalism reached Soviet architecture in the 1970s, replacing the Stalinist classicist style with a built form defined by functionality and mass production. What is generally referred to as Soviet Modernism is an architecture characterized by massive volumes and raw textures.

Why do architects love Brutalism? ›

Perhaps no other architectural style elicits the emotional reaction that brutalism does. Brutalist architecture looks heavy and immovable but is artistically sculptural giving it unique qualities that rely on depth to create patterns and compositions with light and shadows.

What is the tallest thing built? ›

The tallest artificial structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in height on January 17, 2009. By April 8, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, US.

What is the skinniest building? ›

With a height-to-width ratio of 24:1, Steinway Tower has been described by its developers as "the most slender skyscraper in the world." The tower's facade includes blocks of terracotta, a material that appears to change color and texture when seen in different lights and from different angles.

What is the heaviest structure ever built? ›

The Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world, weighing about 4,098,500,000 kilograms (9.04 billion pounds; 4.10 million tonnes), also being the second largest administrative building in the world.

Which is the most beautiful city in the world? ›

1. Rome, Italy. At number one you voted Rome as the most beautiful city in the world. With its thousand-year-old buildings such as the Forum Romanum or the Colosseum, beautiful piazzas and world-class art – not to mention Vatican City – we are certainly not surprised.

Which is the No 1 building in the world? ›

Burj Khalifa is The Tallest Building in the world with a Height of 2,717 ft and Floors 163 (+1 below ground) and Completion Date was 2010.

What city has an egg shaped skyscraper? ›

One of the most recognizable parts of London's skyline, The Gherkin captured world attention when it opened in the early 2000s. Officially named 30 St. Mary Axe, the building has become known by its more popular moniker, “The Gherkin” because of its supposed resemblance to that particular food.

What city has a twisted skyscraper? ›

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower is the tallest twisted building in the world and also the third tallest building in the world after Burj Khalifa, Dubai and Sky Tree Tower in Japan. Shanghai Towers stand at a height of 632 meters or 2073 ft. It has a total of 127 floors.

What building in New York has 100 floors? ›

The tallest building in New York, NY, is One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (or 541 meters). Also colloquially known as Freedom Tower, this 104-floor skyscraper also happens to be the tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth-tallest building in the world.

What is the oldest building still standing in New York? ›

The Oldest Building in New York City
  • Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967, the Wyckoff House is also a New York City designated landmark. ...
  • A public museum since 2001, the Wyckoff House Museum organizes school programs, public events, and community farmer's markets.
Sep 23, 2022

What building is sinking in New York? ›

Millennium Tower Now Tilting 3 Inches Per Year, According to Fix Engineer.

What are the skinny buildings in NYC? ›

The tall, slender tower is surely the first thing passersby will see, but 111 West 57th Street is actually a two-part building: the original landmarked Steinway Hall—a Warren & Wetmore–designed home to Steinway & Sons piano company—and the new high-rise by SHoP Architects, which some also call Steinway Tower.

Can Americans live in Prague? ›

Non-EU citizens moving to Prague have to register at the Foreign Police Department or at an office of the Ministry of Interior within three working days of arrival. Third-country nationals moving to Prague may need to apply for a long-term residence permit.

Can you speak English in Prague? ›

English is widely spoken, but a little Czech is welcome

It's common for people who live or work in Prague's tourist hotspots to speak English. Menus and museum information boards will usually be translated into English, too.

Are there homeless people in Prague? ›

There are between 4,000 and 6,000 homeless people in the capital today. Prague has the highest proportion of homeless people sleeping outside or "in low-threshold hostels" out of the whole country, at 1.64 per 1,000 population.

Can a foreigner buy a house in Prague? ›

Foreigners have the right to buy and register real estate in the Czech Republic as an individual entity. Buying a property in the Czech Republic does not give you the right to obtain a residence permit. A typical real estate transaction takes several days. The tax on real estate purchase was abolished in 2020.

How much money do you need to live in Prague? ›

Living costs in Czechia are considered to be affordable. The average living costs range from 350 to 750 USD per month, including meals, accommodation, public transport and culture. Of course, prices may vary according to your location, accommodation choices, lifestyle, and spending habits.

Is child of Prague Jesus? ›

By depicting Jesus as a child, the tradition of the Infant of Prague also emphasizes His humanity, and how we are children of God because of the salvation that He brings us. As Pope Benedict XVI said: The figure of the Child Jesus, the tender infant, brings home to us God's closeness and his love.

Why did Russia invade Prague? ›

On August 20, 1968, the Soviet Union led Warsaw Pact troops in an invasion of Czechoslovakia to crack down on reformist trends in Prague. Although the Soviet Union's action successfully halted the pace of reform in Czechoslovakia, it had unintended consequences for the unity of the communist bloc.

What race is Prague? ›

Demographics of the Czech Republic
Nationalitynoun: Czech(s) adjective: Czech
Major ethnicCzech 64.3% (2011)
Minor ethnicMoravian 5% Slovak 1.4% other 1.8% unspecified 27.5% (2011)
16 more rows

Who is buried in Prague Castle? ›

The royal crypt underneath the cathedral contains the graves of Charles IV, his four wives, Wenceslas IV, Ladislas the Posthumous, George of Podebrady, Rudolf II and the daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria Marie Amalie of Austria. How to get there: St Vitus Cathedral is the dominant of Prague Castle complex.

What is the world's largest ancient castle? ›

The Guinness Book of Records claims that Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and its magnitude is certainly astonishing. Spanning a length of 570 metres, the complex is over seven times the size of a football pitch.

Can you take photos in Prague Castle? ›

a) to photograph and film in the Story of Prague Castle permanent exhibit, in the Treasury of St. Vitus Cathedral exhibit, in the Powder Tower and in the Prague Castle Picture Gallery. Taking photographs and filming is only permitted inside all other buildings open to the public with a purchased license.

What is the oldest architecture in the US? ›

Mounds located on the Louisiana State University (LSU) campus have been identified as the oldest known man-made structures in North America. The two mounds stand 20 feet tall and are coordinated in an alignment toward one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

What is the oldest architecture on earth? ›

Dating back to 3600 BC and 700 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are considered to be the oldest free-standing structures on earth. The temples were built during three phases of cultural revolution – Ġgantija (3600-3200BC), Saflieni (3300-3000BC) and Tarxien (3150BC-2500BC).

What is the oldest style of architecture? ›

Prehistoric architecture includes monumental structures such as Stonehenge, cliff dwellings in the Americas, and thatch and mud structures lost to time. The dawn of architecture is found in these structures. Prehistoric builders moved earth and stone into geometric forms, creating our earliest human-made formations.

What is Soviet Iron Curtain? ›

The Iron Curtain was a metaphor for the extreme political and ideological division that separated Western Europe from the Soviet Union and its satellite states in the east.

What is the Soviet aesthetic called? ›

Socialist realism is a style of idealized realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union and was the official style in that country between 1932 and 1988, as well as in other socialist countries after World War II.

What are Soviet apartments called? ›

A khrushchyovka is a typical Soviet era apartment block that derives its name from Nikita Khrushchev who implemented the initial design concept and construction. I lived in a few of these with Russian families in Leningrad and Moscow as a young adventurer the summer after the Berlin Wall fell.

Why do architects like black? ›

Some of the architects expressed the opinion that black is associated with the “introverted” status of architects, giving an impression of “silent self-assurance and mystery,” which helps to convey the creative power of architects.

What is the strongest architectural design? ›

The hexagon is the strongest shape known. Not many people know this but if you want something to hold a lot of weight pick a hexagon. Hexagonal patterns are prevalent in nature due to their efficiency.

What is brutalist jewelry? ›

The brutalist era defined by big looks, somewhat of those from the classic Hollywood glam era, yet redefined by the used of a more "natural approach" to setting using flowed gold and nugget-esque looks from artists like Arthur King.

Is Boston City Hall the ugliest building world? ›

Boston City Hall ranked as the second ugliest building in the United States, behind the FBI Building in Washington, D.C. and the fourth ugliest building in the world behind the Scottish Parliament Building.

What is the ugliest building in New York? ›

This downtown Manhattan behemoth has been crowned one of the world's least attractive structures. According to a survey done by construction supply company Buildworld, the former Verizon tower at 375 Pearl St. — close to the Brooklyn Bridge — is the third ugliest property in the US and the sixth ugliest in the world.

Is the U shaped skyscraper real? ›

The Big Bend was designed by Ioannis Oikonomou of the architecture firm Oiio Studio. The proposal is most known for its distinctive U-shape, which would make it the longest building in the world, though not the tallest, were it built.

Does Boston feel like big city? ›

At 48.4 square miles, Boston isn't really considered a “big city” when compared to other parts of the country, but its small-town vibes offer major benefits to those living there. Boston is considered highly walkable, especially if you want to travel on foot from downtown to other neighborhoods.

Why are there no skyscrapers in Boston? ›

Boston, Massachusetts: Due to the city's proximity to Logan International Airport, building height is restricted to around 800 feet. Furthermore, buildings in Downtown Boston are capped even lower than 700 feet.

Why is there no 13th floor in NYC? ›

In the early 1900s, when New York was just starting to build skyscrapers, architects were wary of creating buildings that were thirteen floors or higher. They argued that the height of the buildings would cast “permanent shadows” on the pavements and cause property values to crash.

What is the poorest section of NYC? ›

With 752,000 people living in such neighborhoods, the Bronx by itself has more people living in high-poverty conditions than any other American city.

What is the smallest piece of land in NYC? ›

0000797113 of an acre, this isosceles symbol of spite is the smallest piece of private land ever owned in New York City, and perhaps, the entire world. After 16 years, the Hess Triangle was sold to the neighboring property, which is now Village Cigars, and has subsequently changed hands.

What is the skinny skyscraper called? ›

With a height-to-width ratio of 24:1, Steinway Tower has been described by its developers as "the most slender skyscraper in the world." The tower's facade includes blocks of terracotta, a material that appears to change color and texture when seen in different lights and from different angles.

What is the skinniest skyscraper? ›

Measuring an astounding width-to-height ratio of 1:24, Steinway Tower is officially the world's thinnest skyscraper. The building is roughly around 18 metres wide.

Is there a wooden skyscraper? ›

The 280-foot-tall (85.4-meter) Mjøstårnet is a lakeside structure that serves as office space, a 72-room hotel and restaurant, and residential apartments. It was built of Norwegian spruce harvested from a forest less than a half-hour drive from Brumunddal; even the elevator shafts are made of wood.

What is the oldest known building? ›

Dating back to 3600 BC and 700 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are considered to be the oldest free-standing structures on earth. The temples were built during three phases of cultural revolution – Ġgantija (3600-3200BC), Saflieni (3300-3000BC) and Tarxien (3150BC-2500BC).

What is the smallest building ever? ›

The world's shortest building is called the Newby-McMahon Building, in Withita Falls, Texas. It stands 40 feet tall.


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