Boston City Hall leads list of World's Ugliest Buildings
This is the judgement of the “Virtual Tourist” website, who are undoubtedly just trying to drum up interest, but many of us who live in The Hub would agree. I personally don’t think it really looks ugly (Philistine that I am, I think MIT’s new Stata Center is far uglier), but I’d probably feel differently if I had to work there. I’ll agree that the building has huge problems – it leaks, parts are extremely dark, parts are extremely cold, and,like many modern buildings, it’s a Monument to Wasted Space. For all the space its grounds occupy, there’s surprisingly little actual indoor space that’s usable, so things tend to be crowded.

When did the Parisians erect a Monolith?

Gehry vomited all over Princeton too.

Why do schools feel they need one of these atrocities?

I saw this article today and really had to wonder:

What exactly is the point of writing an article about the 10 ugliest buildings, creating the list, AND THEN NOT SHOWING PICTURES OF THE BUILDINGS??

To drive you crazy, of course.

It’s not hard to find pictures of those buildings. I did, for a few, and what is clear is that whoever put together that list just does not like innovative modern architecture.

I saw this article, too. In fact, Yahoo’s main page came up with that as the top story, with a picture of city hall. I recognized it instantly, and winced.

I figured that since Virtual Tourist did the list, I’d surf on over to there to see pictures. Couldn’t find a thing about it on their site.

And I rather like the Stata Center.

You mean they have taste and don’t get suckered in by pretentious fads, right?

I thought the article was pretty strange. The no picture thing is crazy, but I thought the choices were pretty bad. For one thing, Montparnasse Tower isn’t so bad; it just doesn’t fit with the surroundings. Furthermore, the caption says it’s the tallest building in Europe, which isn’t true by a damn sight. Wikipedia says it’s the 13th tallest. It wasn’t even the tallest when it was built.

I can’t really see anything to complain about the Colon building in Madrid either. And I’ve got nothing against the Peter the Great statue in Moscow either. It’s kind of “out there” but you can see many shittier buildings in Moscow from the statue itself. And picking on the museum in Liechtenstein seems kind of strange. I’ve been to that museum and couldn’t even remember what it looked like. Turns out, it looks like a regular old building.

Besides, and list of bad buildings should start and end with this monstrosity in North Korea:

According to the Wikipedia article, Boston City Hall “was voted the sixth greatest building in American history” in a poll by the American Institute of Architects.

But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the architects were from Columbia University. Clearly it was a plot to foist an incredibly ugly building on the main city in Harvard’s territory. (The library at my alma mater was also a Brutalist design and I never liked it either.)

Not only is it ugly, and not keeping with it’s surrondings, the plaza in front of it creates a space that is as cold as Cheney’s heart on windy winter days.

Aye, and it should be noted that they’ve resumed work on the damned thing.

Perhaps they’re planning on using it as a tomb for Jong?

As soon as I saw that picture, I had to find out whether it was the same guy who designed CWRU’s newest building. Yup.

He’s leaving a blot on the National Mall too. Wow, it really doesn’t fit in there.

The name of that article just set my teeth on edge. “Beyond Postmodernism”? Let’s see: “modern” means in the current time. The term “postmodern” wasn’t ridiculous and meaningless enough, so now they have to go beyond it? sigh

I was also annoyed that there were no pictures in the article.

Grump grump grump.

Okay. I’m done now.

I really like more traditional architectural styles, like Beaux-Arts, neo-classical or Georgian.

But Frank Gehry’s buildings are interesting, if only because they’re unlike anything that could be built in decades past. And as I understand architectural styles, the idea is that there’s no point in building, say, a Gothic cathedral today, because the elements that make it a Gothic cathedral (the flying buttresses and so forth) were necessary because they were building in stone. So a lot of what we find appealing about traditional forms weren’t decoration but functional elements.

Here’s the original article on the Virtual Tourist site, with pictures:

Seriously. It’s like a miniature tundra.

The building is hideous on the outside, dank and depressing on the inside, and generally miserable.

There was an interesting show on NPR awhile back about this very-un-churchlike church in DC:

Another example of why Churches shouldn’t be designed by Brutalists.

As others have noted, the Virtual Tourist site has photos. The Yahoo! article was essentially paraphrasing the article on that other site.

Britain has a real problem with Brutalist architecture. The Bull Ring shopping centre in Brum, tons of carparks and council housing in London - all hideous.

Boston City Hall is an ugly fucking monstrosity. I purposely avoided it although I lived there for 7 years. You’ve got Copley Square, which is the kind of city-hall feel a city like Boston should have, and they came up with that piece of shit?

I kind of like Geary’s designs, even though now they’re becoming parodies of his work. Anytime you see a building with shiny curves, you know he designed it.