The Carbuncle Cup, awarded to “the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months,” was doled out to the hapless recipient this year. Thankfully the Cup is bestowed upon an inanimate building so no one’s feelings are hurt; well, except the architect’s. The “victor” of 2015 was a building dubbed by Londoners as “The Walkie-Talkie” – real name 20 Fenchurch. The building has been known to burst nearby objects into flames, thanks to a concave face and a sky garden that has been referred to as “an airport terminal.” With such gleaming accolades, enough to burn a hole in it’s shining façade, below is a look at some of the world’s other structural carbuncles on the landscape!
14. People’s Daily Newspaper HQ – Beijing, China
Penetrating the Beijing skyline, surely this building is a good example of perhaps the architect needing to take a step back, looking at the blueprints a bit more carefully and taking the time to consider removing the cap from this mushroom? China is at the cut and thrust of global economics and their modern renaissance may indicate they are not necessarily thinking with the brain department when erecting buildings…
13. Sharp Centre for Design – Toronto, Canada
Comprising the Ontario College of Art and Design, the far edge is lightly perched on an older building as though it rests from spreading it’s kitsch all over Canada’s biggest city. All art is definitely subjective, so you’d expect this from a building housing art students. Whoever was the architect’s muse was definitely on something when the inspiration came.
12. The Bullring Shopping Centre – Birmingham, UK
The Bullring Shopping Centre has a been a bone of contention and an eyesore in Britain’s second largest city for some time now. Unless it resembles a cow’s stomach, the name Bullring seems a rather incongruous one. There must be a plausible reason for the name, as well as one for the design for this building.
11. The Library of Birmingham – Birmingham, UK
A head turner for perhaps all the wrong reasons, it resembles the gift wrapping of some shop clerk with artistic tendencies wrapping your gifts in a store on Christmas. Whatever the story behind the designer’s thoughts on this building, it certainly won’t be a page turner.
10. The Chang (Elephant) Building – Bangkok, Thailand
9. St. George’s Wharf, Lambeth – London, UK
As for the curving parts of the building on differing levels, it merely appears to be an insane and inane scrabble into a vague attempt at a building. London has been known to be daring in contentious architecture, yet someone was really onto a double dare with this one.
8. Geisel Library – University of California, USA
Bland color of the stone notwithstanding, it seems as though there was an attempt at creativity until the designer thought “meh.” A building housing reams of knowledge such as a library should be built to inspire. This, situated within a university, serves as a painful reminder to students of the heavy load of study and research that lies ahead of them. Hardly inspiring, is it?
7. The Royal Ontario Museum – Toronto, Canada
However it appears, it seems to be mirrored in the façade of the older building it’s latched onto. The older structure almost has a derisive: “ew! Get off me!” connotation written all over it. It is also a prime example that the passage of time does not always represent progress.
6. The Ryugyong Hotel – Pyongyang, North Korea
Moreover, such establishments are supposed to be welcoming in their demeanour, the archetypal “home away from home.” Instead, this more or less shares many similarities with the stronghold of a comic book super villain… so does Kim Jong-Un, for that matter!
5. The Grand Lisboa Hotel – Macau, China
Who knows what this has to do with the Portuguese capital, either. It’s one of the many rhetorical questions stacked upon the initial inquiry of: “why was this thing built in the first place?”
4. The Royal National Theatre – London, UK
None of these are more emblematic than The Royal National Theatre on London’s South Bank. More a multi-storey car park than a hub for the stage, this melodramatic tragedy of design should have never had any limelight.
3. The Mirador Building – Madrid, Spain
2. The Orbit Observation Tower – London, UK
1. Trellick Tower – North Kensington, London, UK