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
This is a building that should maybe have a NSFW warning attached to images of it! This structure, which houses the offices of the People’s Daily Newspaper in China’s capital, certainly makes a “proud” statement.
13 Sharp Centre for Design - Toronto, Canada
A rectangular block peppered with painted squares like a decimated Tetris game complete with pencils and other stick-like stationary for legs, this awkward building exemplifies being entirely out of place in it’s surroundings. This piece almost resembles a Star Wars war machine that’s been camped up!
12 The Bullring Shopping Centre - Birmingham, UK
Swollen on the horizon in the Midlands of England is this lovechild of an alien overlord and a hoover. Growing bloated on the hard earned cash of Brummie (Birmingham) citizens.
11 The Library of Birmingham - Birmingham, UK
It seems the UK’s second largest city has a penchant for erecting buildings that are the most bizarre of headscratchers. Coming in at number 12 is a building that certainly is a dime a dozen: the Library of Birmingham.
10 The Chang (Elephant) Building - Bangkok, Thailand
9 St. George’s Wharf, Lambeth - London, UK
Marring London’s South Bank, this veritable cacophony of wing-topped spires and crazy stairways is quite inexplicable. The concentric levels of the towers parody either frozen birds in flight or colossal open books.
8 Geisel Library - University of California, USA
The west coast of America, home to Hollywood, can be notorious for edgy designs and being "Avant-Garde", but this building – a condo cradled in a deformed shopping basket – makes one wonder how the designer of this structure graduated.
7 The Royal Ontario Museum - Toronto, Canada
Just down the road from the building ranked #14 on this list sits this bizarre edition to the Royal Ontario Museum. Despite the alleged Canadian reserve, it seems to unravel entirely when it comes to design. Take a pick at what this building resembles: Superman’s Fortress of Solitude? A Transformer that has broken down mid-metamorphosis? Petrified debris from a meteor impact?
6 The Ryugyong Hotel - Pyongyang, North Korea
After construction began in 1987, 26 years of introspection never failed to diminish the blind ardor with which this was thrown up. Dubbed the "Hotel of Doom," Ryugyong Hotel punctures the skyline of North Korea’s capital as a rocket shaped white elephant. The Draconian nation and regime has almost nowhere near enough the influx of tourists to justify the size of such a hotel.
5 The Grand Lisboa Hotel - Macau, China
Straight out of lunatic ramblings, this hotel near Hong Kong is all kinds of bizarre! It ostensibly resembles a psychedelic egg pierced by some giant budding flower. Perhaps the architect has some designs on a grand war erupting between flora and fauna for domination of our planet? Though maybe this is a good lesson of how someone is paid too much money and has too much time on their hands. Who knows?
4 The Royal National Theatre - London, UK
One would think a nexus for the theatrical arts should clearly have more panache and flair. Instead, the structure was built in the 70s, where many things suffered from a style bypass. Also, it was a time where packaged freeze dried goods (like concrete) were dumped across landscapes with abandon.
3 The Mirador Building - Madrid, Spain
2 The Orbit Observation Tower - London, UK
1 Trellick Tower - North Kensington, London, UK
Crowning the list, it’s back to London. Ironic that a city claiming to have streets "paved with gold" is dotted with the odd eyesore here and there. Spoiling the opulence of its nearby surroundings in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Trellick Tower is a residential high rise building that more resembles an industrial plant or hastily built military facility rather than a place for people to live.
But for all it’s ugliness, there seems to be an odd charm about the bleak and depressing edifice. It resembles a marriage between the wealthy and the destitute that has weighed the scales in an odd balancing act throughout London over the course of centuries. Maybe it needs a lick of paint, a tad of TLC, although maybe this would make it fade into the background? For all it’s roughness, it certainly is a sore thumb in the UK capital’s array of wonderful buildings, yet offers it’s own perverse wonder for doing so.
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