The Ugliest Buildings in the World

What’s the ugliest building you’ve ever seen?

Normally here at Koktail, we’re all about extolling architectural marvels. However, recently, ugly buildings have become a hot topic of discussion, especially on the Internet. 

Buildworld, an online outlet for building and construction materials, did some research on Twitter using a sentiment analysis tool, to find out users’ negative opinions about architectural structures around the world. This resulted in a compilation of the 10 most discussed (or disgusted) unaesthetic buildings in the world, nine of which are located in the US or UK. The only top 10 ugliest building not in the two nations is an abandoned skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea. Here’s the full ranking, from least to most ugly. 



Trump Tower

Location: Nevada, USA
Not the one in New York, but the one in Las Vegas that’s gilded in 24k gold up to the 64th floor where it then is abruptly capped by a stark white ledge with the word “Trump” in huge black letters. Classy.



Denver International Airport

Location: Colorado, USA
As you may have guessed, the airport’s pointy canopies are meant to be a tribute to the state’s famous Rocky Mountains, but just because something is well-intentioned doesn’t mean we have to love the final results, eh?



Watergate Complex

Location: Washington D.C., USA
The Watergate complex is a group of six buildings in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of D.C. The aesthetic value of the complex has been contested in architectural circles since the 1960s when it was being built. While some praise its curved design, which stands at odds with other buildings in the area, others find it “clunky” and too imposing on the Potomac River.



Ryuyyong Hotel

Location, Pyongyang, North Korea
The Ryuyyong Hotel is an unfinished pyramid-shaped skyscraper in North Korea. It began construction in the late ‘80s but came to a jarring halt in 1992 when the Soviet Union fell. Since, the building is only its exteriors, without any windows or interior fittings.



Verizon Building

Location: New York, USA
Though no longer owned by Verizon, New Yorkers still call this eyesore to their city the Verizon Building or “that stupid Verizon Building” or “that hideous Verizon Building”... you get the picture.



Preston Train Station

Location: Preston, England
It’s the newer structures of Preston Station that locals find offensive. The original train terminal is still quite charming for the most part with its Victorian architecture, but the newer entrance just looks like a large corrugated metal box that was constructed without the use of a level or any kind of forethought really. To be honest, it's incredibly difficult to find photos of this particular entrance online and we can understand why. 



Boston City Hall

Location: Massachusetts, USA
Bostonians, including the Boston Globe newspaper, have long hated this Brutalist landmark in their city. You can say they’re pretty brutal about it on Twitter, which is why the building has come in at 4th place.



Newport Station

Location: Newport, Wales
There’s just something so unsettling about the Welsh train station, particularly its passenger bridge, that makes your skin crawl when you look at it, especially from higher ground. (Google more angles at your own risk.)



J. Edgar Hoover Building

Location: Washington D.C., USA
The J. Edgar Hoover Building, a low-rise office complex that houses none other than America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, is apparently Boston City Hall’s slightly uglier cousin in D.C. The building is named after the former FBI director. 



Scottish Parliament Building

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Perhaps more interesting and aesthetic inside (as we’ll include the photo of below), the Scottish Parliament Building is just bizarre and futile on the outside. The construction of this eyesore reportedly went way over budget and is the prime example of how overdoing things is not virtue.

The poor architects of these structures, but surely the ugliest buildings in the world are not all in the US and UK? Even looking at the top 20 of this list, only two buildings are not from the US or UK (North Korea and India). Is it just perhaps that Americans and Brits are more critical of the structures they live amongst than the rest of the world? This is, anyway, all just for fun and subjective. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, as the cliche goes. Trump probably looks at his tower and thinks it’s the most beautiful building in the world.