Show Us the 'Ugly' Buildings That You Love



Can a boxy building be adorable? I guess so!


This ugly brute is called Buchanan Tower. It’s on the University of British Columbia campus and houses most of the offices of the Arts professors. It’s by far the ugliest building on campus, but also the coziest, and it has a special place in all of our hearts (especially those in the History department). It was used in the X-Men: Wolverine movie and even has its own Facebook page!


We love you, BuTo.


Mudd Center at Oberlin College


This has gotta be one of the loveliest things I’ve ever seen. The light and the building itself. Thank you for sharing this image.


Mind if I download this photo to use as a screensaver?


Not at all, @lebosi! Thrilled that someone else likes it, too.


My sister is in the Navy and sent me this picture of the oddest, and even precariously off balance looking, structure, from her recent port in Singapore. I have not yet looked it up, but it just grabs my attention!


Eugene Oregon City Hall. It was a mid-century marvel, but due to seismic issues and poor maintenance, it had to go.!



Elko, Nevada city hall, directly off the official city website.


Helen C. White Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison. I spent many, many hours here… I must love it.


This building is affectionately known as the Alien heart and is simultaneously ugly and my dearest friend.


Sevententh Church of Christ, Chicago IL. Never been in but it catches my eye everytime I pass by.


The Federal Building - San Francisco


My first impression was of an ocarina. I know the holes go in and don’t stick out on an ocarina, but still . . . .


Totally agree with this one.



The Institute of Texan Cultures building, San Antonio, Texas. It was the Texas State Pavilion for the 1968 World’s Fair and now it’s the home of the Institute of Texan Cultures museum. It’s also the site of the city’s annual Asian New Year Festival, which I’ve gone to almost every year since at least 2002. I missed 2017 and it threw off my sense of time for the rest of the year. Apparently my brain has come to accept the Asian New Year Festival as a sign that it’s February and can’t really accept that it’s March or later without it. I hope the picture uploads.


The Museum Brandhorst in Munich is both kinda cool, and yet, TOO MUCH WITH THE GODDAMNED COLORS! It looks like a scrambled TV.

Some people love the the CMG Building in Beijing. Some hate it. I think it looks totally sci-fi.

Sony Pictures Plaza in Culver City, CA looks like a cruise ship with a BIG GODDAMNED WINDOW built in the Knight Rider-era of futurism.

Being in the lobby is overwhelming because of the YUUUGE WINDOW. But it’s also somewhat annoying. It lets in so much daylight that you never really get to go inside.

The Parsons Building in Pasadena is cold and officious and looks exactly like the headquarters for an evil corporation designing drugs to numb the proletariat’s desire for justice. Hydra operates out of here.


I went to school at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and although some people call it grey, depressing, and ugly, I love it.


Marring UC Berkeley’s parklike Beaux Arts/City Beautiful/Neoclassical-inspired campus is Wurster Hall, a colorless, asymmetrical, Brutalist argument against form following function. Cal’s ugliest building houses its architecture program, as its students will tell you with both irony and a strange sense of pride. The interior is exactly as attractive as the facade, sculpted from the same cold, unadorned concrete, and left largely unfinished so that the students can see examples of a building’s working systems simply by looking up to follow the tubes, pipes, and conduit running across the ceilings. The only splash of color you’ll find is the abundance of graffiti in the stairwells, left by there by the students on the rare occasions when they escape the confines of the upper-floor studios.


I absolutely love the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. It’s Brutalist architecture, as are many of the other buildings in these comments, but it’s just a really cool, imposing, interesting building. I’ve heard they’re going to tear it down, which I hope isn’t true–I think it’s the best example of Brutalist architecture that I’ve ever seen. I hope they’ll turn it into a hotel, apartment building, and/or retail center after the FBI moves out. It’s just an interesting, imposing building that really represents old D.C.