Ugly Buildings

Ugly Buildings

I have been observing ugly buildings for years. Some are clearly architect designed, others are the work of real estate developers, some of institutions too lazy to implement a reasonable solution to some problem or caught up in an architectural style required to meet the needs of donors and others’ expectations.


Worcester MA

Super markets are sui generis pedestrian commercial buildings – architecture hardly applies. Here is one whose “street presence”, or maybe it should be “parking lot presence”, is shockingly depressing. The entrance and exit are hidden and one is greeted with more brick than glass.

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Columbia County addition on Sixth St. Hudson NY


Hudson City Centre, Green St. Hudson NY - detail of entrance
Harvard Law School

This building built right on Mass Ave in Cambridge must have been designed to ape the monumentality of Washington DC. Heavy, ponderous, thuddingly boring…..
Harvard Law School Student Union on Massachusetts Ave just noprth of Harvard Sq,






One Western Ave Brighton – Harvard Business School student housing.

This building is so ugly that no B-school plutocrat has bought up the naming rights since the building opened in 2003. The architects are on the faculty of the Harvard Design School. Machado is the architect for the Honan-Alston branch of the Boston Public Library, which in contrast is a nice enough looking building that functions very well as a library. What were they thinking with this B-school project? Maybe drinking too much academic architectural kool-aid.