The contest that awards China’s ugliest architecture

The competition by Chinese architecture website Archcy took off in 2010 with the aim of promoting better design and social responsibility.

The annual nomination for the 10 ugliest buildings in China has begun, with the final results due in December. Running for the podium are 87 bizarre designs, from a hotel in the form of an enormous matryoshka doll to a violin-shaped church. After 40 years of rapid urbanization in China, a lot of ambitious projects have ended up as follies and eyesores, and many of them have been denounced by the citizens. It’s the case of the “giant trousers” structure of the China Central Television headquarters, in Beijing, and of the part-US Capitol building, part-Temple of Heaven building in Hebei province.

Flying kiss by Chongqing Wulong, in 2020 at the 3rd place of the ugliest building awards. Courtesy said that the goal of the competition is to “spark discussion about the beauty and ugliness of architecture and promote the architects’ social responsibility”. The list has drawn particular attention to ugly architecture, and has prompted a government response: in April this year, China issued a ban on “ugly architecture”. We just have to wait and see what are its consequences on the design processes.

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