The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 10 August 2014
These are mostly British, and indeed many of them are in London, because I stick with what I know and I've a few long-standing grudges to settle. Some of these were nominated for last week's Top 10 Great Buildings, but this is where they really belong.
1. Preston Bus Station
"The Brutalist masterpiece that has always reminded me of a concrete lasagne," says Conor Pope.
2. Buckingham Palace
"I've always found it uninspiring and unkingly," says Simon Wilder. Matt Prissick and Michael Harris agree.
3. South Bank Centre, London
Suggested by Ned Donovan. All right inside, I accept.
4. National Library of Kosovo, Pristina
Joseph Willits was not sure for which category to nominate this: "Great" or "Horrible". He loves it; I think it is hideous.
5. Lock Keeper's Cottage, Queen Mary University of London
6. Seeley Historical Library, Cambridge
The history faculty library.
7. University of York Central Hall
Nominated by Peter Noble, who adds that, "The whole original campus is pretty bad."
8. Kensington Town Hall
I have to cross the road with my head turned to one side on my way to work to avoid catching sight of it.
9. Old Home Office building, now Ministry of Justice, Petty France
Nominated by Carl Gardner.
10. New Home Office building, Marsham Street
From the Brutalism of the 1970s to the plasticky tat of the 2000s.
Next week: Once-common sounds.
Coming soon: Eggcorns, such as 'to be pacific' or 'damp squid'. Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to email@example.com
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