For eleven years, the Chinese website Archcy has been organizing a curious contest to choose the most unpleasant buildings to look at. Exploring the site, one can see that there are plenty to choose from, and every year architectural works compete for this dubiously honorable title.
In 2021, a total of 87 buildings are competing in this (in)famous competition, but the ones from other years have taken the cake. The organizers intend to “provoke reflections on the beauty and ugliness of architecture and promote the social responsibility of architects”. Here are some examples.
1. Wild Jie Hotel, Huzhou, Zhejiang
It is the first ‘cave hotel’ project in China (the construction is approximately 2,000 square meters) and has spacious suites, however it is on the list not only because of its dubious beauty, but because according to people who have spent a night there, it is very similar to staying in ’a locked barnacle’.
2. Manzhouli Matryoshka Hotel
If you haven’t had a chance to travel to Moscow, but have always wanted to see a full-size matrioshka, you have a chance to do so by staying at this curious hotel in Inner Mongolia, China. In case you had forgotten you are inside a matrioshka, they remind you continuously because its interior is full of tiny matrioshkas.
3. The violin church of Yongpin
In the village of Yongpin is this curious construction that high on the list. It is not ugly. Not pretty either. Perhaps the parishioners hear the voice of God accompanied by a string quartet every time they enter the church.
4. Langfang Lianzi Hotel
At first glance it could be a building from the 1st century BC, but the truth is that it is a luxurious hotel located in the town of Yanjiao (Hebei province). In 2001 it entered the Guinness World Records for being the most photographed hotel in the world, and won the Ugliest Building Contest in a past edition.
The three lords it represents are actually the three Taoist gods Fu, Lu and Shou (or happiness, prosperity and longevity). The entrance is at the foot of Shou, with a long white beard, and the peach he holds in his left hand is a suite.
5. Xi’an International Children’s Art Museum, Xi’an, Shaanxi
Xi’an International Children’s Art Museum is a professional exhibition hall with the theme of children’s art. The whole building is based on a variety of round mixes and colors, combined with water system. It combines the multiple functions of children’s art education, academic exchange, works exhibition and art training.