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Do you know that? The ugliest buildings of the world

Published: 20.2.2011
Till now, we mentioned in our articles unique places of the world which were, first of all, enraptured or fascinating localities, buildings or constructions, interesting from technical point of view.

The lovers of nature cannot appreciate, of course, the powerfulness of mining machines, similarly, as the technocrats do not prefer the magic of virgin rain forest, nevertheless, we spent our time always with something delightful.

Anyway, I decided to make some change in this article. We can have a look at the opposite pole of human fascination and pay attention to something what does not chain

the astonishment of people. So, today´s chapter has the title: the ugliest buildings

of the world.

To tell the truth, it is rather complicated to value anything in uniform way. This fact concerns, first of all, human products, provided we ignore some destructive ideas of certain history-creators. I thought it in the following way: something could be rapturous for somebody, and the same object would seem as repulsive. Modern construction in centre of old town could be, for sure, disturbing element, as well as an interesting contrast between new and old conception of architecture. It is impossible to be obliged to all, so, would you take these description as an evaluation, on base of expert´s resolution (and such persons are always right!) of people, tourists and inhabitants of towns, where these terrible constructions disfigure their home.

Do you know that TV Sender Tower, situated in Prague-Žižkov quarter, took, during regular server Virtual Tourist questionnaire, respectable second place? Anyway, the details regarding such conflicting construction will be told you later.

As far as absolute most terrible construction is concerned, it was chosen Morris Mechanical Theatre Building, placed in Baltimore, USA. This concrete monster is a work of architectonical brutality. It is a tendency, evident also in our country, preferring a power and dignity of iron-concrete. From actual point of view, it is a monstrosity, the traces of which could be found in most from post-socialist countries, where their purpose was dedicated to

„Houses of Culture“, places of „Authorities Meetings“ and „Congresses“ of the only „Party“.

Such style could be named as „The Functional Expressionism“. This style made big damage and loss everywhere, probably with the exception of Africa, till 1980.

Mr. Le Corbusier, Swiss architect (most respectable architect and urbanist of 20th century) a philospoher of concrete and poet of panels – belongs to main authors of such style, and, first of all, the inspiration for all generations of brutalism (the word „brut“ means „concrete“ in French).

To another remarkable buildings of such style belong King´s Theater in London, Hotel Intercontinental in Prague and many other department stores, houses of culture, theatres, administrative centre´s, etc. buildings all over the world.

So, Baltimore Theatre became main town´s scene since the year of its construction (1967) till 1990, when rather small dimensions and old-fashioned conception did not fulfill the requirements of modern culture equipment. However, town councillors refused the plans of working order renovation and total reconstruction of such monstrous building.

On the other hand, the other group of monument-architects wished to keep the authenticity of the complex. And, frankly speaking, theatre building defaces the face of the town till now, despite the fact that theatre scene was moved into more classical building of Hippodrome Theatre. The original object is watched as cultural heritage building, and so, it is no chance to make any change on the face of such concrete monster.

I am of the opinion that similar buildings could be easily found in our country as well.

So, for instance, the inhabitants of Ústí nad Labem do not admire their „Bath“ – former building of Communist Party Regional Seat.

So, we come to the second conflicted building. It is TV Sender Tower a dominant in Prague-Žižkov. I wish to use, in such case, rather diplomatic name, as this construction could not be accepted or refused uniformly.

The sender is the clearest dominant of our capital. However, the construction is to be seen from all parts, fulfilling its main function, i.e. TV and broadcasting for Prague and Central Bohemia. The plan for construction of such building was ready since time period, when

TV sender on Petřín Hill was unsufficient for such type of service. So, the construction was effected within 1985-1992, and it obtained its ironical name „Cosmodrom“ or „ Jakeš-Finger“ and many other, more vulgar but characteristic nicknames.

The TV sender, a work of Mr. Aulicky and Mr. Kozák, is 216 metres high.

Just during preparing works, the construction made considerable indignation wave, as vast area of surrounding green grounds and demolition of historical Jewish cemetery was done in the meantime. The objections that electro-magnetic radiation could influence a sleep or health of Žižkov inhabitants, was refused, and so, nothing prevented the builders to finish the construction. The tower takes, similarly as the other architectonical „jewels“, regularly on front place of „anti-treasures of world heritage“.

Nevertheless, the outlook terrace as well as the restaurant upstairs are, no doubt, an interesting variegation and enticement for tourists, but so called „stumbling-block“ exists in such case, too. The prices there for services are extremely expensive and socialist service-level, quality of drinks or caffee-interior complete negative atmosphere to the whole project.

Nevertheless, actual reconstruction works could bring a lot of hope for this case, so that we can trust that the quality level of gastronomical services and total project conception could be improved. The tower offers extraordinary impressive outlook at surrounding town quarters, and so, it would be a pity, not to use such chance. The TV sender belongs to Prague, the same effect make small climbing little babies (the work of artist David Černý), making its effect as rebellion than real way of art.

So, we can enjoy real unique works and beauties, which will be dedicated in next chapters of our endless serial.

 

 

text: Jan Chaloupka

foto: wikipedia commons   

Translator: Ing. Jonáš



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