The Ugliest University Buildings in the UK

Charlie Robersonon 21 November 2016
A brutalist university building

The UK has some of the best-looking universities on the planet. Today, that's not what we're celebrating at Student Hut.

Student Union - Sheffield Hallam university

Described by Reuters as “a mash-up of a Jiffy Pop package, a salad spinner and a food processor” Sheffield Hallam's student's union (the HUBS is, if nothing else, unique). In their defence, it was designed for another purpose before being bought by the university. Why they didn't knock it down is another question altogether.

The Diamond - University of Sheffield

Any Sheffield students laughing at Hallam's inclusion can stop now. This red brick uni boasts one of the country's strangest modern buildings in The Diamond. The £81m monster hosts Sheffield's engineering department and was nominated for the 2016 Carbuncle cup, the prestigious prize for the worst new building in the country.

Humanities Building - University of Warwick

Warwick was built in the 60s so a few hideous buildings are to be expected. The worst of the bunch is probably the humanities building, a festival of beige and brown arranged into a series of rectangles.

G.E. Fogg Building - QMUL

Okay so the G.E. Fogg Building does look a bit like it's made out of Lego, and that is a good thing. It's also a good thing that took extra care to make the building's refurbishment environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, it's not a good thing that the building looks quite, quite awful.

University Place - University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has one of the UK's most picturesque campuses (when it's not raining, at least), with many historic and beautiful buildings. Why they decided to add this UFO-column-thing is hard to fathom.

Physics Tower - University of Exeter

Exeter's physics tower looms large over the campus. It's a shame that such an imposing building is basically just a big rectangle with what looks like blinds on the outside.

Muirhead Tower - University of Birmingham

We've resisted describing any of these other buildings as Orwellian because that word fits the Muirhead building so well.

James Clerk Maxwell Building - University of Edinburgh

I mean, what is there to say?

Typewriter Building - Christ's College, Cambridge

A little-known local law mandates that every Cambridge college must have at least one hideous building to balance out all the nice old ones. This entry from Christ's College is perhaps the most, uh, noteworthy.

International House - University of Nottingham

It's a little cruel to pick a picture of International House taken on an incredibly overcast day. That said, we doubt even a sunny day could redeem this pointy red thing of a building.

Robinson Library - Newcastle University

Pros: Robinson library kind of looks like a brutalist fortress.

Cons: No one wants to spend eight hours doing their coursework in a brutalist fortress.

Chemistry Building - University College London

UCL has one of the oldest chemsitry departments in the country. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the department building. On a positive note, it looks like the kind of building Judge Dredd would work in, which is... good?

Arts and Social Sciences Library - University of Bristol

We can't decide what's more unfortunate: the building's design or the fact that its name abbreviates to the ASS library.

Sorry to fans of brutalist architecture, we actually quite like some of it. To see how we rate universities based on factors other than how nice their buildings are, check out the Student Hut League Table. We rank every university in the country based on authentic student reviews of modules and courses.

How do you feel about your uni's architecture? Join our panel and let us know. You'll get 1000 reward points for signing up.

Charlie Robersonon 21 November 2016