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Top 5 ugliest buildings in the Netherlands

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When thinking of the Netherlands, most people think of the stunning architecture, the bridges and charming houses. Dutch architecture has been an attraction for many people and its no surprise. Many people take their famous bridge pictures when visiting Amsterdam! However, it seems like these 5 buildings have escaped the memo, and have ranked themselves into our top 5 ugliest buildings in the Netherlands!

1. Gemeentehuis in Hardenberg (the town hall)

This town hall, in Hardenberg was voted the ugliest new building in the Netherlands by readers of the magazine “Cobouw.” In fact it received 58% of the votes for the competition of the ugliest building in the Netherlands. Readers described the building as “the colour of urine,” something that doesn’t often draw a big crowd of architect lovers! One of the architects, Medic, wasn’t too discouraged by this title as he said “Architecture is much too complex to just be tested on the impossible criterion of ugliness.” He also said “that only good architects dare to take risks of designing something challenging.” Well, this was definitely a risky design!

2. Uitbreiding Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle (the museum of foundation)

This museum came second in the ugliest building in the Netherlands competition by “Cobouw” with 12% saying that this was the ugliest building! This building is hated by tourists and residents alike with people on “reddit” describing it as “that’s so damn ugly.” I think that speaks for itself! I personally find the museums main building quite pleasant, but like another person mentioned “It looks like a spaceship landed on a very nice building” and I couldn’t agree more. 

The building itself was originally built in 1838 and 1841 as a house of justice but was renovated in 2012 and opened publicly in 2013. The “eye or the cloud” was what the architectures called the round part on the building but it has since been nicknamed “the UFO.” Its ironic that the building is dedicated to arts and sculptures seeing as the museum itself isn’t too eye pleasing for many! However, if you are looking for some interesting art be sure to give this museum a visit! 

3. Van Kinsebergen college, Elburg

Going to an English school in the country, I have seen some quite old and ugly buildings in school but nothing quite as extreme as Van Kinsebergen college. It is a repulsive all lilac shade, too similar to the shade of my childhood bedroom! There isn’t too much to say about this building as I feel as though if it was another colour such as white it wouldn’t be as ugly, although the actual geometric design and triangle windows isn’t too exciting either. That’s why it ranked 3rd place in the ugliest buildings in the Netherlands competition by “Cobouw” with 10% of people voting for it! I am sure it is a lovely college but I do think its time for a new paint colour, and it seems a lot of people do too!

4. Stadhuis Gemeente Almelo (city hall)

This city hall in Almelo is definitely a different design concept, constructed between 2013 and 2015. I personally enjoy the two buildings, especially if you look at the building in the night with lights on. However, the small horizontal building in the front looks out of place. Its also the fact that both of the buildings, the horizontal and two vertical buildings are different designs, meaning it doesn’t flow so well! However, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover as the interior is very modern and architecturally pleasing! 

5. Paleis Van Justitie, Amsterdam

This building is definitely different! The asymmetrical beige structure added to the IJ Dock in 2011, doesn’t attract much positive attention and reminds me of a Minecraft building! Its mixture of three-tone colour palette and mixture of building materials makes it almost too much to take in. However, similarly to the Stadhuis Gemeente in Almelo, the interior is very modern and actually really nice! We can also appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this building!

In conclusion

Architecture and buildings are all based on perception, but there are a few attributes that we can all agree on when making a building such as don’t paint it lilac! In terms of architecture, I personally prefer old buildings with history and love the charm of these, one of the big things I love about the Netherlands but I admire the risks taken on modern architecture! I also understand that the Netherlands has a lot of modern buildings dotted around, particularly in Rotterdam, which looks great! Therefore, we have to appreciate the hard work that has gone into making these buildings and as Medic said “Architecture is much too complex to just be tested on the impossible criterion of ugliness.”

Annice Anderson

Annice Anderson

I am Annice and I am 18 years old, currently living in the U.K. I share Turkish, Cypriot, and English heritage. I am a keen writer with multiple blogs, and my own self-published book which has been one of my favourite projects so far. I love to write about a variety of subjects, the most recent being my travel blog, fit with its own website and social media page where I make all the content and designs—another one of my passions! I love anything creative and spend my free time working on my travel plans and learning my latest language—Dutch! I was first drawn to the Netherlands due to my long-term partner and it has been so exciting exploring the culture and history of such a beautiful country! Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to work with The Netherlands team as it combines my love of writing and travel!
Annice Anderson

Annice Anderson

I am Annice and I am 18 years old, currently living in the U.K. I share Turkish, Cypriot, and English heritage. I am a keen writer with multiple blogs, and my own self-published book which has been one of my favourite projects so far. I love to write about a variety of subjects, the most recent being my travel blog, fit with its own website and social media page where I make all the content and designs—another one of my passions! I love anything creative and spend my free time working on my travel plans and learning my latest language—Dutch! I was first drawn to the Netherlands due to my long-term partner and it has been so exciting exploring the culture and history of such a beautiful country! Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to work with The Netherlands team as it combines my love of writing and travel!
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