Call for nominations: ugliest city hall in the world
Many Torontonians quietly lament the architectural quirkiness of the city hall towers that give form and function to our collective civic identity.
It is a generally unspoken — and uncomfortable — truth that that the convex-shaped twin structures strike an icky resemblance to gigantic bathroom urinals, complete with a circular pod structure at their base that echoes — intentionally or otherwise — a urinal cake.
But take heart, Toronto.
Everything is relative.
Place our pee collectors beside some of the world’s other questionable city hall designs and they can suddenly take on a kind of Sistine-Chapel-like majesty.
So in a spirit of civic pride and indiscriminate finger pointing at others, World Weekly blog is launching an international search for the Ugliest City Halls in the World.
We seek nominations that illustrate ill-conceived design idiocy, bold architectural vision gone terribly wrong and avant garde experiments that ended in spectacular, head-shaking flame-outs.
Each of us, at some point, has stood at the foot of some surreal, Dali-like municipal mistake, head tilted to one side, searching for some hint of logic or beauty in the lines.
We have quietly puzzled over the design approval meeting at which this monstrosity, an artist’s rendering projected on a large screen before politicians, planners, architects and citizens, was green lit to the tune of millions of dollars in public money.
And we have imagined the gleeful high-fives, back-slaps and newspaper quotations that followed featuring congratulatory phrases like “organic minimalism” and “aesthetic emotion.”
Let us now exact our revenge on behalf of all inhabitants of decimated city centre landscapes.
To get things started, we hereby submit for your consideration the city hall building in Satu Mare, a northern Romanian city dominated by stark, communist-era greyness.
At its core, the so-called “Administrative Palace” is a towering, 97 -metre visual offence surrounded by a vast open public space which was void of any actual humans during a recent sunny, summertime lunch hour — for good reason.
Designed by architect Nicolae Porumbescu, the style here is described with refreshing candour as “brutalist” in architectural parlance, referring to a kind of fortress-like, concrete block horror.
It is a place where civic hope goes to die.
So, beat that. To submit your nominations, please include a photograph of the building and a brief description of why you believe it is a contender. Email your photos to us here