10 buildings that are among the most controversial in history

Whether for lack of aesthetic appreciation, perrengue in the works, or even because it is out of harmony with the neighborhood, some constructions seem destined to “snatch the tail” from the ground up. After all, who has never seen a half-abandoned skyscraper and wondered why the property doesn’t move forward?

Some of these uneases, however, are not limited to complaints from residents, neighbors or professionals involved in the projects: there are those who have taken their disagreement with a change of landscape to the courts — in some disputes that are sometimes difficult to resolve. be resolved, depending on the figures and issues at stake, such as the preservation of historical heritage, for example.

Not even mega-buildings that involve millions and are signed by true architectural “brands” are immune to these tight skirts. Often, it is those most awaited constructions that end up creating more complex imbroglios.

This is the case of these ten buildings, which were selected by the specialized magazine Architectural Digest as some of the most controversial buildings in the history of architecture. Find out why:

Boston City Hall, USA

Boston City Hall, USA - jorgeantonio/Getty Images/iStockphoto - jorgeantonio/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Image: jorgeantonio/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Built in 1968 to replace the old town hall building, an 1865 construction built in the style of the Second French Empire and therefore more sophisticated and in line with the tastes of the local elites, the current building has been the subject of controversy since its birth.

This is because it is very different from its predecessor in style. An example of British post-war brutalist architecture, which emphasizes geometric forms, prioritizes minimalism in detail and places structure at the center, he received the honorary award from the American Institute of Architects in 1969.

Its theoretical, historical importance or influence in the architectural environment does not, however, prevent the Boston Globe (one of the most influential newspapers in the world) from labeling it, like many places, as the “ugliest building in the world” some 50 years later. .

Antilia Tower, Mumbai, India

Antilia Tower, Mumbai, India - A.Savin/Creative Commons - A.Savin/Creative Commons
Image: A.Savin/Creative Commons

With 4,532 m² and just over 173 m in height, the Indian tower has 27 floors. That is, it is not among the tallest skyscrapers in the world (the tallest, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is 828 m), but part of its fame comes from another ostentation: this entire building is the private residence of billionaire Mukesh Ambani. , the 11th richest person in the world, according to the American Forbes magazine.

Signed by the American firm Perkins+Will, it would have cost $2 billion — and was once considered the most expensive private home in the world, according to Vanity Fair. Why did it bother you then? Precisely because of this factor ostentation. Other indian tycoon, rat Tata, publicly criticized the newspaper The Times of London for antilia as an example of the lack of empathy of the country’s rich for the poorest.

“A person who lives there should be concerned about what he sees around him and ask himself how he can make a difference. If he can’t, then it’s sad, because this country needs people to allocate part of their enormous wealth to find ways to mitigate the difficulties that people have. [A torre] makes me wonder why anyone would do that. That’s how revolutions are formed.”

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea - boggy22/Getty Images - boggy22/Getty Images
Image: boggy22/Getty Images

Despite its works spanning 35 years, the 105-story triangular building never seems to be finished — and remains an empty symbol in the city’s landscape. Its facade, however, is complete, it is its interiors that seem to be the cause of so many delays and would even pose a structural risk to its surroundings.

Even so, the format does not escape criticism from those who pass by for its style, the intentions behind it and even precisely because it is never ready. Born in the midst of the Cold War as a competitor to the Swissôtel The Stamford hotel in Singapore, it has earned the nickname in recent years the “Hotel of the Curse”.

20 Fenchurch Street, London, UK

20 Fenchurch Street, London, UK - PocholoCalapre/Getty Images/iStockphoto - PocholoCalapre/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Image: PocholoCalapre/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Known as the “Walkie-Talkie building” because of its shape resembling portable radio sets, this 38-story building that was designed by Rafael Viñoly and completed in 2014 won, less than a year later, the Carbuncle Cup – an award “in jest” awarded by Building Design magazine as “UK’s ugliest building completed in the last 12 months”.

His prestige has not increased since. Over the years, he’s made headlines a couple of times for some issues with the project. For example, when the light hits the surface of the structure, it works like a concave mirror that throws the light directly onto the street, which can hinder those who drive in the region.

In 2013, when the work was in its final stages, thanks to him, the temperature on the asphalt reached such a high point – 117.2ºC – that it damaged cars parked around it, according to The Guardian. The problem was fixed with an awning, but the skyscraper again received criticism for creating a wind tunnel effect on the street below.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA - AlexPro9500/Getty Images - AlexPro9500/Getty Images
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Although Frank Lloyd Wright’s building for the New York museum has now been considered historic and iconic in the city’s landscape for more than 60 years, it has not always been viewed favorably.

When the design was made public, the architect received heavy criticism that compared its shapes to that of a washing machine or an inverted bowl. It was even accused of wanting to appear more than the works within its corridors, and 21 artists sent letters to the Foundation that manages the museum protesting the construction.

According to the archives of the Smithsonian, an American history museum in Washington, DC, the main complaint was that its curves represented a disregard for “the fundamental rectilinear frame of reference necessary for proper visual contemplation of works of art.”

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France

Louvre Pyramid, Paris, France - StockByM/Getty Images - StockByM/Getty Images
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Signed by IMPei, a Chinese-American architect, the pyramid was heavily criticized from the beginning – in 1988 – for having been designed by a professional who did not have “a proper understanding” of the French Renaissance style of the palace where the museum is now located and who , therefore, the work would be too different from its surroundings.

In addition, another critic would accuse the chosen inspiration of having been inadequate and, therefore, the homage would be in bad taste. This is because pyramids in Ancient Egypt would represent death, after all they were used as tombs of the pharaohs and could not be at the heart of the museum, according to The New York Times. To this day, it divides opinion in French society.

Tour Montparnasse, Paris, France

Tour Montparnasse, Paris, France - sborisov/Getty Images/iStockphoto - sborisov/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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The “Tower of Discord” caused so much unease also among the French that it even changed local legislation. Built in the 1970s, it created frustration among residents as well by projecting lights and creating shadows in the heart of the City of Lights.

Still others have accused the tower of being at odds with the Haussmannian (and rather romantic) style that prevails in much of Parisian architecture — except in the business district of La Défense.

At 210 meters tall, it lost the fight to Parisians: in 1975, after two years of debates over the tower, the Paris City Council banned the construction of buildings over 36 meters high within the heart of the city. In 2005, however, asbestos was found inside the building and experts have been working for years to remove all the carcinogen from there.

The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, ​​Spain

The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, ​​Spain - JackF/Getty Images/iStockphoto - JackF/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Unfinished for 140 years, the Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s bone of contention for different reasons. Of high historical value, after all the work is signed (also) by the greatest Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí, it has been reassumed several times over the years by different professionals and the choice of names is always highly debated — and contested — in Catalan society.

With Gaudí’s plans destroyed during the Spanish Civil War, there is also a lot of questioning regarding modern alterations, which are often accused of not being part of his original design. The property still owes millions of dollars to the city of Barcelona for over a century.

Parliament Building, Edinburgh, Scotland

Parliament Building in Edinburgh, Scotland - Bob Douglas/Getty Images - Bob Douglas/Getty Images
Image: Bob Douglas/Getty Images

When construction began in 1997, the estimated cost of erecting the new building would be between £10 million and £40 million. However, after a series of delays and changes in plans, in 2004 the figure reached £430 million or R$2.7 billion.

The public, who paid for the building with taxes, of course protested the circumstances in which the construction took place and a plebiscite was organized to define the future of the work, officially discussed by the authorities. As it progressed, other sniping followed, regarding the location of the building and the choice of Enric Miralles, a Spanish architect, to design it.

Once it was inaugurated, the fuss died down, but even the Queen acknowledged all the turmoil in her speech at the inauguration of the new Parliament.

John Hancock Tower, Boston, USA

John Hancock Tower, Boston, USA - Bodhichita/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Bodhichita/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Built in the late 1960s also as part of the “modernist wave” that swept over Boston and produced the city hall, the tower was signed by the firm of the same architect as the Louvre Pyramid, IMPei, with the aim of being the tallest building in City. However, its proximity to Trinity Church, a historic church, has brought its share of headache to the architects.

Initially, criticism from the press and citizens was based on the fact that the work would cast an immense shadow over the church, a heritage recognized by the City of Boston. Plans for the tower then had to be changed, according to the Boston Globe. However, during the excavation process to erect the building, the church was damaged in structure.

The congregation then sued the team behind the project and received millions of dollars in damages. This was just the second in a series of other problems, such as window panes falling on pedestrians due to strong winds. Eventually, engineering flaws were fixed.

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