It’s official: The University of Essex has the ugliest building in the UK

No one would have guessed it

In a competition more dramatic than the Wimbledon final and a decision tougher than Brexit, you decided the ugliest uni building in the UK. Over 7,200 of you voted in our poll with the winner receiving over 1,200

We can now exclusively reveal that the Southend-on-Sea campus in Essex is the ugliest building according to the poll, gaining a massive 16.9% of the vote.


The best at being ugly

The best at being ugly

Nestled among what appears to be a quite normal looking suburban area, the multi-coloured monstrosity rises into the sky, blinding students with it’s bright, day-glo colours. This honestly looks like a 5-year-old designed it. The three clocks is just the tip of a truly awful iceburg – no one wants to live there.

According to Architecture Today:

“The colours signify different areas of the building: green in the main courtyard to complement the planting; red on Queens Road to address the nearby red-brick terraces; blue to the west to merge with the sky; and yellow on London Road and College Way to acknowledge Southend’s beaches. Black spandrel panels and window frames are intended as punctuation marks”

I fail to remember the last time I required punctuation marks on my university accommodation, but there we have it.


Although Southend campus came top, there is no reason to simply forget the other decrepit buildings languishing in the UK.


In general, quite an ugly place to live. Firstly it had two different buildings nominated, and then both nominations made their way into the top eight. 8.12% of votes declared the Roger Stevens building an eyesore, and the Broadcasting Place had 5.27% of voters reaching for the demolition building.

Roger Stevens - gloomy

Roger Stevens – gloomy

This is why we should never venture North

This is why we should never venture North

The prettiest ugly building

Only 0.92% of the poll went with the Keighton Auditorium as the ugliest building of the UK. Perhaps everyone was digging the ‘giant pebble’ vibe, or the Nottingham lot were too busy trying to tear it down to vote for it.

Apparently we'll let this one slide

Apparently we’ll let this one slide

The Surprise

Maybe you think it’s hideous, maybe it’s turrets are a little uneasy on the eye, but I cannot for the life of me understand why St John’s in Cambridge got so much hate. Nearly 5% of votes condemned the building that is “everything wrong with the last two centuries of architectural development.”

Bonus points for having stained glass windows

Bonus points for having stained glass windows


  1. Southend-on-Sea campus in Essex – 16.9%
  2. Congregation Hall in Norwich – 11.19%
  3. Central Hall in York – 10.89%
  4. Roger Stevens in Leeds – 8.12%
  5. Appleton Tower in Edinburgh – 8.05%
  6. Duncan Building in Liverpool – 7.88%
  7. Claremont in Newcastle – 7.23%
  8. Broadcasting Place in Leeds – 5.23%
  9. Owens Park Tower in Manchester – 5.22%
  10. St. John’s in Cambridge – 4.86%
  11. The Physics Building in Exeter – 2.61%
  12. The Diamond in Sheffield – 2.37%
  13. Andrew Melville Hall in St. Andrews – 2.2%
  14. Arts Building in Sussex – 1.72%
  15. Armory Building in Exeter – 1.7%
  16. Peter Froggatt Building in Belfast – 1.65%
  17. University Place in Manchester – 1.22%
  18. Keighton Auditorium in Nottingham – 0.92%