VOTE: Which is truly the ugliest Lancaster University building?

Can we talk about how ugly county main is please

With 90 per cent of classes being taught online this year, lots of students haven’t had much of a chance to visit campus lately. We’re here to jog your memories and give you a tour of what we think are the ugliest buildings on campus.

We’ve rated them on aesthetic, surroundings, and vibes – all very important categories when it comes to designing a building. It’s hard to believe that Lancaster, home of the beautiful Williamson Park and Lancaster Castle, can also be the home to some really ugly and questionable architecture.

LICA Building

Starting off with something a bit controversial, the LICA building just looks like a giant plastic box. It’s definitely not the worst in this list, it actually has quite a bit of charm. Lots of windows, so lots of lighting and lots of time for students to stare out and waste time during exams. That’s a plus, but let’s be honest, the only factor saving this building from being terrible is the duck pond just outside. The green, plastic looking panelling is an odd choice, (though not the worst green building on campus surprisingly).

Aesthetic: 5/10, that colour just throws it all off.

Surroundings: 10/10, County College AND ducks? Say no more.

Vibes: 3/10, a little ominous, don’t want to go in unless super necessary.

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

We have no idea what this building is even for, and we don’t want to know. This place feels off. Situated right in the northern corner of County, the Ecology and Hydrology building is lonely and quite frankly looks like it belongs in a ghost town. We feel bad for the students that have to study here. Thumbs up for the accessibility ramp though.

Aesthetic: 2/10, this building has no visual appeal whatsoever.

Surroundings: 2/10, the Woodland Trail is just behind?

Vibes: 0/10, cursed.

County Main

It’s fitting that County Main is home to the English Department, because this building looks like something straight out of George Orwell’s 1984. Guess the architect was running late with his sketches, saw an egg box and thought “Eureka!” Seriously, what is this? It’s saving grace has to be the County Oak located in the middle.

Aesthetic: 4/10, cute selfie area on the inside.

Surroundings: 6/10, nice grassy picnic area and it’s the location for bonfire night.

Vibes: 3/10, solid sci-fi prison vibes.

School of Computing and Communications

At first glance, the Computing and Communications school doesn’t look half bad. It actually looks quite good – sleek and chic. But you only have to walk a little further down the sidewalk to discover a bizarre teal and orange rectangle. What’s with the weird window lay-out? Surely all those windows will just create a ton of glare on everyone’s computer screens.

Aesthetic: 5/10, best of modern and 80s style.

Surroundings: 2/10, the land is barren on the Southern side of campus.

Vibes: 7/10, very niche, but what a great niche it is.

Chancellor’s Wharf

So this one technically isn’t on campus, but it is part of University accommodation so it counts (don’t argue). It’s just really bleak, isn’t it? This place screams “third-year-student-who-regrets-their-whole-degree-but-its-too-late-to-drop-out.” Not ugly, but definitely not pretty, I pity the students that get stuck here.

Aesthetic: 9/10, monochrome is so in right now.

Surroundings: 9/10, massive Aldi, town, canal, chippy down the road? Fabulous.

Vibes: 0/10, no vibes, this place is dead.

Sports Centre Extension

We can’t remember when Box Buildings came back in style, but we aren’t here for it. Now, granted, I’ve never actually been to the gym, but still, this place does not make me want to change that anytime soon. It’s not that bad, but compared to the rest of the sports centre it feels a bit out of place – why the sudden shift in tone? I guess that’s what a pandemic does to you.

Aesthetic: 6/10, black is a classic colour though.

Surroundings: 8/10, beautiful fields, sunsets, and fit lads.

Vibes: 3/10, once you enter, you’ll never witness the daylight again.

Bowland Tower

Sorry Bowland Tower, as iconic and majestic as you are, we just can’t ignore the fact that you’re a little on the ugly side.

Aesthetic: 6/10, a living, breathing icon.

Surroundings: 8/10, anyone living here has all they need two steps from home.

Vibes: 10/10, high rating because I don’t want people to hurt me.

Pendle Rooms

As far as student bars go, Pendle Rooms really isn’t the best looking. Grizedale and Fylde are far superior, even Cartmel is ahead. The dirt and smoke crusted bricks and the desolate windows just give it an overall unwelcoming energy. Pendle is sort of the Hufflepuff of Lancaster, no? Probably really sweet, but no one really cares.

Aesthetic: 3/10, not the best but trying its best.

Surroundings: 6/10, cute courtyard and outdoors seating.

Vibes: 5/10, the only reason I’d go is because I feel bad.

ISS Building

Now this, this is sleek. Black stone that glitters and looks moody in the grey Lancaster weather? If this building were a student, it’d be a chain smoker who wears a ring on his finger and a leather jacket. A tattoo would peak out from under his shirt by his neck, probably something terrible, like a tribal tattoo, but that wouldn’t matter to you. The ISS Building is the Bad Boy of buildings. Too bad no one uses it.

Aesthetic: 8/10, I can see TikTok going crazy over this one.

Surroundings: 2/10, same as Computing School – southern campus is barren.

Vibes: 9/10, sci-fi but sexy.

Overall, these pictures prove that Lancaster Students are all but judgemental – we love our campus despite its questionable architecture.

Now we’ve pointed out the ugliest of Lancs campus, it’s over to you. Vote for the ugliest building on campus and help us crown the trashiest building Lancs students will ever see.

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