Prague landmark makes list of world's ugliest buildings chosen by AI

Pundits have criticized the building for not fitting in with the architectural landscape of Czechia’s capital.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 30.05.2023 16:04:00 (updated on 02.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

An artificial intelligence (AI)-powered study has revealed which buildings Twitter users think are the ugliest in the world, and one Czech construction has made it onto the unflattering list.

British firm Buildworld compiled its Global Eyesores ranking based on Twitter comments that rate the relative architectural unattractiveness of major global buildings. Using AI software Hugging Face, it assessed tweets’ sentiment (whether positive or negative) towards particular structures.

Perhaps surprisingly, Prague’s Dancing House was Czechia’s only building to make it onto the list – it was ranked the world’s 46th ugliest. The world’s least aesthetically pleasing structure according to the study was the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, followed by the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C.

Modern and not blending in

Finished in 1996, the Dancing House was designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in co-operation with Frank Gehry, a Canadian-U.S. architect, in a deconstructivist (or “new baroque”) style. The design symbolizes two people dancing, which earned it the moniker “Ginger and Fred” in a nod to the iconic dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Upon its completion, several people criticized the building for not matching the architectural style of the surrounding Baroque, Neo-Gothic, or Art Noveau buildings. Critics said the Dancing House was “inappropriate” and “disturbed the city panorama.” A 2012 public poll by TV Nova saw the Dancing House voted as Prague’s ugliest building.

Prague's other divisive structures

This is not the first time a Prague building has made it onto the rather unfortunate list. In 2009, the Žižkov Television Tower was ranked as the second-ugliest building in the world. It has also been included in several lists of Europe’s most-unattractive buildings. 


A previous poll by non-profit organization Arnika, conducted among Prague residents, also put the Crystal building in Vinohrady, the Hotel Don Giovanni in Žižkov, and the OC Quadrio shopping center on a list of the worst-looking constructions in the capital. 

A Billa shop in Holešovice, the Karlovo náměstí Centrum, and the former Czechoslovak Federal Assembly, which is now part of the National Museum, also featured in rankings of the ugliest buildings in the capital. A separate list also included the socialist-style Prague Congress Center.

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