Is this building ugly?

I pass this building everyday on route to work, I thought I would at least dedicate a post to it. Not that I like the building, in fact the exact opposite is true. I find it ugly but I wanted to wait for a blue sky before snapping an image of it, I tried during a cloudy day and it makes for an incredibly dull photo. Some would say that adds to my opinion, but it just made me feel gloomy.

So this afternoon I got off the train in Wynyard and made my way back onto the Harbour Bridge to take a decent shot.

Not that I want to be mean, it’s beautiful in a weird way. A bit like a pug. They aren’t the most beautiful dogs out there however that makes them cute. There is beauty in the concrete cubes. 

I’m sure the residents of this building make up for it in their home decor, however looking at the building I am unsure if people live in it. It would be fascinating to have a high rise building abandoned in such a lively part of the city.

If there are residents in there, I’m sorry for taking photos of your crib. 

Update: Apparantly there are residents. Over at Wikipedia, I learned a little about this complex, formally known as the Sirius Building.

Anecdotally, unit 74 of the Sirius building became somewhat of an unofficial Sydney landmark; its sign displaying ‘One Way! Jesus’ clearly visible to Harbour Bridge commuters. The sign was in place for around 10 years, although the owner of the sign, Owen McAloon, and his motivations to spread a Christian message remained generally unknown.

Since 2015, the Sirius Building has been at the centre of controversy over plans to remove the residents, sell off the building and possibly redevelop the site, with opponents of the plans seeking to secure its protection as a heritage building.

I’m not sure how many commuters and tourists have been converted via a sign outside of a resident window, thankfully it isn’t that easy. 

But I do feel this view is a great photo opportunity, brutalist 70’s architecture with a backdrop of modern highrises. It makes me wonder how many buildings we are constructing today that will be seen as an ugly eyesore by future generations. It’s almost impossible to predict which ones will stand the test of time until they do. 

So far, this one has!

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45 thoughts on “Is this building ugly?”

    1. Well funnily enough it is in an area called The Rocks, which is one of the oldest areas of Sydney and would have no doubt been a place in which many convicts arrived at. Obviously not as recently as the 1970’s, but there is a connection to your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes it is an ugly building. There is a certain appeal to the pattern formed by the apartments but no getting away from the fact that they are concrete boxes and could not be mistaken for anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ugly with a capital F!

    I like the stepped profile, but it needs to be done with a material that is pleasant to look at and it needs something other than the slab sides to draw the eye.

    Knock it down and build something beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The crazy thing is, when it was built it was a building that would have been approved by so many people! They have been planning to knock it down for a while however some people want it kept as some kind of listed building.


  3. Brutalist architecture has some appeal to me, I confess, though maybe not this block. In London, there are some fine examples, and some are listed. Check out Rowley Way and Trellick Tower, both often featured in films, as well as The Barbican Housing Complex.
    Thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete, I will take a look. I find them fascinating (admittedly due to their lack of appeal!) but there was also a brutalist multi storey car park in Newcastle that featured in Get Carter, I’m not sure if you knew about that? It was well known due to the movie however it didn’t prevent the eventual demolition. I will have to check out the buildings you mentioned, cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can tell you that I prefer some of the buildings much more than others! Some really do make me feel gloomy, especially the one close by to the railway track. Other had some nicer qualities for me, and I love the opening line of the article ‘Do monolithic slabs of roughly-finished concrete make you go weak at the knees?’ Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, that’s an ugly one. Not sure what’s up with the lavender colored ducts either – doesn’t help. Hopefully each cube has a great view out its windows. I lived in an ugly cement building back in the late ’80s. To make matters worse, they tried to improve it by painting it a peach color – bleh! But the view of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Ferries going back and forth to the San Juan islands, and the sunsets on the water, were sublime. You can’t see the outside once you’re in, so no worries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes for residents of this building and the one you lived in, it must be great! I wouldn’t mind living in it with the views it has, it’s just commuting past it each day that bothers me. In fact, I’m doing it right now!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it funny that they have added the plants to help with the look… But it’s just too brutalist for me. As some people in Northern England would say, ‘it’s like putting lipstick on a pig!’


  5. I don’t find it to be ugly. But it isn’t beautiful either. It is actually a really good example of the minimalist architecture of the 70’s. Your question about architecture standing the test of time, is a good one. I am going to look at the city I live in a little differently today. -Jill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’m pleased the post inspired you to look at your city in a different way. Is architecture a passion/ career for you? It’s nice to hear an opinion favouring the building or at least giving it a chance 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I took a history of American architecture in college. I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot.😀I definitely have favorite buildings in different cities and places.
        If you are interested check out the history of the Sydney opera house. There are some interesting stories about the man who designed it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I recently read an article about it, that went into the other designs that didn’t make it (I am glad the current design beat them!). I haven’t researched much of the architect, so I have a browse. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your post grabbed me, as I have often wondered about the design of that building and what it is like inside. It is undeniably ugly and almost communist block era in aesthetics. Still I bet they are still worth a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes I wouldn’t want to guess the cost of living there! And the views must be amazing too. Looking out would be much more pleasant than looking at it :p


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