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The World's Ugliest Buildings

National Library, Minsk, Belarus

You can’t really hate this glass-paneled, 23-story rhombicuboctahedron (a solid with 8 triangles and 18 squares), complete with color-changing LEDs to make it sparkle at night. After all, it’s difficult to begrudge a library with such mojo. But the designers should have stopped there. Instead, what’s referred to as “the diamond” sits atop a geometry equation gone wrong—tiered circles, huge triangles, winglike flaps.

The Ugly Truth: The winners of a government-sponsored search, architects Michael Vinogradov and Viktor Kramarenko, were expected to make a statement. The government wanted tourist-attracting drama, a desire that seems to have been fulfilled; the 2006 opening attracted a flurry of attention.

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