Another Round

uni of south

Rating the buildings on campus based on aesthetic: University of Southampton


Rating the buildings on campus based on aesthetic: University of Southampton

1. Hartley Library

We start off with quite possibly my favourite. I can’t deny how much I love Hartley and not just because it’s warm. Out of all the buildings on campus, this one is the most unified (so long as you don’t look at it from the back where it has a weird modernist growth). It has a nice shape, respectable size and agrees to the laws of symmetry. The entrance is pretty nice too, although a little claustrophobic during the exam period. Overall, I give the Hartley Library a very commendable 8/10.

2. Building 85 – Life Sciences 

I must say, the Life Sciences building is pretty funky. Nice shape, smooth curves, interesting cladding, it gives a little bit of everything. However, the sheer size and scale of the building is somewhat intimidating and reduces its appeal (especially to those of us on the shorter spectrum). The large steps in front really make the walk towards building 85 feels like some sort of mythological ascension. Moreover, they’re a locus for protest and activism. I am all for protest if done peacefully, although the close proximity to Hartley makes it somewhat unfortunate. Overall, a respectable 6.5/10.

3. Building 54 – Maths

Sadly, the maths block has received a lot of stick over the years. It has already been named the ugliest building on campus and if I’m honest, I’m not here to shine some new light on it. It’s terribly unpleasant both inside and out and sticks out like a sore thumb on Highfield. It really has no business in being so visible when it truly is so ugly. If I’m going to continue my criticism of stairs, the entrance to the maths block feels like a summit of trepidation and fear. Overall, a very dismal 2/10.

4. Nuffield Theatre

I am always confused by this building. Seemingly plonked in the middle of campus with no real reason, it has a strange combination of red brick and tin. The middle bit, which I’m sure vividly springs to mind when I say Nuffield Theatre, makes no sense. It’s got some funky texture, but it genuinely looks like a rusting bit of metal hopelessly protected by cement and mortar. I assume it isn’t really made of tin, although that’s all it evokes when I look at it. The automatic glass doors are quite nice, though. Overall, 5/10.

5. Faraday Tower

I like to call this one the eternal monument of shame. As pretty much everyone knows, the building was intended as an addition to the engineering department, although it ended up being structurally unsound and unusable. However, it can’t be taken down because it is filled with asbestos. Funnily enough, the asbestos contractors don’t want to enter to remove it because the building is structurally unsound. Alas, we have the eternal monument of shame. Outwardly, it isn’t as ugly as building 46 although the skinny base and fatter top are kinda weird. I won’t give Faraday too much stick because the entrance makes me laugh so much. There is absolutely no way to get in (as if you’d want to anyway) seeing as the connecting archway from the neighbouring building has been removed, yet the front door still exists as if to present students with an impossible challenge. Overall, 4/10.


I don’t really understand the SUSU building. It seems like it’s just stuff chucked together that they’re not sure where else to put or how else to repurpose old space. Moreover, the connected cafes just look so bizarre because they’re nearly always empty and more importantly closed. I guess it isn’t as ugly as the maths block, but it still does not have the allure of the library, outwardly I mean of course… Overall, 5.5/10.

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