Eyesores Of Adelaide

Unsightly buildings? Adelaide has some crackers. We’re all for progress and the sight of cranes dotted along the CBD skyline but a few ugly structures spoil the aesthetic for everyone. We’re calling out a few (new and old) eyesores of Adelaide (and beyond). They’re the character-packed sites we simply love to hate.

THAT Building

Atira Housing Adelaide

Sitting out front of the Grace Emily used to be such a pleasant experience. Now it’s frustrating. The beer is still good but there’s a towering monstrosity ruining the view. Is it a giant rock climbing wall? Is it the set for the next Star Wars movie? Either way, it’s a contender for ugliest building in Adelaide. Not since Magic Mountain has such a colossal turd disrupted the horizon. Thanks Atira Student Living.

The Torrens Pontoon

Torrens Pontoon Adelaide

It was fun while Adelaide Festival lasted but once the floating Riverbank Palais venue disappeared, the seagulls moved in. This beast is an eyesore. The only thing it’s good for is as a perch on which to crap. Just ask the birds. Craptacular.

Club 199

Club 199 Adelaide

When Tuxedo Cat moved into this North Terrace building we rejoiced. No-one transforms an abandoned building like that lot. For a brief, but lovely time, the old building was a bustling Fringe venue. Not anymore. Tuxedo Cat had to move on, and once again, the former nightclub is a sad old sight.

The Planet

The Planet Adelaide

Speaking of former nightclubs, anyone in their early thirties may remember debauched nights at this former Pirie Street nightspot. Bright green Illusion shakers, 50-cent beer, dance floor snogs, boob tubes, Planet dancers… those were the days. It’s difficult to walk past the dear old girl without a flash of nostalgia. Unless you’re in your early twenties. Go back to your Snapchat. You won’t know what we’re on about.

Darlington Upgrade

Good things come to those who wait… and wait. The interchange at the junction of the Southern Expressway and Main South Road is a work in progress. There’s light at the end of the tunnel but ‘till then it’s an unsightly mess. $620 million and counting.

The InterContinental Adelaide and Hilton Hotel

Hilton Adelaide

Don’t get your concierge knickers in a twist. It’s all frills and ace service inside these top notch hotels but both have exteriors in need of some lovin’. We’re not all ageing gracefully, but it’s mid-life crisis time for most buildings born during the eighties.

The Murray Bridge Bunyip

Murray Bridge Bunyip

Image: Sharmin Paynter

You think the clown from IT is scary? It’s not a patch on this disturbing rural ‘attraction’. The Murray Bridge beast has been scaring the bejeezus out of small children (and adults) for donkeys. Pop a coin in the slot and a growling green bunyip rises from the murky water, claws raised, before returning to the dirty depths. It’s the stuff of nightmares, simple as that.

The SAHMRI Building

SAHMRI Adelaide

It’s the Vegemite of buildings. You either love or hate this giant North Terrace cheese grater. The exterior is either a feat of ground breaking architecture, or an eyesore – depending on how you look at it. Either way, you can’t deny the magic going on inside. It’s where more than 600 medical researchers go about their business, working hard to make sure we live another day.


Modbury Hospital

Modbury Hospital

If you aren’t sick on your way to Modbury Hospital, you’ll be sick when you see it. Can someone please give this multi-tiered concrete cake a facelift? While you’re at it, The Women’s and Children’s could do with a bit of TLC, too.


West Terrace (east-side)

West Terrace

When caught at the lights on West Terrace, make sure you look West towards the parklands, not East towards the city. Otherwise, you’ll be confronted with the unnecessary golden arches over the entry to the BP, battered, bland warehouses, and ancient Babylonian brick facades. It might help if someone could give Golf World a new lick of paint. The old girl is fading.

The Hollywood Plaza Sign

Hollywood Plaza Adelaide

Sort of like in Hollywood itself, dreams die within close range of the Hollywood Plaza sign. The Northern plains shopping centre’s sign screams tackiness.  It features the word Hollywood arched above a rainbow and is held up by a mess of scaffolding – when was this ever a good idea?

Steve Langdon’s Studio


This corner block studio is run down, messy, paint-splashed, rarely open (call the number scrawled across the building’s exterior) and sticks out like a sore Sturt Street thumb. You know what, we love him for it. Art-packed places like this are at the core of this city’s heartbeat. Don’t clean up Steve. We’d be mighty disappointed.

Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain Glenelg

Image: baytram366

RIP you big brute. As eyesores go, you were the ultimate. Thanks for the memories. We hope you’re in a better place… where giant cow pats are adored, not scorned.

Got a building or site you love to hate? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Words: Katie Spain and Sam Richards.

Smiley Fritz



  1. Prue Henschke

    04/10/2017 at 4:35 pm

    The Adelaide Teachers College high rise on Kintore Ave has to be one of the worst looking buildings in Adelaide.

  2. Des DeCean

    04/10/2017 at 8:15 pm

    The Dutch Shop on Brighton Road at Brighton (opposite St Judes Church of England Church) needs to be erased! It can only be described as “Visual Polution!”

  3. Stan

    06/10/2017 at 10:26 am

    What about the 2 buildings on the corner of North Tce St Peters? Horrible!

  4. Suzy Ramone

    16/11/2017 at 12:14 pm

    Are you kidding? The SAHMRI building is in your list? It’s one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen. Have you been inside for a tour? It’s lovely. It looks great from all angles. It would be a fabulous environment to work in.

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