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Brighton's ugliest building?

“One of the contenders for ugliest building has to be Kingsway Court on the seafront between First and Second Avenues. How could they have let anyone build such a monstrosity amongst all the beautiful terraces and mansions in this area?” (Anonymous email to the website on 8-12-2002)

Kingsway Court
Photograghed by Bill Maskell 24-03-03.

Comments about this page

  • I don’t agree! I’ve just moved there… it may well have been a tragedy for the developers to have destroyed what was there before but I wasn’t around and don’t know what was there previously. I’d say it’s a typical 1960s block of flats – wouldn’t be out of place in London e.g. Maida Vale or St John’s Wood. If you’re looking for really ugly buildings, how about Hove Town Hall or Norton Road car park? Or perhaps the council office extension between Grand Avenue and The Drive?

    By David Wilkinson (04/05/2004)
  • I have lived here for 5 years. Splendid flats – good size and layout. Every flat seems to have good light and almost all have balconies. The building aesthetic grows on you. And, unusually for flats, a real sense of community exists here. Its a great place to be!

    By John Kernaghan (09/03/2005)
  • Granted Kingsway Court would win no prizes today but when it was built it probably represented breath-taking modernity. However I always thought of it as Hove’s problem … surely the Top Rank Suite (now the Kingswest?) has to be the ugliest and nastiest building in Brighton?

    By Adrian Baron (24/01/2007)
  • I was employed by a firm of quantity surveyors, Wheeler Rumble & Perrin, who were involved in this project. I worked for a while in the site office. At that time this was considered a very up-market developement and, if I remember correctly, it incorporated a swish bar and restaurant on the ground floor.

    By Peter Wood (29/03/2007)
  • I definitely do not think that this block of flats is a monstrosity. I lived there for 10 years, and wouldn’t hesitate to go back. The flats have some of the best veiws in Brighton. There are many other monstrous building in Hove. It may not be the best looking, but it is certainly not the worst! It is in a fabulous location and its unatractiveness is simply down to the fact that it was built in the 1960’s.

    By Susan Salcole (15/04/2007)
  • Mr Wood: The swish bar and restaurant you refer to at KC are still very much an attractive feature of this luxury development.

    By Michael Sayers (27/04/2007)
  • We have waited years for the right appartment (three-bed) to become available and are as delighted as we always knew we would be. Where else in Hove have you got a purpose built block on the front with huge balconies, fab views of the sea, great facilities on the ground floor (restaurant and bar) and underground car park that you can lock the door and go away for as long as you like and have no worries about security – certainly not in any conversion. Not the most attractive from the outside maybe but inside – fantastic.

    By Brian Barrow (01/08/2007)
  • I have very happy memories of Kingsway Court. In the 1960s, my Mother and I spent long periods of my school holidays with my Mother’s Aunt and Uncle who lived in St John’s Wood, London. They owned a flat in Kingsway Court where we spent carefree weekends before returning to London early on Monday mornings. Although I was only between six and eight years old, I remember the cocktail bar and restaurant. Dressing for dinner was awful, but the ravioli was to die for! There was also a hairdressers on site: my Mother and Great-Aunt would spend Saturday morning being ‘titivated’ whilst my Great-Uncle would skip down the ‘prom’ with me looking for our next great adventure. Happy times.

    By Jayne Samuel-Walker (14/02/2008)
  • I have friends that live in these flats and I think the building and the flats are beautiful. The view of the ocean is gorgeous.

    By Richard Beard (15/03/2008)
  • Kingsway Court cannot possibly be Brighton’s worst building as it’s in Hove. Surely any 50’s or 60’s blocks across Brighton and Hove can be contenders for the ugliest especially those nestled amongst such fine Regency and Victorian buildings. Kingsway does have stunning views and is well managed.

    By Alex Sheppard (18/03/2008)
  • I lived in Kingsway Court in 2002-2004. Beautiful apartment and views, airy and light. Not the greatest from the outside but certainly better than the Brighton Centre Building.

    By Heather Lewis (02/10/2009)
  • Having worked in this building I agree – this is the ugliest building in Brighton. It’s even worse on the inside. The whole decor and feeling inside this building zapps all your good energy. Even the people seemed negative.

    By Paul (14/12/2009)
  • The building that occupied this site wasn’t unlike the magnificent one that the council now occupies immediately to the west. I have some recollection that it may have been called the Prince’s Hotel and was damaged by a bomb during the war (?) – demolished before my time, but old photographs are testimony to another fabulous building lost forever.

    By J Marshall (10/01/2010)
  • I have visited several different flats as a guest and it is on my personal list of where I want to move in Hove as soon as a flat with a balcony that I can afford becomes available. The people are friendly and they also allow dogs and cats! People who have animals are nicer, friendlier and more calm than all those more ugly purpose built flats and fancy terrace houses which forbid humans contact even with fish! I walk past here at least twice a day and although I am not a fan of 1950s-1970s architecture, at least the building is not falling apart as is the Embassy Court even after its redo or most of the classified buildings in the Brunswick area which are held up by coats of paint and have terrible sewage and internal noise problems. Besides, ugliest building has to go to the Hove Town Hall or the Hove Job Center or the Brighton Job Center or the building containing the Odeon Theatre across from the UMI hotel! Even the Van Allen building looks better than any of those!

    By S Florent (24/05/2010)
  • I agree it’s not the best looking building from the outside, but it is certainly not the worst. It is fantastic living here in this well run building. We feel very secure living in our spacious apartment on the eighth floor with wonderful views out to sea from our living room and to the downs from our bedrooms & kitchen. All of our friends think we are very lucky to live here.

    By Liam Higgins (09/08/2010)
  • Hove town hall is definitely the worst looking building. Even the windows are tinged brown. I have a particularly “nice” view of it from my window and I have to say, it’s pretty horrific. 

    By Caitlin Lacey (16/04/2014)
  • I am surprised at the discussion on this page as I do not think there is any doubt about which building in Brighton and Hove is the ugliest. It is the Holiday Inn/Bedford Towers building and you only have to look at it to see why, it is grotesque, and should never have received planning permission when the Bedford Hotel, that was on this site, was demolished.

    By Derek Lake (17/04/2014)
  • Kingsway Court is a lovely building,a bit art deco if you ask me, and if I could afford to buy one of these apartments I would especially if it had a sea view.
    There are worse buildings in Hove and Brighton.

    By Richard Woolston (30/06/2021)
  • Like Jayne, above, I spent many happy hours at KC in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. My Grandparents lived there. They loved their flat. The views were awesome and neighbors very friendly. My sister and I also had to dress for lunch in the downstairs restaurant. “Uncle” Steve was the manager and would always have funny and kind words for us and a little treat. We felt like Princesses. There was a little shop too and a hairdressers. It may not be the prettiest building, but it is far from the ugliest. I have super happy memories of my time there. My grandfather stayed there until he died in the late 1980’s.

    By Elaine (10/08/2022)

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