The issue of high housing prices in Israel is one of the most talked-about issues in recent decades, usually with an emphasis on high prices and not low value. But earlier this year, one building in Bat Yam became world (in)famous when it won the title of the world's ugliest building in a Reddit thread.
The 12-story residential apartment building is located in northern Bat Yam. It was built back in the 1970s as part of a large commercial complex located on the lower floors, which includes an event hall, stores and parking lots, among other things.
Bat Yam, Israelby u/holyroach in UrbanHell
A photograph of the building was taken via drone and uploaded to the Reddit thread by user u/holyroach, where it was rated the ugliest. This saw it beat out the fierce competition, such as a Soviet-era apartment block in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, slums of full of shantytowns in Manilla in the Philippines or in Cape Town in South Africa, and an immigrant neighborhood in France.
Apparently, the building's size and height and its state of neglect are why it earned this badge of dishonor. This style of construction was typical in Israel from the 1950s to the 1980s, characterized by massive apartment buildings without balconies. Add to that the outdated blinds, rusting bars by the windows and air conditioners hanging out the windows in every vacant lot and a roof covered in satellite dishes and solar heaters, and it's hard to argue that the result is far from aesthetically pleasing.
What were the reactions to the ugly Israeli apartment building?
Reactions to the photos on Reddit were mixed. A few users noted a similar construction style with Soviet residential blocks in the former Soviet Union. One of them said, "It’s like an old Soviet block got dumped right by the gorgeous Mediterranean seaside."
Commentby u/Friendly_Estate1629 from discussion Bat Yam, Israelin UrbanHell
A few Israelis in the comments tried to defend the building and Israeli construction styles in general, saying this building was being treated unfairly and there are others far worse. However, other Israelis pointed out the high cost due to Bat Yam's proximity to Tel Aviv, one of the world's most expensive cities. "Two and a half million please," one Israeli user wrote. Another responded, asking if the air conditioner works, to which the first poster replied "No, who do you think you are, King Solomon?" Another user followed up by saying the price has likely now risen to three million, which another commented by saying "That was 10 hours ago, the price now stands at 4.5 million. Regardless, there's a leak from the ceiling in the living room."
One user did some research and found the last apartment sold there went for a little over NIS 1.65 million, though the initial asking price was over NIS 2.37 million.
However, support came from an Egyptian user.
"I don't know it looks ok to me," he wrote. "I live in Cairo and that's kinda what a mid-high level flat block would look like," though he conceded that his apartment would likely be much cheaper.
Commentby u/presentemperor69 from discussion Bat Yam, Israelin UrbanHell
The discussion couldn't be contained in Reddit and eventually reached Twitter, where Israeli users took the criticism humorously.
"And they didn't even see all the buildings in Bat Yam," wrote one user, with them and many others noting that an apartment in this "ugly" building costs more than most voters in the original Reddit thread could even afford. And of course, others responded by claiming antisemitism.
In any case, for those bothered by this, it should be made clear that this isn't an official competition, but a spontaneous vote by users in a thread on a subreddit discussing ugly apartment buildings.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.