That's a building at the University of California as reported here at The Thinking Housewife. I can't help but think that this type of architecture is an expression of a modernist mindset, one that is oriented to the technical and the functional. But why be oriented this way?
Jim Kalb in his book The Tyranny of Liberalism writes that:
Since 1945, Western public life has been based on the practical supremacy of economics and the principle that social order exists to get men what they want rather than to express an essence or ideal.So if you aren't oriented to, say, an ideal of beauty or to an expression of man's soul or essence, then perhaps you'll think more in terms of purpose or function. And that's how a campus architect explained the building at the University of California. As reported at The Thinking Housewife, that architect thought that the building was an attempt to represent the purpose of the curriculum, which has a biotechnology focus:
...he impartially ascribed the ugliness to seemingly neutral causes. One of these was the premise that the architecture should reflect one of the main emphases of the curriculum: biotechnology.Not all modernist architecture is as ugly as the building in the photo. It's possible to build for function and have a building with, for instance, sleek, geometrical lines. But I wonder if modernist architecture went through a phase when the aim was not only to build for function, but to assert the modernist aesthetic strongly against the traditional one: hence, a more aggressive ugliness in design.
Finally, I thought I'd include a few photos of some of the traditional architecture at the University of Melbourne, by way of contrast:
If you look at the Melbourne buildings and then the California one, you get a sense of how cold and soulless the modernist architecture is. And as I've tried to explain, I don't think that's an accidental outcome, as the modernist mindset isn't oriented to a consideration like man's soul - the focus is instead more technocratic.