The Prince of Wales has described a 21st-century £6m university lecture hall as looking like a dustbin.
The £6m lecture hall set partly in a hill was opened in 2006
Prince Charles' comments on modern architecture were made about the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall at the University of Essex's Colchester campus.
The remark came as he joked with troops in the stainless-steel hall ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan.
In 1984 he called a planned modern extension to the National Gallery "a monstrous carbuncle".
His comment in the lecture hall, which is set in the side of a hill, triggered laughter and applause from many of the troops, from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute regiment.
The prince, Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, told his audience: "I understand around 1,700 of you are crammed in what looks like a dustbin from the outside."
The Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall is named after the university's former Vice-chancellor, Professor Sir Ivor Crewe, and was opened in October 2006.
A University of Essex spokeswoman said: "The Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall is regarded as a flagship building.
"It's probably the most striking modern building on the campus.
"But I don't think we want to make too much of what the Prince said. It was just a throwaway remark."