Anachronistic buildings… The Ryugyong Hotel

25 02 2006

Found this interesting article about the Ryugyong Hotel in the middle of Pyongyang, in North Korea. It’s apparently an ENORMOUS hotel (over 1000′ high), built in the middle of this city, and abandoned for 10 years. It was never completed, never occuped.
Further, the population won’t even refer to it. Ask someone where it is, they’ll claim to have never heard of it. But, as seen in the pictures, it’s impossible NOT to see it from just about anywhere in the city.
Fascinating stuff. Wikipedia has an article on it, pointing out that construction of the hotel was estimated to cost $750 million – almost 2% of the countries’ entire GDP. Unusual structures are always intriguing, and this one definately is unusual, not just for the politics and social issues surrounding it, but also because of the very design of the place.
I have to admit that building in concrete can be beautiful and organic. I spent many weekends exploring Fonthill, the home of Henry Mercer, who was active at the height of the Arts and Crafts design period, building not only his amazing home entirely of poured concrete, but also the Mercer Museum, a fascinating collection of antiques and artifacts, also in the poured / sculpted concrete style.

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One response

25 02 2006
EJ

Hotel? Hell – that should be the Ministry of Truth.

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