architecture the ancient past

Maps / North Korea's Hotel of Doom

Hotel of doom

Last night, Mara and I were mess­ing around with Google Maps, check­ing out giant Japan­ese bud­dhas from the air. [Check out this one in Kamaku­ra, near Tokyo]. Then we decid­ed to see what North Korea looked like, and we raced over the Pyongyang and sud­den­ly found this crazy thing with a giant tri­an­gu­lar shad­ow. What the?Turns out that it's the Ryu­gy­ong Hotel. It has 105 sto­ries, and it is indeed shaped like an arrow­head, with a broad base that tapers steeply to a pointy top. The cra­zi­est thing: It was aban­doned in the mid-80's, dur­ing con­struc­tion; hence its moniker: the Hotel of Doom. (Appar­ent­ly, North Korea had already sunk 2% of its GDP into it when they decid­ed to pull the plug. Ouch.)Esquire calls it worst-designed build­ing in the world, which seems a lit­tle harsh. Would the world's worst-designed build­ing inspire this: An ani­mat­ed short pre­sent­ing a sort of Blade-Run­ner-meets-Dis­ney-meets-Shin­juku vision for how the Ryu­gy­ong will be adapt­ed in the future? Actu­al­ly, maybe it would.See it for your­self here.