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.