Tower of Babel: Foster feat. Boullée vs. Dictatorship

I came across this building and couldn’t believe it first of all, it looks unreal and the story behind it sounds like it as well.

In the 1980’s, the North-Korean government decided to built a hotel of 330m in heigth, for all the thousands of visitors coming to Pyongyang. The building got never fished, instead, there’s 330m tall ruin towering over the city since the constructions ceased in 1992.

I think this is just amazing. A ruin, testifying a time, an ideology and political dictatorship and it’ll take some time to vanish. I say leave it, consider it as a sculpture, and you have the hugest concrete sculpture there is. Great……

ryugyong_hotel_morning.jpg

ryugyong_hotel_01.jpg

It looks even cool from space:

ryugyonghotel.jpg

Read more about it here

By the way, this is the office that build it. No wonder they didn’t get any other contracts after that one…..

Amazingly, Foster is builing a – fairly smaller but still somehow outrageous – pyramid in Astana / Kazakhstan referring to the ideas of Boullée. Last but not least, it is called “Palace of Peace and Reconciliation”. What a Euphemism.

So, this is a cenotaph by Boullée:

boulleepyramid_01a.jpg

Boullée had amazing ideas, but they were and should stay, ideal forms and designs, paper architecture so to say.

And this is Foster:

fosterpyramidcrosssection_01a1.jpg

foster_pyramind.jpg

What to say to this……

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~ by aboutarchitecture on November 14, 2006.

3 Responses to “Tower of Babel: Foster feat. Boullée vs. Dictatorship”

  1. […] In the 1980’s, the North-Korean government decided to built a hotel of 330m in heigth, for all the thousands of visitors coming to Pyongyang. The building got never fished, instead, there’s 330m tall ruin towering over the city since the constructions ceased in 1992″….. <More> […]

  2. That is an amazing story. I just discovered your blog through ‘English Russia’ and am enjoying it–I’ve always been fascinated by architecture. Keep up the good work!

  3. […] cenotaph by Boullee aboutarchitecture / « […]

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