RYugyong hotel, korea-min
1980s saw the golden era of North Korean building boom when enormous, oddly shaped structures were built. It was during this period that announcement of Ryugyong Hotel project, world's tallest hotel project, was made in 1987. However, things didn't progress as expected and collapse of Soviet Union in 90s changed the fortunes of North Korean construction industry as the country plunged into mass starvation
Work on Ryugyong Hotel project in North Korea started in 1987 but till today the project is still a ‘work-in-progress’. Had the project been completed on time it would have hogged the limelight (at least for some time) as world’s tallest hotel. But that has not happened. Do you know why this building has remained work-in-progress for over three decades?
When the plan for Ryugyong Hotel was concieved in the late Eighties, it was meant to be a snub to neighbouring South Korea. As Seoul hosted the 1988 Olympics, North Korea would open what would then have been the world’s tallest hotel. Only a dictatorship regime would have thought of such project which would have cost the nation an estimated ú470 million, about 2% of its then GDP. The pyramid-shaped, 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, has 3,000 rooms and is set to open to the public next summer. Though Rose Tower in Dubai, which alo has 105 floors has taken a sheen away from the project by becoming the tallest hotel, Ryugyong looks set to remain the world’s biggest if not tallest.
In fact, Ryugyong Hotel project of North Korea reflects country’s boom and bust of construction industry. 1980s saw the golden era of North Korean building boom when enormous, oddly shaped structures were built. It was during this period that announcement of Ryugyong Hotel project, world’s tallest hotel project, was made in 1987. However, things didn’t progress as expected and collapse of Soviet Union in 90s changed the fortunes of North Korean construction industry as the country plunged into mass starvation. Then for nearly two decades, the project was kept on hold and hotel project’s completion hopes revived when Egyptian telecom company Orascom was offered this project in 2008 as a quid pro quo to operate the country’s 3G phone network. However, Orascom could not take the project to its logical conclusion due to international sanctions and left the project midway. Kempinski is the latest entrant into the project who may ultimately complete the project and run the hotel.
With North Korea trying to improve its relationship with the rest of the world, there are chances of this building soon becoming a hotel for public. Whatever may be the scenario, one thing will be sure. You will never be able to know the architect of this building. Because, names of architects for any projects are never mentioned in North Korea. According to them, every project is a collective effort, built to the directions of the leader.