Welcome to the Hotel North Korea

thenulldevice just alerted me to the existence of the Ryugyong Hotel, which is one of the world’s weirdest buildings.

According to the Wikipedia article and a fascinating blog post about it, the hotel is over 1000 feet tall, has 105 stories, and is windowless. It is completely unoccupied. It’s a sharp and pointy pyramid at a 75 degree angle; Lovecraft would have made it Cthulhu’s headquarters. The thing sits glowering over Pyongyang like an Aztec temple. You have to wonder if it has decorative blood gutters on it the way the Mexicans did theirs back in the day. Now there’s a culture that understood official architecture!

It has seven revolving restaurants. Begun in 1987 to get back at the South Koreans for building another big hotel quickly, it was supposed to open in 1989, but construction stopped in 1992. It may well be completely unsound because of the concrete used to build it. I want to see it SO BAD! A tantalizing hint of some fun to be had: an Italian magazine is sponsoring a contest for completing the thing. I bug-me-not’d through their registration to peek at it, and they have photo survey and plan documents to download.

Now if they could just somehow move the thing to Las Vegas. Or sell it to Robert Schuller for a new church…