Architecture Nightmare: 5 Over-budget, Embarrassing and Unsuccessful Projects

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We all read news about how the buildings are beautifully designed by renowned architects. We even browse a lot of photographs of facades which are visually pleasing and emotionally sophisticated. We all think that architecture assures high percentage of success in delivering an impressive work of art which we cannot resist to ignore it. As a result, everybody thinks that every piece of architecture can assure economic or social success.

However, there are piece of architecture that are unsuccessful, embarrassing, over-budgeted. Architects, governments or contractors would want to demolish it even it is 100% erected in the land. Now, they realized that those idea buildings, which they brainstormed, planned and funded, should have been stayed in the paper forever.

Here are the 5 buildings which we want to demolish, yet we could not afford to demolish it


Image via CNN

This mall is supposed to be one of significant mall which Chinese could be proud of. With 5 million square feet of shopping area, the mall can accommodate 2,350 stores, making it the largest shopping center in the world in terms of rented space — more than twice the size of Mall of America, the biggest shopping center in the United States.

One thing they also boasted about is outside the mall, a giant Egyptian sphinx and a replica of the Arc de Triomphe were erected alongside fountains and canals complete with Venetian gondolas. It even boasted an indoor roller coaster.

Before the mall was constructed, they have full of aspirations and optimism for the success of their mall. However, when the mall was opened on 2005, there were few people came to the mall. They did not expect that this will happen.

The problem of this mall is the location. Dongguan is a factory town and most of its almost 10 million inhabitants are migrant workers struggling to make ends meet. “People coming here to work in factories don’t have the time or the money for shopping or the roller coaster,” said a migrant worker in his 20s, surnamed Xiao, who works at the mall.

“People coming here to work in factories don’t have the time or the money for shopping or the roller coaster,”

So, before getting excited on constructing your dream project, consider the location.

Image via CNN


Image via CNN

The Ciudad Real Central Airport is a clear unsuccessful, embarrassing work of architecture. The building cost €1.1billion and it was closed three years of operation. With its final flight having taken off in 2011, its feature on a 2013 episode of Top Gear is likely the most action seen in the airport’s recent history. The airport’s initial owner filed for bankruptcy with €300 million of debt, and the airport was finally sold this year for €56 million following a series of failed auctions, including one that saw a lone bid of a mere €10,000.

The problem of the government is financial support for the airport. Before the airport was not constructed, government believed that they can sustain the operation. However, plans were not achieved.

So, before having an ambitious airport, determine how your project could last by considering the financial capabilities of the owner.

Image via Getty


Image via the guardian

Driving through Naypyidaw, the purpose-built capital of Burma, it could be easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of south-east Asia’s poorest countries. On either side of the street, a seemingly endless series of giant detached buildings, villa-style hotels and shopping malls look like they have fallen from the sky, all painted in soft pastel colours: light pink, baby blue, beige. The roads are newly paved and lined with flowers and carefully pruned shrubbery. Meticulously landscaped roundabouts boast large sculptures of flowers.

The only thing Naypyidaw doesn’t have, it seems, is people. The vast highways are completely empty and there is a stillness to the air. Nothing moves. Officially, the city’s population is 1 million, but many doubt this is anywhere close to the true figure. On a bright Sunday afternoon, the streets are silent, restaurants and hotel lobbies empty. It looks like an eerie picture of post-apocalypse suburban America; like a David Lynch film on location in North Korea. (theguardian)

Image via the guardian


Image via Flickr

It is an unfinished 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its name (“capital of willows”) is also one of the historical names for Pyongyang. The building is also known as the 105 Building, a reference to its number of floors. The building has been planned as a mixed-use development, which would include a hotel.

Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. After 1992 the building stood topped out, but without any windows or interior fittings. In 2008 construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 2011. It was planned to open the hotel in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung’s birth, but this did not happen. A partial opening was announced for 2013, but this was also cancelled. As of 2016, the building remains unopened

“Today, nearly 30 years and an estimated $750 million later, this looming, gleaming, futurist-modernist arrowhead of a building is essentially a glorified telecommunications antenna.”— The Daily Beast
Image via Thousandwonders


Image via Flickr

Architect Santiago Calatrava has famously come under fire for his art complex in his native town, both for its crumbling roof just eight years after completion and for exceeding the original budget fourfold. Despite its tourist appeal and appearance in the movie Tomorrowland, locals have been indifferent to the monumental complex. In an alternate form of tourism, it was at one time a key stop on a Valencia“wastefulness tour” that aims to show foreigners where their economic contributions are going. “They are interested to know where … is the money,” explained Miguel Angel Ferris Gil to NPR when he ran the tour in 2013. “And we go to show you where there isn’t the money — at the public schools, at the hospitals.”

“The complex has also become a symbol of profligate spending, financial mismanagement and waste, due to large cost overruns and a large debt burden that the region is struggling under.”
Image via travelsort