The imposing Ryugyong Hotel towers above its neighboring buildings in Pyongyang, North Korea. The name means “capital of willows” and comes from a historical nickname of the city.
Its unusual shape is thought to be symbolic of a mountain and determined by the exclusive use of concrete as a construction material. Normally a building of this size would be made with steel.
Construction began in 1987 with a target completion date of 1989, in time for the World Festival of Youth and Students. Unfortunately engineering problems caused a delay and eventually, work stopped in 1992.
The Hotel stands unfinished to this day and is the record holder for tallest unoccupied building.
The exterior was clad in metal and glass in 2008. LED lights which show a 4-minute display about the country’s history were added in 2018. This latest addition caused speculation as to the future of the Hotel.
It stands at about 1,082 feet high, contains 3,000 rooms, and cost about 543 million dollars so far. The original plan included restaurants with panoramic views.
While the future for the Ryugyong Hotel is uncertain it seems to be moving in a positive direction. Hopefully, it can be completed soon and become the landmark building it was planned to be.