The Iconic Ryugyong Hotel In North Korea
What is The Ryugyong Hotel?
The Ryugyong Hotel, also known as the Ryugyong Hotel of Doom, is a massive and iconic building located in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea. It is a prominent landmark and one of the most recognizable structures in the country. The hotel’s unique design and tumultuous history have made it a subject of curiosity and intrigue worldwide.
Key points about The Ryugyong Hotel:
- Design and Architecture: The Ryugyong Hotel was designed to be a 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper, standing at approximately 330 meters (1,083 feet) tall. Its distinctive design features three wings that taper up to meet at the top, giving it a pyramid-like appearance.
- Construction and Delays: The construction of the Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987, during the rule of Kim Il-sung, the founding leader of North Korea. The original plan was to create a grandiose and opulent hotel that would showcase the country’s economic prowess. However, due to various challenges, including financial constraints and technical difficulties, the construction process faced significant delays.
- Financial Issues and Abandonment: The fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, along with economic struggles in North Korea, led to a severe financial crisis that stalled the construction. By the mid-1990s, the project was effectively abandoned, and the hotel remained incomplete for many years.
- Iconic Silhouette: Despite its unfinished state, the Ryugyong Hotel became an iconic and controversial symbol of North Korea. Its prominent location and distinctive pyramid shape made it a subject of fascination and often appeared in photographs and documentaries about Pyongyang.
- Renovation and Completion: After years of abandonment, work on the hotel resumed in the early 2010s. The exterior was completed in 2011, and the building was clad in glass panels, giving it a shiny appearance. However, as of my last update in September 2021, the hotel’s interior remained largely undeveloped, and its status as a functional hotel was uncertain.
- Current Use: While the Ryugyong Hotel was originally intended to be a luxury hotel with thousands of rooms, it is unclear how it will be used if and when it becomes fully operational. Some reports suggest that it might serve as a mixed-use facility, including hotel rooms, office spaces, and other amenities.
The Ryugyong Hotel remains an enigmatic and visually striking structure, evoking curiosity and interest from observers around the world. It stands as a symbol of North Korea’s ambition and resilience, as well as the challenges the country has faced in achieving its grand visions.
The Ryugyong Hotel Revealed
Twenty-four years in the making, the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea is finally in its completion process. This ominous looking hotel started construction in 1987 and was placed on hiatus due to those Soviets and their Cold War.
However, the hotel which now has unveiled its post-production exterior is getting some serious negative feedback. With its 105 stories towering over North Korea’s capital city of Pyonyang looks like something straight out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
The Ryugyong Hotel and its tetrahedronical shape mountains over the the entire city of Pyongyang and seems imperfectly out of place for this Asian city. Nicknamed as the “Hotel of Doom,” its exterior is quite an eyesore to behold and aids in making North Korea seem like a tyrannical state of oppression and evil-doings.
This castle of darkness may have taken almost three decades to complete, yet, the thought-process behind it seems as if it took a vacay back in the 1980’s. To me, this building screams Cold War all over again battling the likes of once-Soviet Union inspired architecture that focused on power, aggression, sterility, and jagged linear shapes. Yes, one could mistake this building for an futuristic-inspired work of art.
However, I find that it joins the ranks of Orwellian 1984 status. I am just waiting for The War of the Worlds to happen or for Harrison Ford to pop out ala Blade Runner.
In such times of current socio-economic demise, one would have thought to reconsider the design of the Ryugyong Hotel to make it inviting and softer through modern architectural trends of curvatures and slanted cut-outs. Instead, this bad boy looms over the city of Pyongyang heeding tourists to stay away from the crystal castle.
This imperial palace could easily be the home to likes of Gargamel, Dr. Frankenstein, and modern-day Count Dracula, or The Witches of Eastwick. If anything, at least it makes an interesting structure for Sci-Fi movies. No thank you very much-o, Mr. Roboto.