Friday, July 18, 2008

"World's worst building" getting minor upgrade


Not PC described it as such, as has the Daily Telegraph and Esquire magazine.

It's the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, which is itself an empty shell. It is a concrete monstrosity, it has no utilities or rooms. Construction started in 1987 as a showpiece against South Korea, the host of the 1988 Olympics (which the USSR and China, North Korea's then allies, refused to boycott), construction stalled in 1992 after US$750 million had been spent on it, and the aid flows from the USSR (and the USSR itself) had disappeared.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a handful of top floors are to be refurbished at considerable cost. I wonder how this will happen, given it has no elevators and rumour has it that it was so badly designed and built (by North Korean state "companies") that the elevator shafts are not plumb (so elevators are out of the question using those.

The reports of "refurbishment" are most likely to be the use of the structure for telecommunications according to the Daily Telegraph report. This is surely the building that would be one of the first to get demolished when this enslaved country is finally freed.

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