Hotel of Doom

24 years in the making, and the slowest hotel development in history may finally be ready to open its
doors to the public.
The Ryugyong Hotel in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, has become famous for being known as the ‘Hotel of Doom’ after multiple failed attempts to complete the construction phase of the project since it all began in 1987.
It has previously been dubbed by Esquire magazine as “the worst building in the history of mankind”.
Over two decades ago the hotel was intended by the regime to become the world’s tallest skyscraper; however in 2009 this title was surpassed by the completion of the Dubai Rose Tower by architect Khatib and Alami which reaches over 333 metres tall.
Despite being overshadowed by this newer building, North Korea is intending to complete the long-awaited project in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder, Kim II-sung. The regime has even gone so far as to shut down the state’s universities for 10 months in order to send its students to work within the construction and agriculture sectors as well as in factories in the run up to the anniversary in 2012.
This desperate bid to develop the nation through enforcing breaks from education, is predicted to increase the possibility of protests and demonstrations on university campuses. Foreseeing such events, in the last few months the regime is believed to have purchased tear gas and batons from China, to bolster its stores of anti-riot equipment.

Construction was first halted in 1992 as a result of the collapsed Soviet Union in 1991. The lack of funding coming into North Korea as a fallout from the USSR’s demise coupled with natural disasters and various economic problems grounded the project.
Despite reaching its full architectural height in 1992 for the next 16 years the hotel remained unfinished as an empty concrete shell of what should have been. Three years ago it was announced by the regime that the construction would be resumed by Egyptian construction business corporation the Orascom Group.
Designed by Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers, the hotel towers over 1,080 feet across 105 storeys. When it was first halted during the 90s, the development had an estimated cost of US $750 million.  In 2009 the estimated finished construction cost amounted to US $2 billion.
The tower consists of three wings which rise up to a 75 degree angle with the floors positioned in rings.  Five revolving hotel restaurants, business facilities and more than 3,000 guest rooms are said to be a part of the end project.
In the run up to 2012, the regime is looking to invite US $300 million in foreign investment to ensure funding for a new structural system.
Whilst it may have lost its crown as the world’s tallest building, it will still stand as the world’s 40th tallest building once completed.

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