Coming in at a whopping 105 stories and 330 meters tall the Ryugyong hotel is a pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang in North Korea. The name of the hotel actually translates to “Capital of Willows” and is one of the names that historically was used to refer to Pyongyang.
Some, however, like to just call it the 105 building, alluding to the number of floors, actually, the building was developed for multiple uses but would primarily be a hotel. Unfortunately, this luxurious skyscraper has never been finished. Construction actually started as far back as 1987 but stopped in 1992 when North Korea hit a period of crisis when the Soviet Union fell. The building stood empty windowless and unoccupied.
Finally, in 2008, the building’s construction was resumed and the exterior was finished. It was thought the official partial opening would be in 2012, but this was canceled and as it stands the luxurious hotel has never been opened. In fact, many believe the interior is far from finished. Making it the tallest unfinished building to be unoccupied.
The project was originally started as a cold war response to the world’s tallest hotel being constructed in Singapore, the Westin Stamford Hotel. North Korean leaders believed it would also generate a lot of foreign investment into the country and hoped for about $230 million. They even promised to let guidelines and oversight be very relaxed, allowing operations such as casinos or nightclubs to exist. Though this was never meant to be, following the problems with building materials the skyscrapers was never finished. Had it been completed on time for 1989, it would have surpassed the Westin Stamford and became the tallest hotel.
Not only that it would also have been the seventh tallest building in the world. Officially the North Korean government has only ever said they ran out of money, but many believe they just do not have access to the sufficient raw materials needed to make such a building.