Pyramid, by Baikdoosan
The Ryugyong HotelÂ in Pyongyang, North Korea, is story on its own. The mythology: The building would be the worldâ€™s tallest hotel and seventh largest building with its height of 330 meters, 105 stories, 3,000 rooms and on top of it all it would feature 7 rotating restaurants in its top. The construction started in 1987 andâ€¦
â€¦halted in 1992 to never be continued. The construction had then costed $ 750 million, about 2 % of the GDP of the country.
The sublime beauty is breathtaking, considering that it is probably the most expensive ruin of this planet in a country where recently thousands of people have starved to death. The ironic part is that the building is probably more beautiful now as a ruin-before-inhabitation, than as it would be when finished. It will become one of the tourist attractions in a post-communist North Korea, if they decide not to tear it down. Since the used concrete is probably of insufficient quality to be safe an extra $ 300 million will be necessary for construction improvement in addition to the $ 230 million necessary to finish the building. No one will pay that kind of money.
The iconography of the three-winged building that has been designed by Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers is that of the Pyramid. The pyramid-iconography has a double agenda as a structural principle, but does not have a connection to the hotel-program. Curious are the smaller â€˜pyramidsâ€™ at the base of the Ryonyang Hotel, which seem to refer to the ensemble of pyramids at Giza. The Pyramid of the MusÃ©e du Louvre by I.M. Pei makes a similar reference to the ensemble of pyramids.
The patina and the unfinished state of the building enhances the reference to the original Egyptian Pyramids, which are also echoâ€™s of their once sleek and shining predecessors. It is therefore even more curious that the â€˜topâ€™ of the Pyramid of Giza, which is considered by historians as a leftover of what once covered the whole pyramid, comes back in Pyongyang in the form of the 7 round floors in the top of the building.