The Transformation Of The World’s Worst Building

A fascinating look at the construction and transformation of the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, often called the world's worst building.

Ryugyong Hotel 2011 Front View

Pyongyang North Korea Panorama

Ryugyong Hotel is a 105-story skyscraper in downtown Pyongyang, North Korea renowned for once being dubbed the “World’s Worst Building” after having remained hallow for over 20 years. Construction began in earnest in 1987 and, if it had been completed as schedule in June 1989, would have been the tallest hotel building and the 17th tallest building in the world.

However, Ryugyong Hotel was not completed in June 1989. After the crumbling of the Communist bloc and the deterioration of the North Korean economy, construction halted after the outside of the hotel was complete. What remained for almost 2 decades was a window-less, empty shell of the hotel in the middle of Pyongyang, which media outlets called The Worst Building in the World, Hotel of Doom, and Phantom Hotel. Below, one can see how the Ryugyong Hotel stood for these years:

Ryungyong Hotel Hotel of Doom Photograph

The World's Worst Building Ryugyong Hotel

However, in 2008 construction resumed after Orascom — an Egyptian cell phone company — was given the rights to the hotel. After 3 years, the exterior of the hotel is now finished, with work progressing on the interior for a planned completion date in 2012.

Ryugyong Hotel Progress Picture

Pyongyang North Korea Skyline Photograph

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