Exquisitely Unfinished and Abandoned Buildings

3 Oct

There’s something so intriguing about vacant, but still glorious, architecture. So many questions and so much mystery! From the broken windows to the neglected grounds to the unfinished bare concrete, we’ll never know what could have happened inside. Below, I’ve rounded up a few projects that never were or that expired before their time for you to see in their “undressed” splendor. Enjoy!

Hotels in the Afterlife” is an article from BLDG BLOG from 2008 that features a (then) sneak peek at a Vienna exhibit about Sinai hotels that never happened. So creepy, so sculptural, and so neat to see such details like the bed of a manmade river.

A shell in the desert. (image via BldgBlog, via Sinai Hotels, by Sabine Haubitz and Stefanie Zoche of Haubitz+Zoche)



Cuba is a place where time stands still in many respects, and architecture is one of them. I’ve heard great tales of architecture students visiting to see what would have been incredible modern structures, now in a dirt covered time warp. This Dwell feature showcasing the documentary The Unfinished Spaces of Cuba shows some images of the beautiful decay that is an unfinished national art school — just fascinating.

The Ballet portion of The National Art School, fom The Unfinished Spaces of Cuba (image via Dwell)


The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea sat vacant and in a stage of obvious incompleteness for sixteen years from 1992-2008. Obviously, North Korea has issues more pressing and profound than impressive hospitality architecture projects, but it is just unbelievable to most people that a structure like this could sit, so exposed and useless, for so many years. Currently, the exterior work is alleged to be finished and the interior work is speculated to be complete next year. Time will tell on this one, but you can read about its past and progress here on Wikipedia.

The Ryugyong Hotel as it appeared for sixteen years. That's all concrete -- it's supposed to be glass. (image via Wikipedia Commons, source: Trip Advisor)


And on a sort of lighter note, Dark Roasted Blend is a wonderful weird website that puts together an occasional feature on abandoned buildings. This one is about Disney spaces that are no longer functioning. It’s an incredible look into the sinister side of the happiest place on earth!

A look at Disney's abandoned/unfinished Pop Century Resort. (image via Dark Roasted Blend)


I suppose this post is both in keeping with the dreary, gloomy weather we’ve been having. It’s also a good excitement builder for Halloween, right? Perhaps I’ll do a sequel in a few weeks. For now though, have a great Monday!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


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