Our world is full of impressive buildings and architectural feats that make us wide-eyed and open-mouthed. But every so often, there are some engineering and design catastrophes that draw out a different set of oohs and aahs?
Click through to see 7 construction fiascos that had high costs– in dollars, and some even in lives. And don’t make the same mistakes these guys made!
Pyongyang, North Korea
This monstrosity of a project lagged on for decades, until construction reached a standstill. Construction for this 1,000 ft, 105-story pyramid shaped hotel started in 1987 and remains unfinished 30 years and $750 million later because the government ran out of money
Photo courtesy of Guangzhou Baiyun Chemical Industry Co.
The Lotus Riverside Complex
In June 2009, a nearly finished, 13-story apartment complex in Shanghai toppled over due to a muddy and weak foundation. 489 of 629 units had already been sold and one worker died from the collapse.
Photo courtesy of BLOOMBERG
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
In November 1940, concrete began dropping from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from high winds that swayed the bridge considerably. That was followed by a 600 ft chunk of the bridge breaking off. The designer tried to build the most flexible bridge ever constructed and exceeded previous standard ratios of length, width, and depth. This ultimately proved to be unsafe.
Sampoong Department Store
Seoul, South Korea
A 5-story department store in Seoul collapsed on top of hundreds of people in June 1995. Developer Lee Joon changed plans amidst construction and added an additional floor without enough supportive steel rods. Engineers warned him of the risks but he fired them and bribed city inspectors to carry on. 500 people died and 900 people were injured.
Photo courtesy of Yonhap News Agency
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This 2.5 million gallon aquarium located in the world’s largest mall had a dramatic leak. It sits in the $20 million Downtown Burj Dubai development and attracted thousands of visitors. Two years after opening, water started gushing out of a crack in the aquarium’s glass. Visitors were evacuated while 6 divers tried to stop the leak and workers mopped up the mess on the floor.
Photo courtesy of Dubai Aquarium
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg
This baseball stadium, home to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, has a ceiling that obstructs the game. There are 4 catwalks that hang directly over the outfield that have stopped countless home runs from happening with a thud. Broken pieces of glass from lights hanging from the catwalks have also showered down on the players below.
Photo courtesy of Brian Blanco
For the 2004 Olympics, Greece bit off more than they could chew. They built dozens of stadia for the different sporting events and spent $11 billion– double the country’s budget. What’s worse is that most of these remain vacant today. Experts speculate that this may have played a big part in the country’s current financial crisis.
Photo courtesy of Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis
Moral of the story…
These construction debacles may seem like they were obviously headed for disaster. But we all know that construction projects are no joke. They can be costly, time-consuming, and altogether too stressful, especially when miscommunication and poor planning run rampant. Prevent accidents like these from happening by being prepared, thorough, and careful.