View Poll Results: Is the North Korean building nice/cool?

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  • Yes, one of the nicest/coolest buildings I have seen..

    18 16.22%
  • Yes, definetely..

    31 27.93%
  • Its ok..

    15 13.51%
  • Nothing special..

    7 6.31%
  • Nah, not nice/cool

    32 28.83%
  • Something else(explain)...

    8 7.21%
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Thread: Is this a cool building?

  1. #101
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    So why do you think its hideous? What do you think of the empire state building in comparison then?
    Eh, the Empire State Building is alright; it depends on the photo and because I've never seen it in person that all I can really go on. But there's a ton of better looking buildings in North Korea itself than that hideous abomination.

    It's also interesting to note that that building is probably never going to be safe for habitation, as they constructed it solely out of concrete (which is pretty rare) and used very poor quality concrete as well. It's basically just a giant monument. And besides, even if it was habitable it would seldom be used, as the hotels in North Korea are never even half full.

    I am sure the North Korean hotel is also nice on the inside.
    Probably not. Construction was halted for like 10 years due to financial issues, and was only resumed in April 2008. Because the construction of the top final floors wasn't complete, the interior wasn't even started. Moreover, due to the fact that they used subpar concrete many people have claimed that the interior sags a lot.

    Is there any actual evidence that they ARE putting glass in it
    From wikipedia:

    "In 2008, after 16 years of inactivity, foreign residents in Pyongyang noted that Egypt's Orascom Group started refurbishing the top floors of the hotel in April 2008. Though the effect on the architecture has yet to be determined, windows and telecommunications antennae were observed being installed.[11] The Orascom Telecom subsidiary of the group confirmed involvement in the structure to begin developing GSM infrastructure in North Korea for up to 100,000 initial subscribers.[12] Only government officials are presently permitted to use mobile phones and the service has been banned from use by ordinary citizens and foreigners since 2002.[13]

    In September 2008, a senior North Korean official said the refurbishing of the Ryugyong Hotel will be done by 2012 - the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung. At the same time, an Orascom company official said the goal of the project was to at least give the structure's facade a facelift and make it more attractive. [8]

    On December 22, 2008, photos of ongoing construction at the hotel appeared on the Internet. [14] The exterior construction has included the installation of windows and a covering of the top (circular) floors[15] however, no photographs or information has been released regarding the interior, such as the questionable construction/engineering of the building or the degrading concrete [16]."

    You dont know that..
    You can't start construction on the interior of a building (aside from structural members, of course - building the "skeleton") without first finishing the exterior. Otherwise the elements will destroy anything you do. And considering the fact that the top floors of the building were left incomplete for 10-15 years and the windows didn't have glass in them, it's a pretty sure bet that they didn't start on the interior.

    Are you disputing the fact that the Hotel of Doom has never opened, has never had a single guest, the construction remains unfinished, and it was built using substandard concrete instead of steel?
    Those are not facts. Just speculation.. We know little about North Korea and nothing about that building in general. Perhaps it had tons of guest, perhaps its frequently used as military quarters. Who knows? You know nothing about the concrete, and claiming steel is better than concrete is ridiculous.
    Um, there are photos of the building's top floors being incomplete, as well as the windows lacking any glass. That alone is enough to know that it is inhabitable.

    As for your statement that "steel is better than concrete," it is. There is a reason that skyscrapers are steel-framed. I'm a structural engineer; I know.

    Concrete is much used in Dutch skyscrapers, and they look far better than glassy steely skyscrapers and its not necessarily better to use steel.
    Steel-framed concrete buildings are still steel-framed.

  2. #102
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Steel-framed concrete buildings are still steel-framed.
    Yes, but how do you know the North Korean building is not steel framed? How can anyone on this forum claim that without really knowing that? Its ridiculous.

    Since you are an engineer, would you say its likely or unlikely the building in the OP is steel framed as well? I am not saying this matters, but its interesting to hear you opinion on that..
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  3. #103
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    Yes, but how do you know the North Korean building is not steel framed? How can anyone on this forum claim that without really knowing that? Its ridiculous.
    That is true, and looking at the wikipedia article the source for that claim is pretty biased and unreliable. However, I certainly wouldn't put it past the North Korean government to cut such corners. It really could go either way (which means claiming that it does contain a steel frame is equally as speculative).

    Since you are an engineer, would you say its likely or unlikely the building in the OP is steel framed as well? I am not saying this matters, but its interesting to hear you opinion on that..
    Well, the building in the OP is the one we are discussing so I'm not sure why you said "as well". As I have said, though, it is customary for buildings this size to have steel frames, but I wouldn't put it past the North Korean government to attempt making it solely out of concrete.

    As for this claim in the wikipedia article:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    The sagging of the interior concrete structure is reportedly so severe that most of the building's vaunted elevators are permanently inoperable due to warping of the shafts.
    This is a pretty biased version of what is actually offered up in the source, which is a Forbes article. Here is the only relevant part to what is stated in the Wiki:

    Quote Originally Posted by Forbes
    Whatever happens, it's all part of an unusual deal in which Orascom Telecom, a cell phone giant, took on the job rather than its sister, Orascom Construction Industries. The telecom unit is mainly present under an agreement to provide the North with a mobile phone service. Though cell phones are banned for almost everyone, the party elite needs to stay in touch. Antennas for a relay station can sprout above the 105th floor in place of that crane, if Telecom can learn from Construction to straighten out crooked elevator shafts and fix some suspect concrete.
    Emphasis mine. I'm pretty sure that the Forbes article is telling the truth, as they are biased but generally not dishonest, and considering they discussed this matter with someone involved in the reconstruction, I believe it.

    So the building has been sagging enough to warp the elevator shafts. This could lead us to believe either that, if the building is solely concrete then either the design of the structure was flawed or the concrete used was "suspect". If it was steel framed then the design was flawed or the materials (steel and/or concrete) used were inadequately chosen.

    Of course, I can't really tell if it does have a steel frame, due to the fact that there aren't really that many pictures of it during construction online. Seeing a picture of the unfinished top would probably clinch it, as it would have to show steel framing if there actually was any (however all I can see in photos that I can find is concrete).

    However, this claim:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    The exterior concrete support structures can also be seen to be badly spalling, exposing large sections of rebar to corrosion from the elements.
    Can be proven by photographs, such as this one. You can see corrosion from the elements due to the fact that the building went untouched for so long, and while you can't explicitly see the rebar, you can see the deterioration of the balconies which tells us that the rebar is in fact exposed in these places.
    Last edited by Khayembii Communique; 02-08-09 at 03:55 PM.

  4. #104
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    I contacted one of my professors who has been in the business of inspecting bridges (and buildings as well I believe) and asked him what he thought of this building, and here was his response:

    I was not familiar with this structure. I read the Wikipedia. I don’t think it is written by a structural engineer. There is nothing wrong with a reinforced concrete system, if it is designed and built properly. Remember that reinforced concrete includes steel reinforcing bars. It is a very tall structural for a reinforced concrete system, but you cannot believe everything you read about it. It appears that the building has closely spaced columns representing a common “tube” system for lateral load resistance. It has been resisting its self weight and wind forces for 16 years, so it cannot be that deficient, if at all. It looks like it has serviceability problems, corrosion, excessive deformations, but that does not necessarily mean that the building is condemned. It can very likely be rehabilitated.

  5. #105
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    I contacted one of my professors who has been in the business of inspecting bridges (and buildings as well I believe) and asked him what he thought of this building, and here was his response:
    That was basically the same as my belief about the building. But anyways, we cannot know for certain. Only probably a handful of North Korean engineers know, and a few North Korean politicians.
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  6. #106
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    Thats an awesome building!

  7. #107
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    The building would look better painted international day-glo orange.

    That would put the whole city into proper perspective.

  8. #108
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    How about this one from the civil world engineering portal:

    From the front:



    From the back:

    "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."

    Dante Alighieri

  9. #109
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    Holy **** its a death star

    kill it! Kill it!

  10. #110
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    Re: Is this a cool building?

    this is in response to the round bubble building---Just another expensive engineering night mare. Every curve, and corner of a building, cost more money. A simple rectangle is the least expensive, and offers the most space for the investment dollar. Some architect is trying to impress, with someone else's money.
    Last edited by Skateguy; 02-08-10 at 02:45 PM.
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