The Most Amazing Buildings That Were Never Built

Here at Kenny Slaught’s Blog, we bring you the best and most amazing architectural wonders of the world, present and past. These are buildings that inspire the ingenuity of generations, and that have always made engineers and architects want to push the boundaries of what can be achieved by the means available to their day and age.

However, for every project that is realized and every building that is constructed, there are many who hardly make it past the drawing board, or in occasions, are cancelled later on because they were too grand and unachievable at this moment in time.

Here we take a look at some of the most amazing works of architecture that never saw the light of day.

The Hotel Attraction

This building was a brainchild of the celebrated Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. Standing at 306 meters, it would have been the tallest building in New York City had it been build at the time it was commissioned back in 1908. Very little is known about the design since it was kept secret for many years until it finally resurfaced around the 1950’s. After The World Trade Center was destroyed and a few years later the planning for a memorial reconstruction started, architect Paul Laffoley put forward Gaudí’s design to be part of the competition. The designed was not picked, but many of the late architect’s fans were probably glad that the beautiful design was finally made public.

The Illinois

Know as The Mile High Illinois or the Illinois Sky-City, this 1,609-meters building was the creation of the brilliant architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Even though it is said that it was possible to build it at the time, the project never took off, possibly due to the high cost that it would have had to build it. Nowadays, there are a few notable projects that want to undertake the task of breaking the mile-high record like The Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo, but those are still mere projects in progress.

The Chicago Spire

Another project in Chicago and also another one on our list by a Spanish architect. This creation by Santiago Calatrava began to be built but it was halted due to lack of funding. The building was supposed to measure 2000 feet to the top and rotate two degrees each floor in order to have a complete 270-degree turn by the time it reached the tip. The construction was going to have a residential area, retail space as well as a hotel.  

The Cenotaph for Newton

French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée drew the plans to build this spherical 500-feet cenotaph to celebrate the life and work of British mathematician Sir Isaac Newton. The design included many holes puncturing the surface of the massive sphere in order to let the light in and simulate different constellations in the sky while seeing it from the inside. The structure was never built, but engravings of the design were very popular at the time and can be seen today at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Image courtesy of Alejandro Polanco at

Tokyo Olympic Stadium

This was the design proposed by architect Zaha Hadid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Her plans for the stadium were highly criticized due to its extravagant expenses and the design was revised looking for less costly alternatives. However, after trying to reduce the price tag, attempting to find alternatives to accommodate the original plans for the roof and not being able to reach an alternate design, the Japanese government decided to cancel the project all together and open a new competition for building the stadium.

The Fourth Grace

The building was to be constructed on the Liverpool Pier Head in England. Its name comes from the proximity it would have had to the Port of Liverpool, the Cunard and the Royal Liver Building, also known as “The Three Graces”. This proposal by architect Will Alsop was supposed to have a hotel, a gallery, a restaurant and some other commercial rental space.

Russia Tower

The planning for this building started as early as 1994, but it was around 2006 when the model by Norman Foster was presented and won the bid for construction of the structure. The skyscraper was supposed to have 118 floors and measure about 612 meters in height. It was officially cancelled in 2008 due to the financial crisis.

Nakheel Harbour and Tower

Image courtesy of Phil Clark at

The Nakheel Tower was another project that suffered from the economic crisis in 2008 and it was cancelled completely less than a year later. The one-kilometer-high tower was meant to be right at the center of the Palm Jumeirah but it was later moved closer to the Dubai Marina. The beautiful building was designed to have three tall towers at the top, a shorter one with a pool and the other two ending with spires and an observation deck. The $38 billion project was cancelled.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s