Humans are very creative by nature, but architects and engineers use that creativity in a practical way to create something both beautiful and functional. Sadly, some of the results of such creativity are not always the best for the real world. While we test the limits of physics with each new creation, some are too far-fetched and some are not accepted by the general populace. Below are some of those construction project proposals that were so out of this world that they could never be completed.
1. Freedom Ship
This idea was proposed back in the 90’s and it was meant to be a floating self-sufficient city that would traverse the globe in two years. The Freedom Ship was designed to hold 50,000 people complete with its own economy, jobs, schools, shops and everything thing that a conventional city would have. It did not work because the there weren’t many people willing to completely move their lives into a ship that could be the next Titanic. And with the the world’s affairs as they were, how could people live in peace in such a crammed space when they fight out in the open.
2. The Manhattan Dome
This project, straight from science fiction, was proposed in the 1960’s and was designed to filter and keep the air of Manhattan free from outside pollution. Also the dome’s temperature would be maintained so the building inside would not need to be heated or cooled. Buckminster Fuller, the architect that proposed the project, said that the dome would pay for itself in terms of money saved from heating and cooling and snow removal. But no one went for the immense initial cost of the project and there was no proof that the project would actually work, leaving the domed city idea restricted to the world of fiction.
3. Sutyagin House
In 1992, Nikolai Sutyagin wanted to add to the appearance of his house. However, his project led to continuous additions to the main structure until the house became the world’s tallest wooden house at 144 feet. The only thing that managed to stop Sutyagin’s modifications was a trip to jail which left him without funds. Once he returned, he could no longer add to the building and was told by officials to remove the extra additions which made the building a fire hazard. Sutyagin did not conform at first but was forced to dismantle the towering structure, leaving only the original building and photos as its legacy.
4. Project Chariot
What makes this project one of the craziest ever is the means that were to be used to carry it out. After dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US decided to use the bombs for productive purposes. The idea was to use nukes as a makeshift shovel to widen the Panama Canal and dig a harbor to Alaska. The only thing that stopped the insane project were the people of Point Hope, a small town 50 km from the site to be bombed. Even though the government lied and said that they were in no danger (everyone knew what radiation poisoning was back then), the residents protested against the project until it was finally shelved.
5. The World
Dubai has been the site for some of the most unbelievable construction projects, but this one was too crazy even for that city and failed as soon as it got off the ground. The idea was to create islands in the shape of continents and mimic the world map. The islands would then be sold off and lived on. The islands were completed but unfortunately the world economy went downhill and no one could even think to own an island. Many of the islands began eroding and sinking back into the sea, but one of them were inhabited. The “Greenland” island is inhabited by Dubai’s ruler.
6. Plan Voisin
In the 1920’s and architect proposed that whole city of Paris be knocked down and rebuilt. His proposal was to build 18 glass towers connected by a subway and surrounded by a garden city. The towers would house all of Paris’s businesses and at the time dismantling the city seemed to be a good idea, due to its filthy state. But luckily the plan was not carried through and we still have one of the most romantic cities in the world kept in tact.
7. Vertical Farming
This idea is actually backed by good intentions. With the growing population and the strain of humanity on the planet constantly growing, there is bound to be a shortage of food. But vertical farms will provide floor upon floor of farmable land and with controlled temperatures, you could farm all year round. The idea is incredible and seems that it could help reduce the issue of food shortage, but the only problem is that our technology has yet to catch up with this creative thought.
8. Burj Khalifa Fabric Wrap
Of all the ideas, this is probably the least practical and the largest in scale. Basically the installation will be installed because “in the spirit of exploring creative potential in the public realm, Exo-Burj aims to create a fluid urban ambience.” Simply put, the main purpose is to make it look nice. The project will involve a large amount of fabric exposed to harsh conditions, and you might think that it serves some functional purpose, but it doesn’t. And the installation will only be temporary.
9. Paris’s Road Tower
This 700 meter tall tower was proposed to be installed in Paris in 1937, like an automotive barber pole. The top of the tower would be a hotel, and people could reach it by driving up a road that spiraled around the tower. A parking garage for 400 cars would be installed on top, and a restaurant would be between the garage and the hotel. A monorail system would drop cars slowly to the bottom. The building was insane and was fortunately never completed.
1. Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid
This city is a proposed floating, giant pyramid in Tokyo Harbor. This idea seems feasible since Tokyo is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. The pyramid will be able to hold skyscrapers with a height of 100-stories. The Pyramid will be made up of five trusses stacked on top of one another, each about the same size as the great pyramid in Giza. The finished pyramid itself would be about 14 times the height of Giza’s. Unfortunately, the structure is so enormous that current construction materials would not be able to handle the strain.