7 Failed Construction Projects that Give Off Dystopian Vibes

Someday some of these can make a good setting for a TV show perhaps.
Christopher McFadden

As Norman Peale once said, "Shoot for the Moon, even if you miss you, you'll land among the stars." All well and good, but when it comes to investing large sums of money in construction projects, sometimes it might have been better to just stay at home. 

As you are about to find out, there are a fair few failed construction projects around the world that wouldn't be out of place in a blockbuster dystopian movie

What are some of the spookiest empty projects around the world?

And so, without further ado, here are some of the world's spookiest abandoned and dystopian places. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

1. The infamous UFO houses of Taiwan were a failed project

abandoned ghost towns ufo houses
Source: Carrie Kellenberger/Wikimedia Commons

One of the world's most striking, and spooky, dystopian, and failed housing developments are the famous UFO houses in Taiwan. Built-in the 1970s, they proved to be too far ahead of their time and have been left unoccupied ever since.

Officially know as the Shanzhi UFO Houses, they consisted of pod-shaped buildings that were inspired by the Futuro houses, and were originally intended as a vacation resort. The site was never completed, and construction ceased in the early-1980s when investment losses called a halt on the project.

Due to their unusual shape, the site did become something of a minor local tourist spot for a while, and has even appeared in several films and other popular culture productions. 

The site was scheduled for demolition in late-2008, despite online petitions to save them and keep the existing buildings as a kind of museum. However, this petition failed, and demolition work began in late-2009.

Work was completed by 2010, and the site has since been redeveloped into a more successful tourist attraction, with hotels, beach facilities, and a waterpark.

2. The Burj Al Babas project in Turkey is still completely empty

7 Failed Construction Projects that Give Off Dystopian Vibes
Source: Burj al Babas/Instagram

Back in 2014, construction began on hundreds of mock-chateaus in Turkey's Northern Bolu Province. Developed for wealthy Gulf investors, construction was halted when the company could not raise enough money to complete it.

The construction company behind the project, The Sarot Group, was recently also hit with a court-ordered bankruptcy ruling after the project racked up a stunning $27 million in debt. 

“We couldn’t get about $7.5 million dollars receivables for the villas we have sold to Gulf countries," said Sarot Group Chairman Mehmet Emin Yerdelen in an interview. “We applied for bankruptcy protection but the court ruled for bankruptcy. We will appeal the ruling.”

Most Popular

The project was an ambitious one, originally envisaging 732 chateau-like villages, swimming pools. Turkish baths, health and beauty centers, shopping precincts, and even a mosque, once complete. Of this, only just over 585 were ever completed, with only a handful sold.

The court ruling also ordered the group to cease construction of the site, but this hasn't completely stamped out hopes for the future of the site. 

“The project is valued at $200 million,” Yerdelen added. “We only need to sell 100 villas to pay off our debt. I believe we can get over this crisis in four to five months and partially inaugurate the project in 2019.”

Today, the site remains unfinished and empty. 

3. Check out this abandoned fake-Paris in China

dystopian failed project fake paris
Source: Dāvis Kļaviņš/Flickr

Another failed, now dystopian, construction project, is Tianducheng, Hangzhou in China. Built as a tiny replica, well homage, to Paris, France, it is located around a 40-minute drive away from Hangzhou. 

Resembling something out of a post-apocalyptic film today, this ambitious real-estate venture was built in 2007. It comes complete with its own mock-Champs-Elysees, mini-Eiffel Tower, and plenty of faux-Parisian architecture. 

Built to house around 10,000 residents, full occupancy was never achieved, and today, only a few residents still remain. Its streets remain largely empty, with the exception of the odd traveling tourists stopping off to take some snaps. 

4. These "Dome Home" is now completely abandoned

dystopian failed projects dome homes
Source: Andy Morffew/Wikimedia Commons

Another dystopian-looking failed construction from around the world is the "Dome Home" near Marco Island, Florida. Known as the Cape Romano Dome House, it was the brainchild of a retired oil tycoon, and construction began in the early-1980s.

The project consisted of six dome-shaped modules on stilts located just offshore from Cape Romana Island. 

Intended to be an "eco-friendly" retreat for the tycoon and his family, nature soon had other ideas for his pet project. Harsh weather and eroding shorelines soon inundated the site, rendering them uninhabitable. 

Today, the domes remain derelict and have become something of a local landmark, although only four of the original six are still standing. There are currently no plans to demolish or redevelop the site. 

5. Lapalice Castle in Poland would make a great dystopian-movie set

dystopian ruins lapalice
Source: Carrie Kellenberger/Wikimedia Commons

Intended as a palatial studio and home for artist Piotr Kazimierczak, Lapalice Castle in Poland now stands as a vision of a dystopian future. Partially built in the late-1970s and early-1980s, this grand building now remains a wreck, littered with graffiti and open to the elements. 

Designed to include a swimming pool, ballroom, ramparts, and a dozen towers, but the project was abandoned after Kazimierczak ran out of money and failed to apply for the necessary permits. 

The building now remains a ghostly shell and has become an unofficial tourist attraction, despite being fenced off to the public. 

6. Haludovo Palace Hotel in Croatia is certainly a spooky place

dystopian construction projects croatia
Source: Thorsten Schroeteler/Wikimedia Commons

Another dystopian failed construction project from around the world is the Haludovo Palace Hotel in Krk, Croatia. Designed and built in the brutalist architectural style, the hotel was built on the island of Kirk in the 1970s. 

After spending a few years hosting actors and world leaders, financial problems early on, followed by the outbreak of war in the 1990s, eventually tolled the death knell for the venture. It hosted its last guest in the early-2000s and has been closed ever since.

Its casinos and other amenities have since fallen into disrepair, and its derelict remains have since become a tourist attraction again — but for a very different reason. 

7. Kangbashi, Ordos, China might be one of the most famous dystopian failed construction projects

dystopian failed projects kangbashi
Source: Popolon/Wikimedia Commons

And last, but by no means least, is Kangbashi, in Ordos, China. The site was intended to be a 130 square mile (209 square km) residential area to house over 1 million people. 

Construction began in 2003, but the project soon ran into trouble as developers struggled to find buyers for its overpriced property, and the lack of amenities meant that few people were willing to relocate here from nearby Dongsheng. The waning of the coal mining boom in Ordos didn't help sell the project to prospective buyers either.

Today, thanks to the building of new amenities and greening projects, it has managed to become partially occupied. Like others on this list, it has also become something of a tourist attraction for those marveling at its largely unused lavish apartment buildings, state-of-the-art office towers, museums, sports fields, and theaters

That's all for today folks. 

message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron