1. Tatlin’s Tower; St. Petersburg, Russia
This Constructivist tower was designed in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The design consisted of a twin helix with four large geometric structures attached to it rotating at different rates. Architect Vladimir Tatlin never saw his building realized, and that was due to the monumental construction costs.
2. The Chicago Spire; Chicago, Illinois
Proposed back in July 2005, the Chicago Spire was initially referred to as the Fordham Spire. If it had been realized, it would have towered about the city of Chicago at a height of 116 stories. The design was by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. It was earmarked to contain a hotel and luxury condos. Sadly, Calatrava never received the required funding needed for the building to be constructed.
3. Nakheel Harbour and Tower; Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Nakheel Harbour and Tower was proposed by the giant development group, Nakheel, back in 2003 as a centerpiece for the Palm Jumeirah island project. If it was realized, the skyscraper would have been the world’s second-tallest building, after the nearby Burj Khalifa. Sadly, the global financial crisis hit in 2009, and the project was shelved.
4. Phare Du Monde; Paris, France
Back in 1937, the World Fair descended on Paris, and this 1,640-foot monstrosity was proposed to complement it. It was designed by architect Eugène Freyssinet and featured a spiral road that would allow motorists to ascend to a parking lot more than half a mile high above the French capital. Needless to say that the outrageous (and dangerous) design was soon discarded.
5. Hotel Attraction; New York, New York
Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is still unfinished to this very day, so perhaps it’s a good thing that his 1908 design earmarked for New York City, the Hotel Attraction, never came to fruition. It was probably far too advanced to be built at the time anyway, but it would have towered some 1,180 feet above the city if it was.
6. Palace of the Soviets; Moscow, Russia
Architect Boris Iofan won a design competition held in 1933 for a building that was to be an ode to the power of the Kremlin. The enormous, opulent building, designed in the Neoclassical style, was set to become Moscow’s administrative and congress hall. Construction actually began in 1937, but it ground to a halt following the outbreak of the Second World War.
7. X-Seed 4000; Tokyo, Japan
A ludicrous building needs to have a ludicrous name, and X-Seed 4000 perfectly fits the bill. It’s the tallest building design ever conceived, and it was designed by the Taisei Corporation back in 1995. It was supposed to stand some 2.5 miles tall, making it taller than Mount Fuji. The design could never be realized due to its proposed location, which lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire. What’s more is that it could have cost up to $1.2 trillion to build.
8. The Volkshalle; Berlin, Germany
This gigantic dome-shaped structure was proposed by Adolf Hitler as part of his plan for Germania, which was the projected renewal of the German capital, Berlin. He designed it in conjunction with his architect, Albert Speer. The building was never constructed due to Hitler being defeated and the fall of the Third Reich and the end of the Second World War.
9. The Fourth Grace/the Cloud; Liverpool, England
Proposed to become the fourth addition to the trio of historic buildings lining Liverpool’s waterfront, the Fourth Grace was a cloud-shaped structure designed by Edward Cullinan Architects. It was one of numerous proposals for the site, but none of them ever came to fruition due to budget cuts. The Mann Island Development, which features the Liverpool Museum, now lies on the site instead.
10. Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid; Tokyo, Japan
Japan’s Shimizu Corporation designed what was to be the largest man-made structure on Earth back in 1996. It was to stand over a mile tall and be able to house 1 million people. The reason why it hasn’t been realized to date is that current building materials are too heavy for such a large structure to be realized, but the Shimizu Corporation has stated its intention to complete it by the year 2110.