5 Unfortunately Shaped Skyscrapers

Sep 10, 2012 3 comments

Chinese news agency Xinhua reports of a new building in Suzhou that is nearing completion. The 74-story Gate to the East was designed to look like an arch, but unfortunately, in the eyes of many it appears as a giant pair of trousers.

The developer of the landmark building has recently come under much criticism for the unconventional look. One user on China's blogging website Weibo reportedly said, “This should be called the Pants of the East, not the Gate of the East”.

The 278-meter-high Gate was developed by the private firm Suzhou Chianing Real Estate Co., Ltd to accommodate offices, hotels, malls and apartments. The eight-year construction process is expected to be completed in 2012, costing a total of $700 million.


Xu Kang, the company's vice executive of sales, defended the design, saying the linked-twin-tower structure is based on classic garden gates and ancient city gates in China.

Suzhou's Gate is not the first unfortunate piece of architecture in this world. Here are some buildings that were supposed to look magnificent, but turned out to be something embarrassing instead.

Doha 9 High Rise Office Tower, Qatar

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the 231 meter tall building located between the north side of Doha Bay and the new city centre was heavily criticized in 2007 when the building was first proposed. An artist impression that appeared back then appeared to look like a huge shining sex toy.

The completed building looks beautiful and was also named the best tall building in the Middle East and Africa. But the early views have stuck making it impossible to see the building as anything else.



Velo Towers in Seoul

Velo Towers designed by New York-based Asymptote Architecture has been compared to both a toilet-roll holder and a cam shaft. The 153 meters tall twin towers is currently shaping up in Seoul, South Korea.

The two towers are connected by a skybridge which is suspended 30 storeys above ground level, providing the residents of both structures with fitness and recreation centres, communal lounges, pools, spas and eateries, as well as a landscaped sky garden. A raised plinth at ground level also offers communal facilities in a light-filled atrium.



The Cloud, South Korea

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV proposed a design for two high-rises in Korea that reminds people of the World Trade Center twin towers exploding on 9/11.  A mockup shows two soaring skyscrapers connected in the middle by a “pixelated cloud” that evoked the clouds of debris that erupted from the iconic World Trade Center towers after terrorists flew planes into them.

The luxury residential towers have been named ‘The Cloud’, with one reaching 260 metres or 54 floors and the other covering 60 floors over 300 metres. The total surface area is 128,000 sq metres. The ‘cloud' is housed in a 10-floor tall structure positioned halfway up the structures, and the towers feature a fitness studio, pools, restaurants, cafes and a conference centre.



MVRDV later made an apology saying the that the resemblance was unintentional and that they didn’t see that way the design process. The future of the project is unclear.

Asahi Beer Headquarters

Asahi Beer Headquarters located on the east bank of the Sumida River in Sumida, Tokyo, Japan is considered one of Tokyo's most recognizable modern structures. There are two main buildings, the biggest building standing 100 meters tall resembles a giant beer jug complete with a foam shaped white roof. The shorter building is known as the Super Dry Hall. It is a black building in the shape of a beer glass, with an enormous golden flame shaped object perched on top.

The golden structure at the top is said to represent both the 'burning heart of Asahi beer' and a frothy head, but the the structure is often colloquially referred to as "the golden turd" and the Asahi Beer Hall itself as "poo building". Some people even see the flame’s similarity to the human sperm.



Based on an article by Deezen


  1. Too bad about "The Cloud"... Awesome design! Why not just make it an homage to the Twin Towers? Or simply redesign the tower parts as it is the "Cloud" itself that stands out as original anyway?

    1. Nice idea... Though how would you redesign the tower parts? But I agree with you: it's the pixelated part that stands out.

  2. Here in Bridgeport, Connecticut we have what we call the Bridgeport Urinal, which is the Peoples United Bank corporate headquarters, designed and built by architect Richard Meyer.


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