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Old September 26th, 2012, 07:41 PM   #3801
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Hm, I'm not sure they will let tourists inside and on the top of the building, if building is unstable.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3802
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The building was in bad shape at the time of the EU inspection, now today many years later it is obvious many repairs and clean up have been done. I don't think the red things are cladding or color, they are probably metal forms for new concrete. It's clear that the bad stuff was chipped away and new concrete poured, the same thing is happening in that floor section.

Another observation: In the third picture from the top of that series, you can see through the outer cladding! The concrete and shimmed structure holding the glass can be seen. It makes me wonder what it will look like when lit up at night.

Last edited by Scrapernab2; September 26th, 2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #3803
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Koryo Tours, the providers of these images, are famous for being the best, easiest way for Westerners to travel to North Korea. I'm sure many of you are aware how restrictive and controlled these tours are.

The pair in that photo shoot are higher ups in Koryo Tour's management, and get better access than most, but are still heavily scrutinized by the state. I imagine their photography within Ryugyong is as much a propaganda toy as anything else the state allows out of the country. How swept up and orderly that interior construction looks, barely a sign of equipment, people, messes, supplies... and what are we looking at? A small foyer on one of hundreds of floors. Take what we're looking at with a grain of salt. You're looking at it because the authorities allowed it to get out. I don't think this is going to be a usable building for a long time.. even their foreigner hotels typically only have a couple of active floors at a time while the rest of the building goes unused. Nevermind the sporadic electrical grid in Pyongyang could never hope to power this monster in its current state, even if the building was complete.

Surely the building is structurally sound enough to support additional construction. You guys are the architecture experts, but I can't imagine slapping thousands of tons of glass and steel to the outside of the building would be a good idea if it couldn't hold it. Elevator shafts are another story.

The Koryo guys likely got up their because they asked. A few times. They've kicked off some other cool projects in North Korea, but are all still heavily monitored and filtered by the state. They've hosted Ultimate Frisbee tournaments, more recently a DJ dance party, various train tours through the more scenic regions of DPRK, and coordinated many documentaries you may have seen, such as The Game of Their Lives about the '66 world cup upset when DPRK beat Italy, A State of Mind about the life of a Pyongyang girl training for the Arirang Mass Games, and more recently the first Western fiction movie to be shot entirely in DPRK, Comrade Kim Goes Flying. They do great work to "open up" North Korea to the rest of us, but ALWAYS on the North's terms.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #3804
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@ Reasonable_Man

Awesome pics! I friggin love you!!!

And drop it already for crying out loud, Kanto. You are the only one here doing this and it doesn't benefit anybody. And frankly, everyone is starting to get pissed.

Last edited by ThatOneGuy; September 26th, 2012 at 11:06 PM.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #3805
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Those red columns are also in this older picture:
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #3806
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Kanto, do you have a degree or any education in concrete and civil structures? If not, please stop speaking like you know every detail on the strength of the concrete in this project. Concrete is one hell of a material, and even with poor quality aggregate you can make a structure capable of supporting far more than its own weight.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #3807
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Not to mention the building looks incredibly rugged. So much redundant concrete... and those columns look several feet thick. And not shabby, either. There are some 10-12 story buildings in my city that have chunks missing from their thin columns, and they are doing just fine.

I'm a bit disappointed on the progress of the interior, though. I thought they'd at least have SOME fittings done... But then again, I suppose the lobby will be the last thing they'll fill out.

Today has been a great day for the Ryugyong. Its reputation can only get better.
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #3808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapernab2 View Post
I want to know how the elevator ride to the top was! I don't see any construction equipment or lighting. It must have been cleaned up for the photos.
Who knows if it was there to begin with. Curious about the elevator ride too... That's a lot of stairs! Scaffolding?
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Old September 26th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #3809
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It isn't redundant because even at the center the perimeter walls are only about 25-30 cm thick, which is thestandard thickness for a core. At the wings they are about 15-20 cm thick. So it is averagely redundant. This is a perimeter structure so naturally it has a more massive perimeter than grid structures or core structures. however, simply being a perimeter structure doesn't tell anything about the strength of the building

Also, if the low concrete quality wouldn't be a problem, they inspectors wouldn't have voiced their concerns about it

But I'm over with this. I have tried only to raise awareness about the flaws of this building. Apparently most of the people who come to this thread don't want to hear about them, so it isn't much use for me to talk about it anymore
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Old September 27th, 2012, 02:24 AM   #3810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasonable_Man View Post
Koryo Tours, the providers of these images, are famous for being the best, easiest way for Westerners to travel to North Korea. I'm sure many of you are aware how restrictive and controlled these tours are.

The pair in that photo shoot are higher ups in Koryo Tour's management, and get better access than most, but are still heavily scrutinized by the state. I imagine their photography within Ryugyong is as much a propaganda toy as anything else the state allows out of the country. How swept up and orderly that interior construction looks, barely a sign of equipment, people, messes, supplies... and what are we looking at? A small foyer on one of hundreds of floors. Take what we're looking at with a grain of salt. You're looking at it because the authorities allowed it to get out. I don't think this is going to be a usable building for a long time.. even their foreigner hotels typically only have a couple of active floors at a time while the rest of the building goes unused. Nevermind the sporadic electrical grid in Pyongyang could never hope to power this monster in its current state, even if the building was complete.

Surely the building is structurally sound enough to support additional construction. You guys are the architecture experts, but I can't imagine slapping thousands of tons of glass and steel to the outside of the building would be a good idea if it couldn't hold it. Elevator shafts are another story.

The Koryo guys likely got up their because they asked. A few times. They've kicked off some other cool projects in North Korea, but are all still heavily monitored and filtered by the state. They've hosted Ultimate Frisbee tournaments, more recently a DJ dance party, various train tours through the more scenic regions of DPRK, and coordinated many documentaries you may have seen, such as The Game of Their Lives about the '66 world cup upset when DPRK beat Italy, A State of Mind about the life of a Pyongyang girl training for the Arirang Mass Games, and more recently the first Western fiction movie to be shot entirely in DPRK, Comrade Kim Goes Flying. They do great work to "open up" North Korea to the rest of us, but ALWAYS on the North's terms.
Such a well written post by someone who clearly understands DPRK and the governance around external access. Thank you.

Completely agree with everything you say here, EVERYONE on this forum (whatever side of whatever argument you're on) should read this very carefully and take it all on-board. All the delusional people who think that DPRK is some open country where you can go/do what you want as a tourist should take note.

The most important point for me is that we've just seen what DPRK officials WANT us to see. You can't take these photos as "evidence" the building is good/bad/indifferent. You really think though, that if something wasn't up to scratch, the officials would let the tour anywhere near it? If you do, you do not know North Korea.

Truth is what we're seeing here is probably all we'll ever see - maybe a room or two in the hotel for show and to impress foreign dignitaries, and the viewing deck.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #3811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanto View Post
So far the building hasn't collapsed under the weight of the cladding, but that doesn't mean anything, it still could collapse in the future.
Actually, it may or may not collapse in the future, the only thing we are certain is, it hasn't collapsed (yet), and probably will never not collapse, depends on what the contractor did.

Another thing we are certain (and some may argue it is only rumor), is the EU did an inspection and mentioned it has weak concrete, (but we don't know exactly how it was worded in the actual report, on context of the document where it get mentioned).

Something just come up in my mind, if the weight of the building is a problem, is it possible to reduce the weight of the building, say remove most floor (or any load) between Level 5 - 35. Together with reinforcement, maybe that will keep the building standing.

Quote:
the real question is, can the building support occupants?
Indeed a very important question, but perhaps it will never have 3000 rooms, perhaps it will be planned so it will never have full occupancy.

Quote:
Also, I'd like to note that a safe building holds its weight with reserve and can withstand even smaller disasters, so the fact that the Slaughterhotel didn't collapse under its own weight so far is really nothing unexpected.
Not when it has weak concrete, actually, the fact it did not collapse (or partially collapse) show the concrete may not be as bad as it sound.

Was there any natural disaster of any kind in Pyongyang in the past 15 years?

Quote:
Some of them only said that it MAY collapse under its own weight IF fully finished and fully occupied
Very few expert get to do a detail study on the building, those expert probably said that based on a report that said it has "weak concrete". Do remember, if as expert said a building will not collapse but it does, he will get into serious trouble, if the expert said it MAY collapse, but it didn't, the expert doesn't have to feel bad about it.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #3812
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I found this accidentally, some of you that has a degree in Structure Engineering may want to read about it.

http://www.iitk.ac.in/nicee/wcee/art..._vol5_2789.pdf
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Old September 27th, 2012, 06:12 AM   #3813
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Very nice report It answers a lot of questions, and now we know that the Ryugyong did, indeed, use reinforced concrete.
Plus, it's a European report, so we know it wasn't forged by North Koreans.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #3814
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I've browsed SkyscraperCity for a few years, but just recently decided to make an account. Anyway, I don't think it is a safe building; sure, you would believe that the three leg footprint and the large concrete walls/columns makes it seem like it is sound, but I agree with some of the members arguing about the messed up state of the concrete that was exposed many years. As far as I know, no pics are available showing the concrete placing, and so we can't determine how the rebar was put in. In concrete slump tests, really thick (in perimeter) concrete samples do crack due to the dead load.

Like the comment by ReasonableMan posted regarding the intense censorship by the DPRK, only a few pics are allowed outside, and even the columns showing the patchy finish give reason to believe that various pours with different mixes happened, further hurting the structural integrity. Also, a tall building should have gotten a wind tunnel test to further test lateral loads, so just showing calculations alone don't prove that the building is safe.

I like skyscrapers as much as many members here do, but you can't defend a project like this because it's a skyscraper. Architects and structural engineers don't get licenses to kill, as my Structures teacher would always put it.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #3815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatOneGuy View Post
Plus, it's a European report, so we know it wasn't forged by North Koreans.
But one of the two authors is indeed North Korean, Chong Su Bom from the "Institute Paek Du San" in Pyongyang. The Wikipedia entry for the Ryougyong says that that it was designed by an organisation called "Baikdoosan Architects & Engineers" (the source is a dead link). Allowing for differences in translation and transliteration, could that be the same as the "Institute Paek Du San"? If so, Chong Su Bom was probably part of the original design team and so would not be in a position to make an impartial assessment of his own work.

Last edited by Gag Halfrunt; September 27th, 2012 at 06:11 PM. Reason: I noticed a missing word
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Old September 27th, 2012, 04:50 PM   #3816
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North Korea's Ryugyong 'Hotel of Doom' pictures released

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19741830


The shiny three-sided facade gives the impression the hotel is nearly finished
Continue reading the main story
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Pictures have emerged showing the inside of a 105-storey pyramid-shaped hotel that has been under construction in Pyongyang for 25 years.

North Korea began building the Ryugyong hotel in 1987, but construction was halted for 16 years when funds ran out.

Although work restarted in 2008, the hotel has become, for many, a symbol of North Korea's thwarted ambitions.

The tour company that took the pictures say the hotel is now due to open in two or three years time.

Few people have been allowed inside the notorious hotel, which has been variously dubbed the "The Hotel of Doom" or "The Phantom Hotel".

When conceived, the Ryugyong was intended to communicate to the world an impression of North Korea's burgeoning wealth.

But other economic priorities meant that the hotel had to be put to one side, and it remained untouched until a city-wide "beautification scheme" was introduced five years ago.

At that time, external construction was forecast to take until the end of 2010, with work on the inside being completed in 2012 at the earliest.

But the photo of the interior taken by Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based company that specialises in travel to North Korea, shows a vast concrete lobby with barriers around the edge of each floor.


The bare interior has no sign of cabling, wiring or pipes, let alone furnishings

The building's vast scale is also apparent from the interior views
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Old September 27th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #3817
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"No sign of wiring, cabling or pipes"

No sh*t, the building isn't finished.
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Old September 27th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #3818
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Sep 20
image hosted on flickr

Ryugyong Hotel in the Morning Mist von therealhussy auf Flickr


Ryugyong Hotel in the Morning Mist von therealhussy auf Flickr
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Old September 27th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #3819
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
But one of the two authors is indeed North Korean, Chong Su Bom from the "Institute Paek Du San" in Pyongyang. The Wikipedia entry for the Ryougyong says that that it was designed by an organisation called "Baikdoosan Architects & Engineers" (the source is a dead link). Allowing for differences in translation and transliteration, could that be the same as the "Institute Paek Du San"? If so, Chong Su Bom was probably part of the original design team and so would not be in a position to make an impartial assessment of his own work.
I think you've hit the nail right on the head there. I am no expert in Korean language, but Paek/Baik is the same thing, depending on the Romanization technique used. For example, the revered mountain that Kim Jong-Il was allegedly born at (more likely he was born in Russia) is Mt. Paektu, or Baekdu, depending on what you're reading. Baikdoosan and Paekdusan are most certainly the same entity, and would be pronounced the same in Korean.
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Old September 28th, 2012, 12:04 AM   #3820
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And Paektusan/Baekdusan means Mount Baekdu...
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