10 Shocking Construction Projects That Almost Happened

  • From building a colossal pyramid over Tokyo Harbour to ­­­­­­covering Manhattan with a giant dome, we count ten shocking construction projects that almost happened!

10 – Dubai’s ‘The World’,


  • Dubai is the capital of weird building projects and this project, known as ‘The World’, looked set to be one for the ages. That was until a shift in the economy caused plans to fall through.
  • The concept behind The World was to create a set of islands shaped like Earth’s continents off the coast of Dubai. These islands would then be sold off and lived on – presumably so megalomaniac rich folk could roleplay ruling the world or something.
  • Construction of the islands was completed, but the associated structures were left unfinished. The project has now stalled out for so long that the islands are starting to erode into the sea. It seems that The World, like the real world it’s based on, is slowly going to shit.

9 – Vertical Farming,


  • Vertical farming is a sci-fi inspired solution to the very real problem that we might one day run out of fertile farming land. The idea is to grow crops in purpose-built skyscrapers, utilising all that wasted vertical space.
  • Vertical farming offers floor after floor of farmable land and a controllable climate that could be used to grow seasonal crops all year round.
  • The Dragonfly is a proposed vertical farm that is shaped like a dragonfly wing and situated in the middle of New York City. Unfortunately, the technology required for sustainable large-scale vertical farming hasn’t caught up with our aspirations yet, so it remains a pipe dream.

8 – Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid,


  • The Mega-City Pyramid is a Japanese architect’s proposed solution to Tokyo Harbour’s overpopulation. It’s basically a giant, floating pyramid that could easily house over a million people and fit 100-storey skyscrapers inside it.
  • The Pyramid is planned to be made up of five trusses stacked on top of one another, each one roughly the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Eygpt.
  • If built, it would be the largest structure on the planet. Of course, its size is so great that none of the construction materials we currently use could withstand its immense weight. If even one truss failed, nearly a million people would be crushed or drown.
  • There’s also the obvious risk that something this size will attract Godzilla attacks, so for now this will have to remain something you see in an anime.

7 – Sutyagin House,


  • In 1992, Nikolai Sutyagin grew tired of his home in Arkhangelsk, Russia, so decided to make some expansions. He added an extra floor, and then another, then another – until before he knew it he had world’s tallest wooden house.
  • At its peak, the eccentric Russian’s home was thirteen stories and forty-four metres high. Nikolai was never satisfied and wanted to add more and more – that is until he went to prison. When he got out, he no longer had the funds to support the construction, so the house rotted and broke down around him.
  • Arkhangelsk’s city council deemed it a fire hazard and eventually forced Nikolai to dismantle his wooden castle. All that remains now is the regular-sized original home, a few pictures and some salty, salty tears.

6 – Project Chariot,


  • Project Chariot was a misguided construction project aimed to widen the Panama Canal and dig a harbour in Alaska. This would be accomplished by US forces dropping nukes.
  • This proposal came shortly after H-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Amidst all that pesky bad publicity, the US was looking for a way to prove that atomic weaponry could be used for peaceful, productive purposes.
  • Fortunately, the project never eventuated because of people living in Point Hope, a village fifty kilometres from the proposed bombing site. They’d heard of a little thing called radiation poisoning and refused to buy into the government’s lies that no harm would come to them. They staged a massive protest, which ultimately led to the project being canned and moved to the Nevada desert.


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