These attractions are not in any travel guideDecember 13, 2018
Athens: Palace on the Acropolis
GAnd, boldly, what Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Prussia’s highest architect, had devised in 1834: a palace for the newly crowned Greek King Otto.
Where the boldness was not in the architectural style – Schinkel’s classicistic columns could hardly have been Greek. The presumption lay in the location: Schinkel wanted to completely cultivate the Athenian Acropolis. The palace, decorated with marble, stucco and gold, was supposed to stand next to the Parthenon, Greece’s most famous ruin.
Although Otto’s residence would have been lower than the ancient temple, the national symbol of the newly liberated from the Turkish yoke Greeks would have taken the shine. Schinkel’s design was therefore politely rejected.
Paris: An elephant in the city center
Since the storming of the Bastille and the removal of the royal bastion during the French Revolution, Bastille Square in the heart of Paris has practically been empty. Emperor Napoleon suggested building a huge elephant monument on the open space. From the trunk should bubble a double Wasserfontäne.
Unfortunately, the bronze elephant, at that time the symbol of the power of absolute rulers, was neither installed nor placed. After all, was from 1816, a 24 -meter-high plaster model on the square, but that was demolished in 1846.
Even before Napoleon, there were plans for an elephant monument in Paris: in 1758, the upper end of the Champs-Élysées was crowned by a walk-in Triumph elephant, in honor of King Louis XV, with indoor ballroom and dining hall, a total of five floors high (Illustration: see the book cover at the end of the article).
Regrettably, it stayed with the design. Napoleon, in order to glorify his victories on the circular space, preferred to build the Arc de Triomphe, which still stands there today. From a tourist point of view, very regrettable – a spectacular elephant monument, of course, a much more gorgeous selfie template delivered as the bulky triumphal arch.
Liverpool: England’s largest church
He was not of divine elegance, the plan for a Catholic cathedral in Liverpool with which Sir Edwin Luytens made his speeches in the early 1930s. If its design had been implemented, England’s fifth-largest city today would have a bulky, yet unmissable landmark: a Byzantine-style Catholic church, a range of red bricks and granite, 158 meters high, which would have shaped the Liverpool skyline.
It would have been the most massive church in the United Kingdom after all, with the dome 91 meters inside and far beyond the one of St. Peter’s in Rome (43 meters). The construction started in 1933, but it was not financially viable, only the crypt was completed.
The donation flow dried up over the years, the construction work was finally stopped during the Second World War. After 1945, the estimated construction costs increased tenfold, so that the responsible archbishop buried the project.
In the 60s, a modernist, much more modest new building was built on the existing crypt and consecrated in 1967. The circular concrete church is crowned by a pointed, tent-shaped aluminum roof, so it is popularly mocked as “Paddy’s Wigwam”.
A tourist magnet is not the Cathedral of Christ the King, as it is officially called. For example, the travel platform Tripadvisor lists the church only eleventh in the “Top things to do in Liverpool”.
New York: A grand hotel by Gaudí
Had Joan Matamala not found drawings for the “Grand Hotel Attraction” in his father’s documents in 1956, humanity would never have heard of one of the world’s most spectacular hotel projects: Antoni Gaudí, whose masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, had a hotel skyscraper in 1908 designed for Manhattan. Joan Matamala’s father was a close associate of Gaudí and involved in the project.
The hotel would have changed the face of New York permanently, because Gaudí was not about to build at right angles in the manhattan square. His vision was a mixture of rocket and cathedral, in the center of a more than 300 -meter-high, parabolic tower, surrounded by lower towers.
Inside were provided luxury suites and five superimposed dining rooms. Also planned was a theater and in the spire a showroom with statues of all US presidents. One theory is that Gaudí should have withdrawn from the project because of a disease, another is: Gaudí, in the heart of the Communist, the project was too much for rich clientele oriented.
Chicago: The tallest house in the world
It would measure exactly one mile, or 1609 meters, with 528 floors, 76 nuclear-powered elevators, 1.71 million square feet of living and office space, 15,000 parking spaces and 150 helicopter landing areas: “The Illinois”, America’s most famous in the late 1950s Architect Frank Lloyd Wright conceived. He wanted to put it downtown Chicago, which would have had to be demolished partly for this megalomania of steel, concrete and glass.
The triangular giant spike would have become the tallest house in the world, with room to live and work for 100,000 people. The record title would not have been delivered until today – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, with 828 meters currently the world’s tallest building, is only about half as high.
Wright’s plan was never implemented; He died in 1959 shortly after the project and was able to present convincing solutions for space-consuming elevators, emergency stairs and water pipes.
Whether tourists would have had a good view of Chicago and the Great Lakes from an observation deck high up? Hardly likely. “The Illinois” would not only have scratched at the everyday clouds in the area, but far surpassed them.
The five projects presented here are, in addition to 45 other designs, described in detail in the just published “Atlas of buildings never builtBy Philip Wilkinson, dtv non-fiction book, 256 pages, 30 euros