Across the globe and as far as man has reached, we can find architectural structures that define our human capacity and genius. Albeit some architectural projects will make you question that genius and if any second thought or revision took place before the construction phase began.

There are countless factors that can sabotage an architect’s or engineers plan for brilliance, and in the spur of moment of genius I’m certain some far-fetched yet realistic obstacles can be unintentionally overlooked or down-played. To their defense, there are some infrastructural and environmental factors that are just entirely unpredictable.

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more costly to fix than others. For instance, a massive suspension bridge collapsing into a body of water or Ancient Rome’s Fidenae Amphitheatre crumbling in 27 A.D., is a lot more serious than a color mix-up!

While everyone makes errors, in the words of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, “The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines”, there are some errors plants and decorations cannot simply cover up! On the other hand, there are some spectacular architectural feats which exude brilliance and need nothing to hide behind but rather, demand to be admired as a symbol of human potential.

20 1.  Oldest Architectural Mishap On Earth, Bent Pyramid, Egypt (Oops)

The Bent Pyramid of Snefru at Dashur in Egypt is further proof that humans have made errors since the beginning of time. Created around 2600 BCE the Bent Pyramid is amongst one of the oldest recorded architectural errors or miscalculations in history. This is significant because most pyramids we know of today are perfect Egyptian pyramidal masterpieces. The unusual steep slope of the pyramid has given it its name of being bent. Theories are that during construction the builders realized the angle they were using for steepness was too shallow and would not be stable enough to support the pyramid.

What remains is a beautiful remnant dating back thousands of years ago which reminds us not only of man's imperfections but also our architectural perfections which you can observe in the completed pyramids surrounding the Bent Pyramid.

19 2. Remarkable 3-D Design, CCTV Headquarters (Success)

The headquarters for the Central China Television (CCTV) in Beijing sprung from the architect firm OMA Rem Koolhaas, who had actually won an international competition in 2002 to do so. The obvious unique design posed numerous technical difficulties as well as collaboration with an international team over various time zones and languages. Despite these minor obstacles, the team developed a winning design which was presented to the public at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Although not being fully completed until 2012, the L-shaped towered skyscrapers prove to be an incredible architectural success. This building is especially remarkable because CCTV is located in a prime seismic zone which means the probability of earthquakes may be significantly higher than other regions.

18 3. Unbalanced Upside Down Triangle, Slovak Radio Building (Oops)

Perhaps not entirely a fail, the Slovak Radio Building in the city of Bratislava will certainly draw any eye to it. The architects behind this experimental structure were chosen from several rounds of competitions between different architectural firms during the 1960’s. The project was given to the team of Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič and Barnabáš Kissling. The architects certainly put their creativity to work with the progressive design which is completely inverted and upside down!

What appears to be an upside down pyramid is actually two independent upside down pyramids that slide into each other, creating the effect of being one huge inversion. Used as a concert hall and offices, if you’re in Slovakia and wish to be transported in time take a walk by the upside-down pyramid Radio Building.

17 4. Tallest Man-Made Structure In The World, Dubai (Success)

Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the largest building in the entire world and is an extraordinary work of art. Located in the heart of Dubai’s downtown, Burj Khalifa is an example of human brilliance and over-the-top glamour and gold. This masterpiece cost a whopping 1.5 billion dollars and commenced in January 2010 with about 12,000 employees on site daily.

It’s not only its height that’s impressive but also that it houses the world’s tallest swimming pool ever to be included in a building (check out the 76th floor).

The blueprints and structure came from US architect Adrian Smith, but despite the meticulous design planning they only named it at the very last moment. Initially named the ‘Burj Dubai’, it was finalized as the Burj Khalifa because Burj means tower in Arabic and Khalifa was chosen to honor the ruler at the time.

16 5. Hotel Has Caused Unbearable Heat, Las Vegas (Oops)

Located across the Aria Resort and Casino is the hotspot formally known as the Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, with ties to the MGM Resorts International. The 57-story building lined with windows from top to bottom is a victim to a pretty unfortunate architectural flaw. Guests have nicknamed the Vdara as the ‘death ray’ because when the sun hits the curved design of the hotel at a certain angle, the building acts like a massive magnifying glass and emits extremely hot rays.

MGM Resorts officials have stated it is not a ‘death ray’ but rather a ‘solar convergence phenomenon’. Rest assured though, the problem seems to be fixed and you can enjoy the Las Vegas heat safely by the Vdara pool under an umbrella.

15 6. Tallest Bridge In The World, France (Success)

The Millau Viaduct in France is considered to be one of the greatest engineering achievements known to mankind. Although it has a fancy name, the viaduct is really just a bridge. Stemming from Latin, the term viaduct just means a bridge that contains various spans of road which crosses rivers, valleys, etc. Prolific architects Norman Foster and Michel Virlogeux completed this project and its execution only took three years.

A trip to the South of France is definitely worth it to observe or maybe even drive across the most beautiful bridge in the world. The Millau Viaduct evokes something magical with its highest points on the bridge appearing to burst out of the clouds.

14 7."Galloping Gertie" Bridge Collapse (Oops)

Unlike the Leaning Tower of Pisa whose flaw can be celebrated, the failure in the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington was extremely catastrophic. Today there are two suspension bridges side by side, but in 1940 there was only one which had opened July 1st, 1940 and was given the nickname ‘Galloping Gertie’.

The reasoning behind the nickname is that at this point in time, engineers believed they could swap the traditional heavy stiffening of the bridge with shallow stiffening. This turned out problematic and lead to the nickname ‘Galloping Gertie’ because the bridge would sway back and forth and oscillate during light winds.

Before this problem could be fixed, on November 7th 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Suspension bridge crumbled into the water due to winds of 40 miles per hour.

13 8. World's Tallest Twins, Malaysia (Success)

A cultural and architectural icon of Malaysia is the Petronas Towers in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Created by the Argentinean born Cesar Pelli, this outstanding architect designed what was the largest building in the world from the years 1998 to 2004. These magnificent twins are secured deeply into the earth, and are amongst the world’s largest and deepest foundational structures.

The elegant towers rise into the air up to 452 meters, and unlike most twin towers across the world, the Petronas towers stand independently from each other only connected by a sky bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors. I could only imagine the breathtaking views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline!

12 9. The Infamous Lean, Pisa, Italy (Oops)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is famous worldwide and almost everyone wants their own creative take on a photo next to the leaning structure. Despite being a beautiful piece of architecture, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was subject to some structural flaws in its foundation. Led by architect Bonnano Pisano in August of 1173, the construction of the tower that is associated with the Cathedral of Pisa began and was off to a hopeful start.

Somehow the tower began to tilt as a result of the clay foundation, and although builders tried to solve the problem, it was never fully completed until 1372 by a close relative of Pisano. There are countless unique photos to take in Pisa, but just keep in mind the Leaning Tower of Pisa sinks 1mm deeper every year!

11 10. Architecture Marvel, Gateway Arch, Missouri (Success)

Built in 1965 and still the tallest arch in the world, the Gateway Arch in St.Louis, Missouri is a staple mark symbol of the United States. The executive director of the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, Eric Moracweski told CNN Travel that people talk about the Gateway Arch in the same way they discuss the Eiffel Tower or the Egyptian pyramids, which is pretty impressive!

Most visitors and viewers of the arch wonder how it was built, and this still remains much of a confidential mystery. The architect behind this masterpiece is Finnish Eero Saarinen and being his first solo project, received much fame and success which has paved the way for him being an architect star.

10 11. They Forgot To Calculate The Weight Of The Books, E.B. Du Bois Library (Oops)

The tallest library in the United States belongs to the University of Massachusetts and serves as a monumental building with 28 stories. Striking in its appearance it also holds a peculiar past that may have something to do with the thousands of books it houses. Its design belongs to the internationally known architect Edward Durrell Stone who is best known for his work with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The incredible library opened in June 1973 but problems began to arise in September when bricks were chipping off the façade of the building! Urban legend holds that the architect had not calculated the weight all the books would add to the structure of the building. Whether this rumor is true or false, it’s a curious thing that 60,000 books were removed permanently from the library.

9 12. Real Life Rubik's Cube, Thailand (Success)

It’s German architect Ole Schereen who came up with the incredible layout for Bangkok’s all glass skyscraper which you can see protruding into the sky from any point in the city. Comprised of 77-stories and shifting box-like concepts which give the illusion it’s a giant Rubik’s cube. These box-like structures also serve as terraces and balconies.

The architects of Maha Nakhon describe the project as “dismantling the typical tower, creating a skyscraper which accommodates retail and entertainment while evoking the shifting protrusions of a mountain landscape”. Its facilities also include residences, a hotel and even a spectacular observatory of the city of Bangkok.

8 13. University Unfortunately Shaped Like A Toilet, North China (Oops)

Nicknamed ‘the toilet’, the University of Water Resources in Henan Province, North China has become victim to a bit of a joke. With the front building resembling a toilet bowl and the top as a toilet lid, this 12 story university cost about $13 million US dollars to complete. Although China is home to many eccentric designs and structures, the University of Water Resources and Electric Power is said to have been extremely well executed and serves as an important building for graduates.

Interestingly enough in May 2018, China came out with an urban planning blueprint that banned ‘weird ‘buildings in favor of more sustainable and pleasing to the eye.

7 14. Spa Formed Out Of Mountain Landscape, Switzerland (Success)

The Therme Vals Hotel and Spa in Switzerland is built over the majestic thermal springs that exist in the Swiss countryside. Designed by Peter Zumthor whose idea was to build his spa within the thermal baths like a cave, explains his creation is a complete sensory experience. This surreal experience is to provide luxury relaxation while allowing us to reconnect with the benefits of bathing which date back to antiquity.

The Vals opened in 2008 and within two years became a recognized national monument of Switzerland. Nestled in the Central Alps if you crave a luxurious and picturesque spa where you can delve into the benefits of thermal springs, you must make a visit to the Vals.

6 15. Flaw Discovered By Intern, Citicorp Center, New York City (Oops)

An instantly recognizable skyscraper in New York City is the Citicorp Center which has 59 stories. Unique to these 59 stories is that the bottom nine floors of the skyscraper are built on stilts! Rumor has it architect William LeMessurier came up with the design idea on a napkin while he was eating at a local Greek restaurant.

In 1978, LeMessurier had been contacted by an undergraduate student who informed him he had been studying the Citicorp Center and had noticed the building was in serious harm’s way if there are strong quartering winds (winds that attack the corners). LeMessurier, indebted to the student, checked his math and blueprints and realized the student was right and he had not in fact accounted for quartering winds which could have become a disaster very quickly!

5 16. World's First Twisting Towers, Sweden (Success)

The Turning Torso which might bring dizziness if you stare for too long is the tallest building in Sweden. There’s quite a story behind this tantalizing tower because it was actually inspired by a white marble sculpture entitled Twisting Torso by architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava who used his sculpture as a starting point for the Turning Torso.

Located in Malmö, the city was craving an urban renewal, a structure which would encompass residential units, businesses, culture and entertainment all under one roof. The Turning Torso serves exactly that and more. With nine segments of 5 story pentagons which rotate at 90 degrees, the Turning Torso provides an optical illusion which leaves a wondrous impression to not only Sweden, but to the entire world and is recognized for its sustainable design.

4 17. Main Tower Of Embassy Fell Short, Cuba (Oops)

This otherworldly structure in Cuba is known to locals as ‘la Espada de Rusia’, which means the Russian Sword, probably after its sword-like appearance. This particular structure came up in 1985 and it stands as a reminder of Cuba’s friendship with the Soviet Union during the times of the Cold War.

What makes this embassy odd in contrast with 106 other diplomatic buildings around it is the dark and grey vibe it gives off. It looks quite out of place especially in the wealthy Cuban district of Miramar.

It’s not just the strange architecture of this building but the 10-acre compound of land that accompanies it, left empty and ominous.

3 18. Futuristic Spanish Must See, Spain (Success)

A prime example of modern architecture in the heart of Europe is the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. The architect behind Sweden’s Turning Torso is also the mastermind behind Valencia’s top landmark. Santiago Calatrava designed this futuristic complex which is comprised of five elements, the most popular being the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia known simply as the Palace of Arts. Despite having palace in its title, the Palace of Arts actually encompasses an ultramodern setting and theatre for music.

One of its coolest features is the water-lily shaped Oceanographic, Europe’s largest Oceanographic aquarium which shelters over 500 marine species!

2 19. Building Or Walkie Talkie? London (Oops)

The failure with this Walkie-Talkie looking building is that it has the capacity to melt Jaguars and other motor vehicles parked across due to the strong rays of sun reflected. This concave structure on Fenchurch Street in London appears to look like a giant walkie-talkie, but not only is it an unusual shape, it’s also a scorcher. Furthermore, with 37 stories, this building is a stark contrast to the low-rise residential homes in the area.

After continuous complaints of excessive sunlight by motorists, pedestrians and nearby store owners the problem was given a solution. The building was given a ‘brise-soleil’ which literally means sun break. This brise soleil is a sunshade which prevents the intense rays of sun from being reflected. Phew!

1 20. Most Visited Museum In Canada, Ontario (Success)

The Royal Museum in Ontario is the most visited museum in Canada and is said to ‘represent over 100 years of architecture’. This structure is also rich in history as its first wing opened in March of 1914! It’s important to know that the Royal Museum is not just one building, but rather a collection of unique buildings, each representative of different architectural eras, yet all connected to each other into one.

The arched windows and balconies are not to be missed if you’re an architect buff, but there are also loads of cool art collections which tell Canada’s history. The wondrous monument alone tells a story with its richly embellished architecture.