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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Urban Planet Weird Wednesday: Taiwan’s UFO hotel

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Weird Wednesdays on Urban Planet takes a look at obscure, absurd, and curious things about cities around the world.

On the outskirts of Taipei sat these abandoned pod-shaped structures. Commonly called the Sanzhi UFO houses, they were a type of the rare, prefabricated Futuro house style built in the late ’70s. The buildings were intended to be a waterfront resort aimed primarily at American visitors, but construction was never completed. Rumours permiated that the work was halted when the site was found to contain the skeletons of up to 20,000 17th century Dutch soldiers, which led to stories of murders and hauntings at the site.

Construction was set to continue again in 1989 with a $24-million-backed plan to complete the resort, but the plans quickly fell through over the contrary visions of the developers and financiers, and the UFO houses were left to decay again.

The buildings were finally demolished in 2009 to make way for a more “normal” looking resort and water park. For now, the UFO houses are still visible on Google Maps.

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photo by Devin Huang