Geek Out

What The Sydney Opera House (And Other Famous Monuments) Could Have Looked Like

Not every idea is a good idea when it comes to public architecture. In fact, some ideas are downright absurd — a Triumphal Elephant standing atop the Champs Elysees? Really? Our friends at Oobject have assembled 12 of the wackiest national tributes to thankfully never be built.

When you’re done taking in the sights, be sure to also check out these nine depressing monuments, a few more while they were being built, and the nine most grandiose public works projects of all time.

Charles Ribart’s Triumphal Elephant Alternative To The Arc De Triomphe

The Eiffel tower could also have been similarly weird, with one of the competition proposals being for a giant replica of a Guillotine, to commemorate the revolution.

Unbuilt Proposal For Alterations To The White House

The Second Prize Winner For The Sydney Opera House

Alternative Designs For The Chrysler Building

Unbuilt Strauss Design For The Golden Gate

Lincoln Memorial Proposal By John Russell Pope, 1912

Alternative Proposal For The Washington Monument

Tortola Plan For US Capitol With Tiny Dome.

Enormous 94 Floor Pyramid Necropolis For Primrose Hill In London

An Alternative Design For London’s Iconic But Awful Tower Bridge

Tower bridge is one of those monuments that make architects wince. A piece of kitsch pastiche that people don’t realise is a modern building becuase of its proximity to the genuinely old Tower of London. What makes this alternative so striking is its similarity but difference.

Giant Pyramid Proposal For London’s Trafalgar Square

This was significantly smaller than the totally crazy scheme for an enormous pyramid necropolis at Primrose Hill.

Alternative Design By Christopher Wren For St Paul’s Cathedral, London

This was called the Warrant design and was in response to an earlier proposal that was also rejected.