China is known for building ambitious infrastructure projects, and finding humans to populate them after the fact. Sometimes, it doesn’t go according to plan. This is one of those times.
Meet the Pentagonal Mart, a gargantuan, $US200 million shopping complex inspired by the US Pentagon, which has the dubious honour of being the largest vacant building in Shanghai. According to the People’s Daily News, the 70-acre mall was completed in 2009 and remains virtually empty to this day, “mainly because of its location and confusing inner structures”. Hmm, minor planning details.
Only in small sections of the shopping mall/business centre/human maze will a person occasionally be spotted pushing a lonely shopping cart down an aisle lit by endless fluorescent lights. Canned foods and packaged goods gleam untouched on shelves; museum pieces in an exhibition of superfluous development that needs no signage to explain itself.
If modern society were to collapse under the weight of egregiously unsustainable resource consumption, our dystopian swan song would probably look something like this.
Top image via SPM Park