The world is filled with beautiful buildings, epic constructions that have been expertly and lovingly designed, and equally carefully built. These buildings are a testament to the great architects and builders of the world throughout the centuries, given that some buildings last millennia. But, as with most things, problems can arise in this arena. Maybe the architect just didn’t notice a massive problem with their building design, or perhaps the construction company didn’t read the plans properly. Either way, there are some seriously terrible construction fails we’d like to show you …
1 of 41: Timbeeeeeeeeer!
We think the family living in this house have probably had to resort to riding scooters because no car can fit into the garage with that great, big tree in the way. It looks like an epic design fail, but we can imagine what happened. When the house was built, some bright spark thought a little vegetation in the middle of the driveway would put a finishing touch to the garden. But said bright spark couldn’t have known much about plants because they planted what was going to one day grow into this huge tree blocking the driveway.
2 of 41: Forced intimacy
Erm, we don’t know about you, but these are the urinals we’d be avoiding if we absolutely had to use this restroom. How on earth anyone could have designed a bathroom with two urinals at such close quarters beggars belief. After all, having to visit a public urinal isn’t on our list of pleasant things to do at the best of times. But having to squeeze your body close to another person while you do what nature intended is on another level altogether. Unless you’re on really intimate terms with the person next to you, this situation is plain awkward!
3 of 41: Keep off the grass!
While this isn’t the stupidest construction flop ever, it looks pretty weird. Maybe it’s to stop dogs from stepping on the grass because the fence around the grass ‘island’ is low enough for a human to step right over. So if people do step over the fence and sit on the benches, they must feel as if they’re in a little cage, with not much room to rest your feet. If they move the benches outside the fence, they’d have a weird little island of grass surrounded by a fence and benches. Even weirder.
4 of 41: Dizzy heights
This photograph was taken at a U.S. Air Base, complete with smiling soldiers. But look at the main feature, and you’ll be wondering, like us, a couple of things. First of all, what is a big door doing on the outside of a building a least a storey up? Our guess is that it’s for troops to practice jumping from a height, but it also looks like an old-fashioned grain silo. But question number two is intriguing: how do they close and lock the door after the last soldier has jumped?
5 of 41: Out of space
This is really quite an epic fail. This high school either got someone inexperienced to plan their security fencing, or the gating company literally cuts corners in their day-to-day business. What’s happened is that when a soccer player has to kick the ball in from the corner, do they have to hop over the gate first and try to kick it up and over the fence? It’s a crazy situation, and we wonder if someone’s proverbial head rolled over this giant mistake. We’re betting the school’s more careful now.
6 of 41: Drinking on the job?
This one’s really funny. Have you ever in your life seen a perfectly straight row of windows in a building, only to find one’s been built at a jaunty angle? Frankly, nor have we. The mind boggles as to how on earth this happened. Was the builder a little tipsy at the time, or did the architect have it in for the owner and decide to have a little fun with them? Either way, the person occupying the office with this peculiar window had better have a strong stomach. Anyone who suffers from seasickness wouldn’t be able to cope with it.
7 of 41: Polka dot crazy
This small stretch of road in an inconspicuous place just happens to have an extraordinary number of manholes placed very close together. Now we know that workers need access to the underground tunnels built beneath cities, but we can only imagine what the tunnels under these manholes must look like. I hope they’ve got satellite navigation or very good signage down there because the tunnel arrangement must be more confusing than a maze. Why on earth it was necessary to dig so many manholes beggars belief. Surely they can’t all be used.
8 of 41: Am I in your way?
Okay, the only way this could possibly work is for the train track to be out of commission because the first train that came through that way would knock that balcony right off the building. Seriously, the train tracks must give the resident of this establishment a pretty strange view, and if trains are running on any other tracks next to this one, the place must be very noisy indeed. But with the green-painted doors, and the potted plant, the resident clearly has pride in their strangely-placed home.
9 of 41: Making good
When whoever built this bathroom tried to use it for the first time, they must have been infuriated to find that the door wouldn’t close because the toilet’s in the way. What a design fail! But never fear. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Some ingenious individual has avoided a demolition disaster by simply cutting a toilet seat-shaped hole in the door. Genius! The door probably makes new visitors to this house laugh … and then grimace because they have to use a bathroom with a huge hole in the door.
10 of 41: Phone for a giraffe
This really is a fail of giant proportions. The only creatures who would be able to use it are giraffes, the tallest animals in the world. And they’re not exactly known for their sparkling conversation. No, we can only imagine that the construction team that installed this telephone booth were either giant themselves, who were setting the phone to their ear height. Or, they had been exposed to some toxic fumes that did strange things to their judgment. Either way, this phone is unusable except to superheroes.
11 of 41: Tight corners
Who in their right mind would build a urinal and a toilet so close together? Obviously, they’re not going to be used at the same time, but it must be pretty disgusting to sit down on the toilet and have the urinal in your face. The smell wouldn’t be very nice, and the germ situation … just yuck! And as for getting your thighs into the small space, good luck with that. Nope. This is just someone trying to shove everything into too small a space.
12 of 41: Back to front
Of course, door handles are a great invention. They help us to open and close doors easily. But wait. What’s this? The inside portion of this door handle seems to have been put on the wrong way around so that the door can no longer be closed. What a silly thing to do. Now, when winter hits, that freezing wind is going find an easy way into that building, and no-one can do a thing about it. The solution is simple: take the inside part of the handle off, and turn it around. Problem solved.
13 of 41: Pole position
This one has us baffled. Clearly, the construction workers responsible for this epic fail were tasked with erecting the electricity pole on the SIDE of the road, not in the middle. Whose crazy idea was it to put the pole smack bang in the middle of the road, thus preventing two cars from driving abreast from each other? And we hope the white paint alerts drivers at night to the hazard or there might be some nasty accidents. We think this is a case of shirking responsibility at the expense of road users.
14 of 41: ‘SOTP’
In case you didn’t realize it, the sign these guys have painted on the road is meant to say ‘STOP,’ not ‘SOTP.’ But the human brain has the astounding ability to read a word correctly if the letters are mixed, provided the first letter and the last letter of the word are in the correct place. Our brain makes the adjustments necessary to read the word as it is meant. And we certainly hope that’s the case here because a road sign telling you to ‘SOTP’ could be a little confusing if your brain’s not playing ball.
15 of 41: That shrinking feeling
It seems that in spite of the fact that this multi-lane street is probably the busiest in the city, some genius went ahead and built an estate right in the middle of the road. This has wreaked havoc with the traffic, especially at rush hour. If you’re trying to negotiate this road, it must be a nightmare to wait for your turn to use the single lane in the middle. How the relevant authorities allowed this to happen can only be guessed, but this is one of the worst construction decisions ever.
16 of 41: Entering the ether
This is a truly bizarre sight. A flight of stairs that if you walked on it would take you ‘thump’ into the side of the building. But wait a minute. Maybe there’s a more esoteric explanation to this. Perhaps this stairway takes you to a mysterious land full of fantasy and visions? What if it takes you to realms unknown? Hogwarts, anybody? Well, we’ll probably never know, but one thing’s for sure. This is a staircase, not to heaven, but to nowhere … we think.
17 of 41: Enemy elimination?
This slide, apart from being downright dangerous because it’s sharp enough to cut you at the end, leads anyone foolish enough to try it somewhere unknown, way underground. And we’re imagining that the unlucky trickster is going to land with an almighty ‘thump’! But what could be the explanation for this? Maybe the construction workers were feeling annoyed, but what’s for sure is that there’s been absolutely no effective communication whatsoever. We can only imagine what’s down there, but wouldn’t like to find out. We’re hoping they sort this situation out asap.
18 of 41: Why? … just, why?
When you looked at this picture, you might have done a doubletake, and for a good reason. It’s obvious that the top balcony, looking pretty and worthy of Juliet herself, leads off a room or suite of some kind. But the bottom one? The only way to access it would be to leap over the balustrade because it leads from precisely nowhere. One can only think that the architect in question has a ‘thing’ about symmetry and couldn’t bear to leave the frontage looking uneven. Quite an expensive obsession.
19 of 41: Pointless
Take a look at this picture. Can you see what we see? That’s right: a gate that is completely and utterly useless. There is no point for the gate to be there. All you have to do to access the property on which these apartments stand is to step over the tiny hedge. And the silliest thing of all is that anyone entering the apartment block has to enter a code at the pointless gate in order to gain access. We think they left out the bit about securing the perimeter with fencing. Fail!
20 of 41: Getting drenched
This is really a stupid situation. It looks like the washbasin is pretty old, but the faucet a bit newer. That means that this family has had someone come and install a new faucet, only to find that the water pours out all over the floor. It’s completely impossible to use, and the person who did the installation should be sued. It’s a crying shame that every time these people want to get clean, they have to flood the bathroom. Name and shame this building contractor.
21 of 41: Giant nation
Remember the phone booth that was put up so high that only a giraffe or a giant could reach it? Well, we reckon this cashpoint was erected by the same people. How on earth is anyone supposed to transact on this ATM when nobody of normal height can reach it? This is another example of absolutely pointless construction that’s an outright fail. We wonder if it ever actually gets used, although this guy seems to be quite determined. But honestly, how could a bank have got this so very wrong?
22 of 41: Tight corner
This is another situation in which the construction team or designer don’t seem to have taken the basics into account. Here we have a stairway in which the turn from one flight to another is so tight that most people would have to squash themselves into the corner in order to get down. Actually, it’s nigh-on impossible to use these stairs, and they need to be rebuilt taking the actual, real dimensions and conditions of the building into consideration. We hope there’s a lift, otherwise, everyone’s on a strict diet.
23 of 41: Careful!
This one had us laughing our heads off. Who in the world designed this building? Whoever they were, they were obsessed with doors, even if they lead to nowhere. These doors should never have been included in the design, and we wonder why the construction contractors didn’t say anything to anyone in charge. It’s patently obvious that those doors are a potential danger to anyone inside the building. They should be bricked up and plastered over to take away the danger. What a dangerous, possibly fatal, mistake to have made.
24 of 41: Getting your way regardless
There’s no question that garages are great spaces to have. If you don’t park your car inside, a garage makes an excellent storage facility in which you can store everything that doesn’t have its own place in your house. So, while we can understand the owner’s enthusiasm for a garage, we simply cannot understand why they’ve had it built up in the air. Only a flying car could get in there, and they’re a few years away from mass production. And you can’t store anything in there unless you’re the size of a giant.
25 of 41: Oh dear!
As you can guess, bridges are monumentally expensive to build and take many hours to design and construct, to say nothing of the quantity of materials used. That’s why this photograph tells a tale that is sad indeed. Imagine getting to the end of one half of the bridge, only to find that the other half ends too far away and in the wrong direction. Of course, daredevils would set up a ramp and do stunts over the gap between the two halves, but this has to be one of the most epic fails ever.
26 of 41: Just too high
What were they thinking putting in this door and windows way higher than floor level? Were they anticipating rising tides as a result of climate change? We don’t think they were that forward-thinking, but can’t think of another explanation for this door in the sky. This set-up is so odd that people come and have their photographs taken with it as proof that this craziness exists. Look at this guy. He’s off to show his friends what a weird house this really is. He could probably jump high enough to reach the door, though.
27 of 41: Dangerously out of reach
If you thought the previous door was crazy, take a look at this one. Painted red and labeled ‘fire exit,’ how in the world would one use the door in the case of an emergency? If one exited the door in a panic, one would fall quite a dizzy distance to the floor, so you’re really just swapping one danger for another. Perhaps the white door-looking thing below flips up into a temporary floor. Whatever the case may be, this is definitely one of the most dangerous fails we’ve come across.
28 of 41: But is it art?
You know what they say: context is everything. This door is, like the two others before it, has been placed so ridiculously high above ground level, that no-one without a death wish would use it. But a closer look might give a clue to why the architect decided on this rather odd design feature. The building, in downtown Wabash, Indiana, is a center for “arts, entertainment, dining, boutiques, and antiques.” So, maybe this strangely-elevated door is actually one means of showing artistic expression. But, then again, maybe not. We’ll probably never know.
29 of 41: Stairway to nowhere
Here we have another fine example of a stairway that seems to lead absolutely nowhere. Unless, of course, it leads to a portal to another dimension. Maybe Hogwarts? Flights of fancy aside, stairs aren’t cheap to build, and we’re wondering just how much money was wasted on building a stairway that goes nowhere. It’s a waste of building materials and might prove a little confusing to anyone using the stairs. What did the construction workers think when they were building it? There’s just no other way to describe this than annoying.
30 of 41: Half a view
Is half a view better than none? We’re not sure. You’d have to ask the poor person who lives or works in this room. Their view has been messed up by a recently-built flight of stairs. We can’t imagine the owner behind this now partly-obliterated window would have given permission for the stairs to be built in a way that blocks their view. Is it even legal to do this? After all, half of the person’s source of natural light has been blocked off, seriously affecting the value of the property and the enjoyment of living there.
31 of 41: Tight fit
Okay, it’s important to have a toilet in a bathroom; no-one can argue with that. But if putting in a toilet in is just for the sake of doing so and not so that people can actually use it, it’s plain stupid. I mean, imagine trying to actually sit down on that loo. How would your legs fit in? You’d have to stand. Anyone built chubbier than a skeleton just isn’t going to be able to fit in. What an epic fail. And we reckon it could be violating health and safety regulations.
32 of 41: Cycles interrupts
It’s great to see that cyclists have their own road to cycle in this area, but something’s gone horribly wrong. First of all, there’s a big fat pole in the middle of one lane, and to make matters even worse, the pole seems to be held up by a whole lot of concrete blocks. So a cyclist using the track has either got to get very tricky and jump over the blocks like a daredevil or try and get past this mess by cycling on the grass. This is a very unsatisfactory situation indeed.
33 of 41: Do you dare?
We’re pretty sure that when this bridge was designed and built, no-one thought it would end up like this. It looks like rocks and bricks have been piled up in the center of the bridge to prevent it from collapsing. The scary part is wondering just how effective this way of holding the bridge up really is? We’d be too nervous to drive over the bridge in case it collapsed in the middle, and we went tumbling into the river. No, this construction has turned into a dangerously epic fail.
34 of 41: Pole position
This is yet another example of a badly-positioned pole. In this instance, it’s smack, bang in the center of the cycling lane. Why oh why was it put there? We cannot think of a reason other than to force cyclists to dangerously dodge into the next lane, which might be full of automobiles at the time. The pole also doesn’t seem to have a purpose, so this is right up there on the epic construction fails list. We can only imagine that two different municipal departments were responsible for the road and for the pole.
35 of 41: On your knees
Remember the cashpoint from earlier on that only a giant would be able to use? Well, whoever was responsible for this cashpoint went the other way entirely. They’ve placed it so close to the floor that you actually have to sit on the sidewalk to use the machine. We’re pretty sure that there aren’t any people who could remain standing to withdraw money here, so what the person responsible for its positioning can have been thinking has us baffled. And it’s certainly no good for anyone with mobility issues.
36 of 41: Not what it seems
If you walked into this office and saw the blinds closed, you’d naturally think there’s a window behind the blind. But you’d be wrong. The real story is that some bright spark decided to make the room look more inviting by implying that it has a window. After all, who wants to work in an office without at least some sort of view? So imagine a new worker’s disappointment on opening the blinds for the first time. It’s like a cruel joke made at the expense of the unsuspecting.
37 of 41: Anyone for parkour?
A lot of these construction fails, you might have noticed, leave you wondering what the point of the thing in question is. Here’s another good example. What is the point of having a flight of stairs that ends with a barrier you’d have to jump, and no gate? Why did they build the stairs in the first place? The only reason we can think of is that the designer was a parkour fan who snuck a great practice venue into the design. Other than that, we’re fresh out of ideas for what the point of this stairway is.
38 of 41: Space-saving
These days, space is not so easy to come by, and it often comes at a hefty price, especially in cities. So, space-saving becomes of paramount importance if you don’t have much space to work with. But the only way you could sit down on this toilet is if you sat on the very edge. And we’re very worried about the hygiene of this set-up. After all, that looks like a kitchen sink above the toilet, and we all know that kitchens and bathrooms don’t belong together. This is gross.
39 of 41: Unfinished business
You know what it’s like. You arrive to catch a train at the station, but find you’re on the wrong side of the tracks for the platform your train is arriving at. That means you’ve got to take the overpass over the tracks. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, usually it wouldn’t be, but at this particular train station, something went horribly wrong. It looks like they were almost finished built the overpass when something happened, and they stopped before finishing. That’s one dangerous jump!
40 of 41: Window to nowhere
Look closely at the window in this photograph. See what we see? Yup, it’s been bricked up and looks quite ugly from the outside. Don’t know about you, but we really wonder why the owners have blocked the window and the light. Do they have a photographic studio in there in which complete darkness is required? Or is there some more sinister explanation? Someone in residence who can’t be exposed to light? A vampire, perhaps? The Count himself, or someone we’ve yet to hear of. Ah, the imagination. It works tricks on the mind. The truth is probably perfectly rational and reasonable … or is it?
41 of 41: The friendly ‘Exit’
Yes, you really don’t have to try hard to get out of this exit door. No emergency, no protocols, simply step out and enjoy the other side. Quite confusing it seems… isn’t it? Maybe the door is in the wrong place or maybe the exit sign is not required here. There’s something for sure. One sure thing is that whoever engineered this marvelous piece of design here, must be having some great degree in construction or architecture. Masters in Fails, maybe? It’s for you to guess.