Monocle 24 Explores Architectural White Elephants

Cities across the world are full of white elephants – something which ArchDaily has recently explored. In the latest episode of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, the team examine similar cases from the unfinished Palestinian Parliament to redundant projects in Belgrade. This edition also looks at the RIBA's new International Prize, which was awarded this year to Grafton Architects for their University of Engineering and Technology building in Lima.

Courtesy of Monocle 24
Unfinished Palestinian Parliament Building. Image Courtesy of Monocle 24

Palestinian Parliament Building

Twenty years ago, with the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in full swing, the Palestinians began constructing their first parliament building. But when the peace process fell by the wayside, violence swept the region and the half-finished parliament became an afterthought. Monocle contributor Mary Pelletier went to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Dis to see why this sandy-coloured monolith is still stuck in limbo.

Santiago Calatrava's Constitution Bridge in Venice. Image Courtesy of Monocle 24


Belgrade used to be the capital of Yugoslavia. Now it’s the capital city of a considerably diminished Serbia. And that’s left it with all sorts of redundant buildings – everything from banks to army barracks – all designed to serve a much larger country. Campaigners say these places could be repurposed so they’ve called on experts from other European countries with experience of turning white elephants into something more useful.

About this author
Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "Monocle 24 Explores Architectural White Elephants" 08 Dec 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.