Abandoned architectural marvels in China’s largest ghost town

Story highlights

French photographer Raphael Olivier visited China's largest ghost city Kangbashi (New Ordos)

Officials invested over $1 billion into the development of the city, today it's home to a fraction of its projected population

Buildings by high profile architects are abandoned

Olivier recently went to N. Korea to document its architecture, see photos below

CNN  — 

Once intended to accommodate over one million residents, the new town of Kangbashi in northern China is today home to just one-tenth of its projected population.

In the early 2000s, Chinese government officials poured over $1 billion into the development of the city, several miles south of Ordos in Inner Mongolia. The result, according to French photographer Raphael Olivier, is a “very beautiful city, full of contradictions.”

Drawn to the “post-apocalyptic” feel generated by the juxtaposition of vacant, large-scale buildings and the surrounding desert, Olivier documented the ghost town and its partially complete architectural marvels.

A failed utopia