The designers of this phone-shaped skyscraper couldn't see past the '90s

Wikipedia CommonsThe Torre TelefoĢnica Chile.

Phone design evolves quickly. It’s hard to imagine what the iPhones and Galaxies of the 2030s will look like.

If you’re having trouble remembering what cell phones used to look like, look no further than the Torre Telefónica in Santiago, Chile. Located in the city’s center, the 470-foot-tall tower is designed to resemble a mobile phone — from the ’90s.

Built in 1993, the $75 million skyscraper serves as the Chilean headquarters for Movistar, a popular phone company in Latin America. Phone-inspired architecture for a telecommunications company’s offices — makes sense, right?

To its architect, Mario Paredes, the Torre’s design likely seemed like a good idea at the time. In the early ’90s, box phones were considered one of the most innovative mobile phones, since they were so small that they could fit in your pocket.

But in the 21st century, the skyscraper is now a bit of a cringe-worthy (though nostalgic) eyesore. Let it be a lesson that architects probably shouldn’t design permanent structures to look like pieces of rapidly changing technology.

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