On April Fools Day, five of the best architecture and design pranks

On April Fools Day, five of the best architecture and design pranks from the Dezeen archive

Did you spot our April Fool story earlier today? Here's a roundup of other spoof stories we've run over the years, including bread-shaped skyscrapers and a hotel on the moon.

The first day of April is traditionally a day for playing practical jokes, and people who fall for them are called April Fools. But its not just April 1 when prank stories can make the news...


Private Crossrail station planned underneath Adjaye-designed London house

Private Crossrail station planned underneath Adjaye-designed London house

On April Fools Day two years ago we teamed up with photographer Ed Reeve to falsely claim he was about to get a private tube station beneath his David Adjaye-designed house.

Many readers were taken in, with one commenting: "I told everyone in my office about this and why it would never work... Now I feel slightly silly."

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Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

Richard Branson launches plane-shaped skyscraper and moon hotel

On 1 April 2014, Richard Branson unveiled a range of unlikely looking architectural projects, including a hotel on the moon that looked suspiciously like the cover artwork of Mike Oldfield's 1973 Tubular Bells album – the record that launched Branson's Virgin label.

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Bread-shaped skyscrapers planned for London

The same day, we unveiled sensational plans for two London skyscrapers in the shape of slices of bread. Located either side of the Gherkin, they would create a new ensemble known as "the ploughman's lunch".

Unsurprisingly most readers saw through this one. "I hope people don't think this is half-baked thinking, and make a whole meal out of it," commented one.

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Serero Architects to add giant platform to the top of the Eiffel Tower

Serero Architects to add giant platform to the top of the Eiffel Tower

Dezeen itself has been the victim of a couple of "fake news" stories. In 2008, we ran a story about Eiffel DNA, a competition-winning proposal by Serero Architects to redesign the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

It turned out the project, and the competition, were both made up. Other major news outlets including the Guardian also fell for it and since the story emerged a week or so before April Fools Day, our phoney-story radar was not operating at full strength.

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"Genetically modified stingrays may interbreed with wild population" says Rayfish shoe brand

Bio-Customised Sneakers by Rayfish made of patterned stingray skin grown to order

In 2012, we reported on a range of sneakers made from bio-engineered stingrays, which could be bred with skins of any imaginable pattern. This wasn't an April Fool prank but a coordinated attempt "to catalyze a debate on emerging biotechnologies," as the instigator later explained.

We suspected at the time that Rayfish was a made-up company, but that didn't stop its trainers being shortlisted for a design award the following year.

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By the way if you didn't guess already, today's spoof story is this one. Read all our April Fool stories.