The 30 St Mary Axe first emerged above London’s skyline in 2003, it was unlike any tall building that Londoners had ever previously seen. It almost instantly became known “the Gherkin,” and, although the likeness to a pickled cucumber might seem a touch far-fetched, the nickname does acknowledge not only the tower’s unique, organic shape, but also its proud claim to be “green.” The building’s well-known architect, Lord Foster, has described it as a “pine cone.”
The shape of the building allows the 40-story building to occupy a minimum of ground space. The diameter of the building is 50 metres at base level, it expands bulbous waist of 56 metres on the 16th before tapering towards its highest point. In fact, the buildings height of 180 metres is only 2 metres greater than its maximum circumference. This means that the most of the site is left free as public space, a valuable commodity in London’s densely built financial heart. The shape also offers less resistance to the wind, reducing the down-droughts and eddies that swirl around tall structures.
The buildings consume up to 30 percent less energy than an equivalent-sized office block of conventional design. Much of this saving is achieved through the tower’s “biomorphic” form, which reduces the reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning. The atria that spiral up around the core open up the structure to sunlight and fresh air, which is drawn by natural convection through the diagonal raising levels. Windows can also be opened to allow natural ventilation of the building.
The building was officially opened in March 2004 and it can, in theory, accommodate about 4,000 people.
The building contains nearly 35 kilometers on structural steel.
The glass cladding consists of 5,500 panels, covering the equivalent of 5 soccer fields.
Ganter Bridge is a reinforced concrete road bridge which is the longest spanning bridge in Switzerland, located along the Simplon Pass road in the canton of Valais about 10 km south of Brig. It was designed by renowned Swiss civil engineer Christian Menn and completed in 1980. The overall length is 678 m with a main span of 174 m, and a maximum tower height of 150 m.
The bridge’s form consists of an S-curve high above the Ganter River, at an elevation of about 1,450 m above sea level. Two main towers and five smaller piers support a total of eight spans with lengths of 35 m, 50 m, 80 m, 127 m, 174 m, 127 m , 50 m , and 35 m. The longest span between the two towers is straight, while the remaining spans lie along curves with a radius of 200 m.
Its unique design, combining elements of a cable-stayed bridge and a prestressed cantilever hollow-box girder bridge, with triangular concrete walls above the roadway which contain the prestressed cable-stays, has been awarded many prizes. This hybrid type of cable-stayed and girder bridge is sometimes referred to as an extradosed bridge.
The bridge is 678 meters long , with a main span of 174 meters. The tallest pier is 150 meters high.
The central span is straight while the sides spans are curved.
The piers flare outward above road deck to give an added sense of substance and solidity.
The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, in the main courtyard (of the Louvre Palace in Paris). The large pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1989, it has become a landmark of the city of Paris.
Commissioned by the President of France, François Mitterrand, in 1984, it was designed by the architect I. M. Pei. The structure, which was constructed entirely with glass segments and metal poles, reaches a height of 21.6 metres. Its square base has sides of 34 metres (112 ft) and a base surface area of 1,000 square metres. It consists of 603 rhombus-shaped and 70 triangular glass segments. The pyramid structure was engineered by Nicolet Chartrand Knoll Ltd. of Montreal.
The pyramid and the underground lobby beneath it were created because of a series of problems with the Louvre’s original main entrance, which could no longer handle the enormous number of visitors on an everyday basis visitors entering through the pyramid descend into the spacious lobby then re-ascend into the main Louvre buildings.
It has been claimed by some that the glass panes in the Louvre Pyramid number exactly 666, “the number of the beast”, often associated with Satan. Dominique Stezepfandt’s book François Mitterrand, Grand Architect de l’Univers declares that “the pyramid is dedicated to a power described as the Beast in the Book of Revelation. The entire structure is based on the number 6.”
Louvre Pyramid is the largest museum in the world, it will take you 100 days to explore the whole museum.
The Louvre wasn’t always used as a museum, and the Nazis even used the historic monument as a storeroom for stolen art during World War II.
Louvre pyramid has 380,000 art pieces and one of them is the Mona lisa.
The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn near Millau in southern France.
Designed by the British architect Norman Foster and French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux, it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast’s summit at 343 meters above the base of the structure. It is the 17th highest bridge deck in the world, being 270 meters between the road deck and the ground below. The Millau Viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Béziers and Montpellier. The cost of construction was approximately €400 million. It was formally inaugurated on 14 December 2004 and opened to traffic on 16 December. The bridge has been consistently ranked as one of the great engineering achievements of all time and received the 2006 International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering Outstanding Structure Award.
The bridge is also one of the most extremely dangerous bridge because of its location and architecture. Driving with high winds is particularly demanding for large vehicles such as trucks and buses and trailers. Their large surface, especially when the wind hits laterally, increase the risk of overturning. If traffic is not banned them altogether, there’s only one solution to avoid the accident: slow down and increase the safety distances. Light vehicles will need to exercise extreme vigilance when overtaking, especially heavyweight causing air calls and two wheels that can easily swerve. Again, slow is the best way to protect yourself.
The bridge was opened by President Jacques Chirac. In his speech he praised the design saying that it was a ‘monument to French engineering genius’ and ‘a miracle of equilibrium’.
The bridge was entirely privately financed and cost 394 million euros. The aim is to cut the traveling time to southern France, removing the bottle neck at Millau, through the completion of the motorway between Paris and the Mediterranean.
The Millau Viaduct Bridge has earned many records for being on of the worlds most dangerous bridge.
Construction record for the highest pylon was broken during the building of the bridge.
It is built on the harp design of cable-stayed bridges.
The Sony Center in Berlin is a part of a vast cultural and commercial quarters compromising seven buildings and covering some 120 acres on Potsdamer Platz. A number of well-known multinational corporations including Sony and Daimler-Chrysler have been responsible for the developing sections of the scheme. Along wth its offices, Sony owns Four-story flagship style store and Sony Professional Center Site.
Sony Center contains a mix of shops, restaurants, a conference center, hotel rooms, luxurious rented suites and condominiums, offices, art and film museums, cinemas, an IMAX theater, a Legoland Discovery Centre, and a “Sony Style” store. Free Wi-Fi connections are available for all visitors. During major sports events like the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the center also had a large television screen on which the games were broadcast to viewers sitting in the large open area in the middle.
The Sony Center is located near the Berlin Potsdamer Platz railway station, which can be accessed on foot. A large shopping center is nearby, as are many hotels, the Deutsche Bahn central offices, and an office building featuring the fastest lift in Europe.
The center was designed by Helmut Jahn and Peter Walker as landscape architect and construction was completed in 2000 at a total cost of €750M. In February 2008 Sony sold Berlin’s Sony Center for less than €600M to a group of German and US investment funds, including investment bank Morgan Stanley, Corpus Sireo and an affiliate of The John Buck Company.
The Marlene Dietrich Collection has 440 pairs of the star’s shoes, 15,000 photos, and 2,500 sound recordings.
The textile material of the Forum Consists of self-cleaning Teflon fabric coated with glass fibre.
The fabric roof of the forum is 102 meters wide at its widest point.
Ever heard of it? An Ice hotel!? Well in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, a new concept of Ice hotel has come up. The inspiration of the hotel began in 1989, when a group of Japanese ice artists visited the Swedish village of Jukkasjarvi. The next year they came with a project of building the Ice hotel.
The hotel will rebuild every spring when blocks of ice cut from the river and are stored in the freezer. When the roof starts dripping that means the season is over and let the hotel flow its way. Every guest has ice walls, ice ceilings, ice floor and ice bed with a mattress and sheet made of reindeer skins.
Each suite is individually themed and hand carved by artists commissioned from around the world and a wide range of disciplines. Spending a night in Ice hotel is a surreal experience and a memory for life.
Close to the Ice hotel there’s an Ice Chapel, which is often used for weddings and christenings.
Jukkasjarvi, the village where the Ice hotel is built means ‘The meeting place’ in the local Sami language.
The ice is crystal clear because of the fresh water and the purity of the rivers water.
The Wembley stadium has the capacity to enclose 90,000 spectators, versatile events and sports take place in the Wembley stadium every once in a while. All these versatile sports need a high quality ground so all the athletes with great potential can perform their best.
To maintain the turf some requirements are needed like right amount of sunlight not too much because the turf can burn, right amount of ventilation and not too much due. This stadium was designed by the World Stadium Team (WST), a joint venture between world class architects Firm Fosters & Partners and the global stadium specialists HOK sport.
The arch on top of the Wembley stadium can be seen from miles across London because of its soaring height of 133 meters.The stadium is in a circular shape wrapped around with aluminium and glass. Massive screens to spectate, and one of the most distinctive feature was the roaring sound of the spectators.
Steel in arch weighs 1,929 tons as much as 275 double-Decker buses
Construction of the stadium has included 275 miles of mains electrical cabling.
The stadium houses the four largest restaurants in London and 98 kitchens.
The London eye is located in London, England. This enormous Ferris wheel is at a petrifying 135 meter height. The London eye is the cities landmark commonly known by tourists.
The Husband-Wife team of architects responsible for the built of the wheel are signed up with a partnership with British airlines. David marks and Julia barefield drew the design of the London eye. All the technique involved was implemented from scratch since it was never seen or done.
Although the London eye is based on a Ferris wheel still it has 32 capsules which are air conditioned. The capsules move at a speed of 26 cm per second. The people enter the capsules from ground level while some are in the air.
The wheel and the capsules weigh 1,120 tons turn on cantilevered steel spindle 25 meters long.
Each capsule has its own motorized stability system, keeping it horizontal at all times
The Millennium Bridge located in Newcastle, England is not a normal bridge but a bridge which comes under the category ‘canal’. Canal bridges are huge bridges which are divided in two parts, when a ship is crossing by a canal bridge. The bridge will tilt itself 30-50m degrees up from both sides.
Where as in the Millennium Bridge, the whole body will tilt in one piece. When the Millennium Bridge first operated only 35,000 viewers were standing by. People still see the bridge tilting but such a beautiful bridge can also be seen without motion in its gears.
The bridges cost price was 40 million USD and took more than 2 years to complete after 1 year of the construction was ready to operate in 2003. The beautiful and brilliantly original design by the Wilkinson and Eyre was the outright winner of a competition launched by Gateshead Council in 1996.
The hydraulic system is powered by 8 electric motors which generate 589 horse power.
When the bridge is raised the suspension cables are kept taught by 14-ton casting to either side.
The bridge is self-cleaning, with litter rolling into chutes at either ends each time the structure tilts.
The Scottish Parliament, a marvel of the modern day. Designed by Enric Miralles, This site is in Edinburgh’s medieval old town squeezed between a royal palaces.
The Catalan architect started sketching flowers and plants as the base layout of the Scottish parliament. Architecturally there were no concessions either to traditional or modern principle rational designs.
Problems were faced due to the death of the Catalan architect but got resolved.
The Building unusual layout and quality o finish became apparent in the pubic foyer, Concrete had been polished to a point where it was as soft as marble. The windows are pretty unusual as each window is handmade and each one has its own design.
Each of the 112 nodes in the debating hall are separately designed for their own purpose.
The building is clad in 6,000 sq. m of Kennay granite from Aberdeenshire, in Scotland.
Each office has an area by the window known as “a contemplate space”.