Westin New York Hotel

Among the most exuberant new towers to arrive on the New York skyline is the Westin New York Hotel on Times Square. Standing 45 stories and incorporating 863 rooms, the distinctive building is a flamboyant as its location, soaring above traffic and colorful billboards of Times Square in the Broadway theater distinct of Manhattan.

The design is conceived as a symbolic fusion of earth and sky spliced by a curving beam of light. Finishing in a skyward-pointing flourish, the western “sky” half of the tower is sheathed in vertically striped glass in intense steel-blue and pale purple. The eastern portion sits a few stories lower than its partner. It visually anchors the building to the ground by the horizontal stripes of shimmering bronze and copper glass that depict the earth. Between the two sculptural segments, the great 108 meters long Beam of Light runs up the facade facing 42nd street and bursts out the top of the building to pierce the sky.

Closer to the ground, the shaft of the tower sits on a chunky base clad in a colorful abstract design. this portion of the building contains the 126 executive club rooms and suites before is drops down the to street level, which there is a glass area. The energy and the vibrancy of the exterior is continued inside on a smaller scale. Here the distinctive color palette and geometric and abstract shapes seen on the outside are reworked and incorporated into textile and wall murals.

There is a bold abstract art, sleek black furnishings, contemporary furniture, and rooms are finessed with luxurious materials. Along with guest rooms, the hotel has bars, a pastry shop, and cafe, together with a spa and fitness center, more than 30 state-state-of-the-art meeting rooms, and no fewer than three ballrooms. Also part of the project is at ground level is E walk-a huge complex compromising stores, restaurants, a blues nightclub, and a movie theater.

Opened on October 2002, the Westin New York, which was designed by the architecture practice Architectonic, forms a key part of the regeneration of the previously run-down Times Square neighborhood. Along with theatergoers, the hotel serves a large business clientele which is drawn to the several million square feet of new office space that has been added to this area in recent years.

Facts

  • The hotel exterior is wrapped in 8,000 sheets of glass, back painted in different colors.
  • Standing 162 metres tall, this tower was the largest new-build hotel to open in Manhattan in 17 years.
  • There are more that 40 theaters within a few minutes’ of walk of the hotel.

Thunder Horse Oil Platform

 

Despite an almost universal recognition of the need to find alternatives to fossil fuel, the world’s insatiable demand for oil and gas continues to gain pace, driving oil companies to search fresh reserves under ever more challenging conditions. The Thunder Horse Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is an astonishing example of how this challenge has stimulated engineers to build increasingly massive and sophisticated structures.

The oil field, discovered 240 kilometers south of the Louisiana coast by BP in 1999, is the largest ever found in this region, but tapping into this rich reservoir poses problems that can scarcely be imagined. The oil lies buried under 6,000 metres of rock and mud beneath the sea 1,830 metres deep. When drilled for such a depth, oil emerges at a pressure of 17,400 psi and at a temperature of 135 degrees Celsius-conditions never previously encountered on any offshore rig. It was these extreme demands that led to innovative floating oil platform in the world.

With a deck size of three soccer field, the platform is essentially a giant raft that floats on submerged watertight pontoons.The main structure, supported on four corner columns, is a rectangular steel box measuring 136 metres long, 111 meters wide, and 10 metres high. It contains living quarters for a workforce of 139, while operational equipment is housed in modules alongside the helipad and drilling derrick on the open deck. Licked into a network of submarine pipelines, Thunder Horse is designed to produce up to 250,000 barrels of oil and 5.6 million cubic metres of natural gas a day, but, unlike most offshore rigs, it incorporates a range of innovative features designed to minimize environmental harm. Sand is bought up to the surface by pumps, then shipped to shore for cleaning and recycling, while waste water, instead of being flushed into the ocean, is mixed with seawater and then injected back into the oilfield to maintain the reservoir’s high pressure.

BP discovered this oilfield by sending the drill-ship Discovery 534 to sink a “discovery well” in 1999. Enough oil was found to have the drill-ship Discoverer Enterprise send down an appraisal well. Discoverer 534 then found more oil further north, BP started building the production platform. Despite risks that the oil estimated were wrong or the oil prices were collapse, the potential profit is enormous. Thunder Horse is expected to hand at least 1 billion barrels of oil over next 25 years and, after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, prices rocketed, making Thunder Horse’s “black gold” worth $70 billion on that day.

Thunder Horse PDQ was evacuated with the approach of Hurricane Dennis in July 2005. After the hurricane passed, the platform fell into a 20 degree list and was in danger of foundering. The platform was designed for a 100-year event, and inspection teams found no hull damage and no leaks through its hull.

Facts

  • Designing and building the platform took 15 million man hours.
  • Thunder Horse displaces 143,000 tons of seawater.
  • The platforms impact on the environment is lowered as it recovers waste heat, reducing the energy bill.

Hangzhou Bay Bridge

The Hangzhou Bay Bridge-or, more pressingly, the Great Trans-oceanic Hangzhou bay Bridge-is a cable-stayed structure structure. when the bridge was completed in 2008 is was the first direct road link between Shanghai and Ningbo, in the Zhejiang Province. The bridge is the longest trans-oceanic bridge in the world. Construction work started on 2003 and toke nearly a decade of feasibility studies. The bridge is 36 Kilometers long with six expressway lanes in two directions, making it the second longest bridge in the world. The bridge is designed to last a hundred years and to carry traffic traveling at 100 kph.

The highway runs southwest from Shanghai to the city of Jiaxin, in Zhejiang Province, before swinging southeast, directly across Hangzhou Bay, to the city of Ci-xi, also in Zhejiang Province, then continuing southeast to the major city of Ningbo. Before the bridge was completed the route between Shanghai and Ningbo was 400 kilometers and after completion of the bridge the distance is just 80 kilometers!

One important economic consequence of this is that Ningbo, with its up-to-date container port at Beilum, will be able to compete on more equal terms terms with Shanghai’s vast docks at Pu-dong for international maritime freight. To the Ci-xi, large new industrial zones are being built to add to the already massive capacity of the Yangtze Delta region. Another economic plus is that tourism, especially in the domestic market, because the bridge has made a four hour long drive into one hour long which does attract more people for their weekends.

Facts

  • The Hangzhou Bay Bridge costed approximately US$1.42 billion.
  • When the bridge was opened, the traffic flow was expected to be around 52,000 vehicles per day, though in 2009 it was raised to 96,000 vehicles per day.
  • Two thirds of china’s national private investments originate in the Province of Zhejing.

30 St Mary Axe

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.

Facts

  • 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

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.

Facts

  • 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.

Kamuthi Solar Power Project

 

Kamuthi Solar Power Project is a solar park spread over an area of 2,500 acres in Kamuthi, 90 km from Madurai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The project was commissioned by Adani Power. With a generating capacity of 648 MW at a single location, it is the world’s second largest solar park.

ABB commissioned five substations to connect the solar park with the National Grid on 13 June 2016.  Kamuthi Solar Power Project was completed on 21 September 2016 with an investment of around US$710 million. The solar plant consists of 2.5 million solar modules, 380,000 foundations, 27,000 metres of structures, 576 inverters, 154 transformers, and almost 6,000 km of cables. Construction of the structures needed to mount the solar panels required 30,000 tonnes of galvanised steel. Around 8,500 workers installed an average of 11 MW of capacity per day to complete the project within 8 months.

The entire solar park is connected to a 400 KV substation of the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corp. The solar panels are cleaned daily by a self-charged robotic system. Given the solar resource of around 5.5-6.0 kWh/m2 per day an annual generation of 1.3 TWh/yr may be possible.

Facts

  • Gujarat-based Adani group had signed a MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up the largest solar photovoltaic plant in India at a cost of Rs 4,536 crore in Ramanathapuram district.
  • Although a solar plant of 1,000 MW was proposed, the capacity was later downgraded to 648 MW as a single large tract of land was not available for the project.
  • About 4,000 acres of land was acquired on lease and only barren lands were acquired from individuals. No government land was given for setting up the plant.
  • When this solar power plant will work to its full capacity, it will account for nearly 10 per cent of India’s installed solar capacity of around seven gigawatts (GW). It is likely to produce enough power for around 150,000 local households each year.
  • On June 13, the power plant became operational after five substations successfully connected 360 MW of power to the national grid.
  • Even at 360 MW, the output of the solar park is higher than India’s first solar power park located in Charanka district of Gujarat. The current capacity of Charanka power plant is 345 MW.
  • The Adani Group had come under criticism for selling solar power to Tamil Nadu government at a much higher rate (Rs 7.01/kWh) than national average (Rs 4.70/kWh).
  • Tamil Nadu government also faced flak for fixing such a high tariff in September 2014 and sticking to the same tariff despite a visible fall in price in other states.
  • This solar plant, which is a part of Indian government’s plan to build 25 large-scale solar parks between 500 MW and 1,000 MW over five years, will sell solar power to the state government for 25 years. That indicates a huge loss to the state exchequer.
  • In February 2016, a fire broke out at the solar power plant damaging four solar panels. The fire had broken out when power was being fed into the local grid on a trial basis.

 

National Grand Theater

The National Centre for the Performing Arts and colloquially described as The Giant Egg, is an arts centre containing an opera house in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 m² in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.

The dome measures 212 meters in east-west direction, 144 meters in north-south direction, and is 46 meters high. The main entrance is at the north side. Guests arrive in the building after walking through a hallway that goes underneath the lake.

The opera house is at the center. It is the single most important element in the project, and by the art that is practiced there, it is the one that is most dependent on convention; most mysterious too. The concert hall and the theatre are situated on either side of the opera house. Access to the performance halls must never be brutal. It has to be something gradual, something that requires time and space.

The performance halls and public areas are built on a base that houses all operating and support facilities in a complex designed to be as efficiently and economically organized as an industrial production area.

Facts

  • 52 elevators and 36 escalators serve the interior of the theater.
  • A 60 meter long transparent underwater passage links the main entrance with the reception lobby.
  • in the event of an emergency, the audience can escape within six minutes.

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Louvre Pyramid

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.”

Facts

  • 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.

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The height of the towers is measured to the top of their structural components such as spires, but do not include antennas. Spires are considered actual integral parts of the architectural design of buildings, to which changes would substantially change the appearance and design of the building, whereas antennas may be added or removed without such consequences. The Petronas Towers still remain the tallest twin buildings in the world.
Tower One is fully occupied by Petronas and a number of its subsidiaries and associate companies, while the office spaces in Tower Two are mostly available for lease to other companies. A number of companies have offices in Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, Al Jazeera English, Carigali Hess, Bloomberg, Boeing, IBM, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, McKinsey & Co, WIPRO Limited, TCS, HCL Technologies, Krawler, Microsoft, The Agency (a modelling company) and Reuters.

Facts

  • Each tower weighs 300,000 tonnes which is equal to 43,000 elephants
  • The sky-walk on the 42nd and 43rd floors is also the world’s highest sky-bridge which connects the two towers.
  • The building which is 452m high has 88 floors and 32000 windows
  • When seen from the top the tower resembles the eight point star which in Islam stands for unity, harmony, stability, and rationality.

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Millau Viaduct Bridge

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.

Facts

  • 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.

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