Antilia

Antilia is a private home in South Mumbai, India. It is owned by Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, and has a staff of 600 to maintain the residence 24 hours a day.

As of November 2014, it is deemed to be the world’s most expensive residential property, after Buckingham Palace, which is designated as a crown property. It is thus the world’s most expensive private residential property, valued over USD1 billion. Its controversial design and ostentatious use by a single family has made it infamous across the world, with severe criticism in the architectural press and mockery in popular media.

Antilia was built in consultation with US architecture firms Perkins and Will & Hirsch Bedner Associates, with the Australian-based construction company Leighton Holdings initially taking charge of its construction. The home has 27 floors with extra-high ceilings.

The X-Seed 4000 is a one of the most special building ever fully planned and designed on this planet. The X-Seed would have had roof 4000 metres above the ground and would be built in Japan. The idea was initially created and developed by Peter Neville. It would have a 6000 metre base which would be underwater and 800-floor capacity could accommodate 500,000 to 1,000,000 inhabitants. This structure would be composed of over 3,000,000 tons of pure steel.

Unlike conventional skyscrapers, to remain habitable the X-Seed 4000 would have to increase the pressure according to how high it goes and should have separate generators at every 100 floors. The X-Seed would have taken at least 20 years to complete and would cost about USD700 billion to USD1.2 trillion.

Carlton Centre

The Carlton Centre is a skyscraper and shopping centre located in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. At 223 metres (732 ft), it has been the tallest office building in Africa since 1973. The Carlton Centre has 50 floors. The foundations of the two buildings in the complex are 5 m (16 ft) in diameter and extend 15 m (49 ft) down to the bedrock, 35 m (115 ft) below street level. The building houses both offices and shops, and has over 46 per cent of the floor area below ground level. The Carlton Centre is linked to the Carlton Hotel by a below-ground shopping centre with over 180 shops.

The Carlton Centre was designed by the American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Anglo American Properties began construction in the late 1960s by demolishing the old Carlton Hotel and the closing roads to form a city super block. Excavations for the Carlton began in January 1967, and took two years to complete. Although occupation of the Centre began in 1971, construction was not finally completed until 1974. The building officially opened in 1973 at a total cost of over USD 6.55 million.

Facts

  • The 50th and topmost floor of the Carlton Centre was called the Carlton Panorama and is known colloquially as the “Top of Africa”. Once the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Carlton Centre is the tallest building in the whole Africa since 1973.

The Shard

Also referred to as the shard of glass, The Shard is an 87-storey skyscraper (309 m), which sits in the heart of London. Construction began in 2009 and was completed three years later in 2012, making it Western Europe’s tallest building. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, The Shard is the second tallest free standing structure in the UK. It’s exterior boasts 11,000 glass panels – that’s equivalent in area to eight football pitches or two-and-a-half Trafalgar Squares.

The building was developed to have multiple uses, described on the website as a ‘vertical city where people can live, work and relax’. This motto was clearly taken on board by a fox, nicknamed Romeo, that was found on the 72nd floor towards the end of construction. The Shard has a massive floor area of 1,307,383sqft , 72 out of 95 floors are habitable and The Shard also contains 36 working elevators.

Floor Plan (2018)

73–95 Spire
68–72 The View from The Shard (observatory)
53–65 Residences
34–52 Shangri-La Hotel
33 Hutong
32 Aqua Shard
31 oblix
28 South Hook Gas
27 Arma Partners / Campari Group
26 CoStar Group / Marc Hermann Wealth Management
24–25 The Office Group
23 Foresight Group
22 Khazanah / Jellyfish
20-21 Kraft Heinz
19 Medical Protection Society
18 Gallup / Foresight Group
17 Warwick Business School / Sage Group
16 Al Jazeera English
15 Mathys & Squire / Arcapita / Xio Partners / Fulcrum Chambers
14 Duff & Phelps
13 Tabcorp Holdings / Warwick Business School / Duff & Phelps / Sage Group
12 Mitie
11 Dods Group / Matches Fashion
10 Real Estate Management (UK) Limited / Robert Half / Protiviti
9 IO Oil and Gas / Sapphire Systems
8 Greenberg Traurig / Matches Fashion
7 Tiffany & Co. / Matches Fashion
4–6 Clinic (HCA Healthcare at the Shard)
3 Shard Quarter Management Suite
2 Office Reception
Ground Hotel, restaurant and observatory entrances

Facts

  • 95% of The Shard is owned by State of Qatar and rest is owned by Seller Property Group.
  • On 11 July 2013, six female Greenpeace volunteers climbed the Shard and unfurled a flag in protest against Arctic oil drilling by Royal Dutch Shell.
  • BASE jumpers reportedly jumped from The Shard more than a dozen times between 2009 and 2012. Four jumps were reportedly made by Essex roofer Dan Witchalls.
  • After the Shard was completed only 17 of the floors were being used by tenants in 2014 and rest of them were empty because of the rent being very expensive and less traffic.

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.