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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Kingdom Center

Kingdom Center is a 41-storey, 302.3 m skyscraper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the third tallest skyscraper in the country after the Abraj Al Bait Towers and the Burj Rafal, and is the world’s third tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and Tuntex Sky Tower.

Besides the shopping mall, Kingdom Tower contains the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and apartments. There is a 56 m  sky bridge atop the skyscraper.

The building is situated on 100,000 square metres site with car parking for 3,000 vehicles.

The upper third of the tower features an inverted parabolic arch. The building utilities butt jointed glazing combined with the lack of both distinguished floor lines and other tall buildings around it. The lower two thirds were constructed with a reinforced concrete frame while the top third has a tubular steel frame.

The architectural model maker of the Center was Richard Tenguerian.

Facts

  • The inverted arch at the top was described by the developer as the city’s “necklace”, because the opening is lined with aluminum to highlight the unique shape in contrast all of the facade in reflective blue glass.
  •  The main lobby is a elliptical space with ribbed vaulting, elevated walkways, a fountain, and rows of palm trees. This elliptical form is a footprint used overall in the building objects and decoration.
  •  The Kingdom Center has won an important award in 2002 for its design.
  •  The original design called for a tower of 296.3 meters, but it was later increased.

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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Evergreen Point Floating Bridge

Evergreen Floating Bridge

The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, also known as the 520 Bridge and officially the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge, carries Washington State Route 520 across Lake Washington from Seattle to its eastern suburbs. The 2,350 m floating span is the longest floating bridge in the world, as well as the world’s widest measuring 35 m at its midpoint.

This bridge is made up of pontoons. Pontoons for marine industrial uses are usually fabricated from steel plate and sheet. Pontoons as parts of watercraft and aircraft are more typically molded in glass-reinforced plastic. Before the 1970s, glass-reinforced plastic was rare; older techniques include those of traditional wooden boatbuilding as well as plywood over wooden ribs or metal sheets over metal ribs (

Pontoons for marine industrial uses are usually fabricated from steel plate and sheet. Pontoons as parts of watercraft and aircraft are more typically molded in glass-reinforced plastic. Before the 1970s, glass-reinforced plastic was rare; older techniques include those of traditional wooden boatbuilding as well as plywood over wooden ribs or metal sheets over metal ribs (aluminum or steel), reflecting the prevailing practice in aircraft and boats. In model building, floats can easily be carved out of solid blocks or laminated sheets of foam.

The bridge opened in April 2016 and replaced another floating bridge of the same name at the site, which was 40 m shorter.

Planning of the replacement bridge started in 1997 with a cross-lake study conducted by the state Department of Transportation. The study followed several others in the late 20th century to find solutions to traffic on the SR 520 floating bridge, with most proposals rejected after heavy opposition from communities on both ends of the bridge.

The final environmental impact statement for the project was issued in 2011, allowing for construction of the pontoons to begin the following year.

Facts

  • The bridge has six lanes and a bicycle path.
  • It is made up of 77 pontoons and each pontoon weighs around 11,000 tons, which is the equivalent of 23 Boeing 747 jets
  • The bridge costs $4.65 billion.

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Burj Khalifa

Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed 5 years later in 2009. The primary structure is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. It is designed to be the centerpiece of large-scale, mixed-use development. The decision to build the building is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition.

The building was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Abu Dhabi and the UAE government lent Dubai money to pay its debts. The building broke numerous height records, including its designation as the tallest tower in the world.

Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, then of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill , whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra.

The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai’s summer temperatures. It contains a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators.

Critical reception to Burj Khalifa has been generally positive, and the building has received many awards. However, the labor issues during construction were controversial, since the building was built primarily by workers from South East Asia, who were allegedly treated poorly.

Facts

  • More than 45,000cu meters of concrete has been poured into the foundations.
  • The 700 Private apartments in the building were sold within eight hours of going on the market.
  • Dubai Mall covers an area of more than 50 soccer pitches.

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Jin Mao Tower

The Jin Mao Tower also known as the Jinmao Building or Jinmao Tower is an 88-story  landmark skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, China. It is 421 meters tall and is one of the tall meters dings in the world. It contains a shopping mall, offices and the Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel, which at the time of completion was the highest hotel in the world.

Along with the Oriental Pearl Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Shanghai Tower it is part of the Lujiazui skyline seen from the Bund. It used to be the tallest building in China but its height was surpassed on September 14, 2007, by the Shanghai World Financial Center which is located close by.The Shanghai Tower, a 121-story building located next to these two buildings, surpassed the height of both these buildings in 2015.

In Chinese numerology, the number eight represents prosperity and brings luck to Chinese people. That is why the Jin Mao Tower in and 88 Story building since it is a business site.

The Skywalk, a 1,520 m2  indoor observation deck with a capacity of 1,000+ people, occupies the 88th floor of the building. In addition to the panoramic views of Shanghai, it offers a topside view of the hotel atrium below. It also includes a small post office. Access is through two express elevators from the basement that travel at 9.1 m/s and take 45 seconds to reach the top. As of 2009, admission to the 88th floor costs 88 RMB for adults and 45 RMB for children.

It is supposed to be lucky standing there since it is the 88th floor.

Facts

  • The world highest swimming pool, on the 57th floor, helps to counterbalance the swaying during and earthquake.
  • The 5-acre site is enclosed within a deep wall made of 27,000 cubic yards of concrete.
  • The spire is designed to resemble good luck according to Chinese symbol good luck.

Sony Center

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.

Facts

  • 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.

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Gateway Arch

Americas tallest monument till date is a gleaming arch of stainless steel that soars 192 meters above the banks of the Mississippi. It is the world’s tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri’s tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis.

The arch sits at the site of St. Louis’ founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The Gateway Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1947; construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for $13 million. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967.

In November 1944, Smith discussed with Newton Drury, the National Park Service Director, the design of the memorial, asserting that the memorial should be “transcending in spiritual and aesthetic values,” best represented by “one central feature: a single shaft, a building, an arch, or something else that would symbolize American culture and civilization.”

The idea of an architectural competition to determine the design of the memorial was favored at the JNEMA’s inaugural meeting. They planned to award cash for the best design. In January 1945, the JNEMA officially announced a two-stage design competition that would cost $225,000 to organize. Smith and the JNEMA struggled to raise the funds, garnering only a third of the required total by June 1945.

Facts

  • There are 29,000 tons of concrete in the foundations of this arch and just under half that amount again packed between its steel walls.
  • the stainless steel outer walls weigh 977 tons.
  • the two stairways to the top each have 1,076 steps.

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