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.

London Eye

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.

Facts

  • 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 ‘Flights’ takes 30 minutes.

Millennium Bridge

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.

Facts

  • 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.