A collection of the world's greatest modern man-made marvels
Author: Chaand Bakshi
Hey, My name is Chaand Bakshi and I am 12 years old. It is my passion to write about awe inspiring architectural wonders around the world. I dont look at architecture with a mathematical eye but perceive them as as a work of art. Sharing interesting facts about these architectural marvels is pretty cool as it states the determination and the ability of mankind to challenge the laws of physics and and in the process produce modern wonders which are not have practical utility but are also aesthetically appealing.
Through this blog I have tried to compile the most famous (and some not so famous) architectural marvels.
Hope you would like the site.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
The Jin Mao Toweralso 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.
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.