It is beautifully said that this world is created by the gods and the architects. This earth itself is a creation and the architectural edifices we have today are also emotive manifestation of the same inspiration. Architecture is a name to the frozen sensations of our civilization, which has kept enlivening memories with spirit of place. It is also the oldest heritage of our humanity and is instrumental in reflecting our thoughts, beliefs and hopes. Over time and revolution, zeitgeist of our civilization has changed, and thus architectural expressions have also been revised with ensuing developments.
Some structures today are so arresting that they simply cast a magic over us and we remain spellbound looking at their beauty. There are several architectural landmarks, which have stayed symbolic of their century. The story of architecture began from pre-Egyptian period centuries ago and is still continuing with the glory of Greek and Roman engineering. The following of movement of Renaissance, Art Nouveau and Neo-classicism has engendered the style of modern architecture; where the values of post-Modernism, expressionism, Deconstructivism and High-tech Architecture are pursuing futuristic architecture.
While the realm of architecture is ever evolving, there are some amazing and wonderful architectural structures, which are beautifully engineered and are worth mentioning here. So, let us take a look at the top 10 beautifully engineered architectural structures in the world.
Beijing National Stadium in China, also famous as Bird’s Nest, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd. The stadium was built to host the 2008 Summer Olympics held in China. The construction started from December 2003, after the top design with bird’s nest concept was approved. The stadium was opened to public at an official ceremony on 28 June 2008.
The stadium has purely structural appearance with steel beams forming a spatial grid. The bowl shaped stadium had a retractable roof, which was later removed considering the seismic stability of the building. Acoustics of the huge stadium is also methodically maintained by hiding the structure with translucent membrane ceiling. The stadium also provides a panoramic view of the Olympic complex. The stadium has occupied an area of 258,000 m2, and has capacity of seating for 91,000 people. Nearly 110,000 tons of steel was used in structural assembly of the stadium. Construction of the stadium cost $423 m, whereby the construction work was halted for nearly four months, due to complaint of high cost. While the stadium has been profitable to the Chinese government with popular international events, the government is planning to develop the stadium as a supermarket and performing multiplex.
Burj Al Arab, formerly known as Chicago Beach Hotel and Resort, was designed by architect Tom Wright. Burj Al Arab is the world’s only 7 star hotel build in an artificial island, and is also the fourth tallest hotel in the world. The 321 m high building is 16th tallest building in the Middle East. WS Atkins plc started the construction of the building in 1994, and the construction completed in 1999.
The design of Burj Al Arab was inspired from sail of a dhow invented by the Arabs. Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel with the Royal Suite costing $28,000 per night. The foundation of the wonderful structure is standing upon concrete piles droved 230 m deep into sand. The building is the tallest structure in the world having membrane façade. For holding the building still, 9,000 tons of steel was used in diagonal trusses. The building is connected to the continental landmass by a hooked conduit bridge. The open lobbies of the 60 floor hotel only depend on natural daylight during daytime. The hotel has 180 m high atrium with multicolor décor. The building also has a helipad at a height of 210 m, where Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played a tennis stunt and a golf course stunt was also played by Rory Mcllroy.
Petronas Towers is the tallest twin building in the world designed by architect Cesar Pelli. Petronas Towers remained the tallest standing structure in the world from 1998 to 2004, until the Taipei 101 came. The construction of the towers completed after seven years in 1998, and was open to public in 1999 only. Architect Pelli has inventively shaped the building in post-modernistic style with the blend of Islamic culture, which came out to be significant as a Malaysian design.
The two towers were separately constructed by Hazama Corporation and Samsung Engineering & Construction. The two syndicates for building the towers were also independently hired from Japan and South Korea. The 88 story towers are connected by a double-decker pedestrian sky-bridge at floor 41 and 42. The sky-bridge was designed by New York based structural engineers, and the bridge is highest of its kind in the world. The 378.6 m high skyscraper has symbolically derived spires giving an additional height of 73.5 m to the building. The building has concrete raft foundation resting upon concrete piles bored up to 120 m deep underground. Architect Pelli extracted the geometric design inspired from Malaysian art and culture. The building is sustainably designed making an allowance for the climatic conditions of Kuala Lumpur.