What architectural marvels do you know? You will naturally name Taj Mahal, Giza pyramid, the Great Wall of China, Roma’s Coliseum and a number of ancient sights. These buildings are undoubtedly the engineering masterpieces of their days. However, there are many modern constructions, symbolizing the genius of the human mind and limitless opportunities. This is a list of 10 architectural marvel of the world.
Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi
Capital Gate is a unique falling skyscraper in UAE’s Abu Dhabi and inclines 18 degrees to the West. Guinness World Records certified Capital Gate as the “World’s furthest leaning manmade tower”. The tower owned by Abu Dhabi National Exhibition has 35 storeys and 520 ft in height. Construction works were carried by Scotland’s RMJM and took 4 years, while the official launch happened on December 21 2011. The 18 degrees incline was achieved via shifting of platforms till the 12th floor. Capital Gate has specific cement foundation under diagrid technology, which protects the building from strong winds and seismic pressure. Dubai does not plan to stop surprising the world with architectural marvel.
30 St Mary Axe
30 St Mary Axe in London is a popular sightseeing in London. This 41-storeys building nonlinear building with scenic architecture is also known as the Gherkin for its form. Besides, it is the first eco-skyscraper in London – special glass structure provides natural ventilation. 30 St Mary Axe was built in 2003 by Zurich-based Swiss Re. The official opening took place in April 2004 and was called Swiss Re. It was renamed in honor of the street in 2007 after the company sold the tower for GBP 600 million. The cult building has special form and distortion. The facade is covered with 744 glass panels and a glass cupola on the top. Windows reflect dark and light colors in a unusual way, which gives particular effect when looking at the tower sideways. Windows with two-glass cover help to save 50% of the energy. 30 St Mary Axe offers more than 822,000 sq ft of office space. Besides, there is also a nightclub on the top floor, providing visitors with a 360-view of London.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
The 1,482 ft towers in Kuala Lumpur are the tallest Twin Towers in the world. This is a symbol of culture and economic growth of Malaysia. The Petronas Towers were built in 1998 and officially opened in August 1999. The Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world for six years, until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. The project was designed by César Pelli. The construction required 33,000 stainless steel panels and 55,000 glass panels for the Towers’ design. Each of the Twins has 88 storeys. Special panels are featured to filter the light and reduce noise. The glass façade is associated with Islamic art themes. The Twins are connected by a 191 ft sky bridge on the 41-42nd floors. The Twin Towers cover 45,768,147 sq ft space, while the area beginning from the 42nd floor is occupied by tenants.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Valencia
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is a wonderful opera theatre and cultural center in Spain’s Valencia. This modern architectural marvel was designed by world-known Santiago Calatrava. The construction began in 1995 and took 10 years. Today it is a popular sightseeing of Valencia and one of the most beautiful opera theatres in the world. With a 246 ft height, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the tallest opera theatre in the world, comprising 17 storeys. A mosaic roof is the most eye-catching part of the structure.
CCTV Headquarters in Beijing
CCTV Headquarters is a Beijing-based 44-storeys skyscraper with 767 ft in height. The building is known for its unusual shape and undoubtedly one of modern architectural marvels. This building represents a loop of six horizontal and vertical sections of floor space, creating an irregular grid on the building’s facade with an open center. Engineers described the construction as a “3D loop”. The headquarters for China Central Television were designed by Remment Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren between 2004 and 2012. The CCTV Headquarters won the 2013 Best Tall Building Worldwide from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is an innovative modern architectural marvel. The museum was officially opened in October 1997. The project was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. It represents a number of connected buildings with titanium and glass elements. All curves of the museum are of titanium as the most impressive part of the building. The museum covers 108,000 sq ft and 258,000 sq ft of display space with 19 galleries.
Beijing National Stadium
Beijing National Stadium is one of the largest and most impressive steel constructions in the world. It is usually called “a bird’s nest”. The $33 million Stadium was constructed in 2003-2008 and officially inaugurated on June 28 2008 as the main arena for the Olympic Games in Beijing. The design originates from the study of Chinese ceramics. The total area is 2,740,491 sq ft; capacity – 91000. The Stadium is equipped with a mobile roof.
National Centre for the Performing Arts
The National Centre for the Performing Arts is also known as the National Grand Theatre. This is an art center with wonderful elliptical structure made of titanium and glass. With its special shape, the Center is described as The Giant Egg. The complex contains an opera house, concert hall and theater with total area of 1,279,829 sq ft. The project was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in 2001 and finished in 2007.About 18,000 titanium plate and 1,000 ultra-strength glass sheets were used to create the impressive façade. The Grand Theater is surrounded by an artificial lake.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly one of the contemporary architectural marvels as well as the most recognizable building in Australia. The Opera House is well-known in the world for its fantastic design and sail-shape tops. UNESCO registered Sydney Opera House as the World heritage in 2007. Construction started in 1957 and took 16 years. The project was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon. At present, Sydney Opera House is the most popular place for performing arts in the world and attracts 2 million visitors annually. The sails are made of 2,100 precast concrete sections. Construction of the top required more than a million of these sections and more than 3 years. Sydney Opera House contains 5 main sections – concert hall (capacity – 2,679 visitors), opera house (1,547), drama theatre (544) and another theatre (398) and studio (364). All halls have ideal sound and special interior.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
The Burj Khalifa is the most exciting architectural marvel of Dubai. It is the tallest building in the world, standing at 2,722 ft and comprises more than 200 storeys with 160 being living space. The construction was carried out in 2004-2010. The project was designed by USA’s SOM. Official inauguration took place on January 4 2010. The complex includes living modules, offices, trading area with eco-friendly control system.