World Tallest Buildings, Great Tunnels, Skyscrapers, Towers, Castles, Bridges, Cathedrals, Historic Houses, and more.


Have you ever tried to measure a skyscraper? It isn't easy! Do flagpoles count? What about spires? And, for buildings still on the drawing board, how do you keep track of the ever-shifting construction plans? To compile our own master list of World's Tallest Buildings, we use skyscraper statistics drawn from several sources.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Millau Viaduct Bridge

This Cable-Stayed Bridge Project is on schedule to be completed January 2005. (39 month construction contract). This project is being financed privately. This project has the highest bridge piers in world. Thus the title of the Highest Bridge in the World. The tallest will be 240 meters high. Overall height an outstanding 336.4 meters. This project will consist of seven separate cable-stays.

Bridges are often considered to belong to the engineer's realm rather than the architect's. But the architecture of infrastructure has a powerful impact on the environment. The Millau Viaduct, designed in collaboration with engineers, illustrates how the architect can play an integral role in bridge design. Located in southern France, the bridge will connect the motorway from Paris to Barcelona at the point where it is interrupted by the River Tarn, which runs through a wide gorge between two plateaus. A reading of the topography suggested two possible approaches: to cross the river, the geological generator of the landscape; or there was the challenge of spanning the 2.5 kilometers from one plateau to the other in the most economical manner.

The structural solution follows from the latter philosophical standpoint. The bridge has the optimum span between cable-stayed columns. It is delicate, transparent, and uses the minimum material, which makes it less costly to construct. Each of its sections spans 350 meters and its columns range in height from 75 meters to 235 meters - higher than the Eiffel Tower - with the masts rising a further 90 meters above the road deck. To accommodate the expansion and contraction of the concrete deck, each column splits into two thinner, more flexible columns below the roadway, forming an A-frame above deck level. This structure creates a dramatic silhouette - and crucially it makes the minimum intervention in the landscape.

Arch Bridge, Dubai

Taj Mahal, Agra

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal, continues to attract the record number of tourists every year - from two to three million. French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited it just recently. The popularity of The Taj Mahal made one major florist company develop the special kind of red roses and called them Taj Mahal - these roses are expected to be very popular for the Valentine's Day, and every man will finally be able to give his woman The Taj Mahal.

The structure of Taj Mahal adheres to the Islamic style (Mughal style) of architecture, which flourished in India during the medieval period. The Islamic style of architecture is also referred to as the Indo-Islamic style of architecture.
The various buildings within this sprawling fort complex represent the assimilation of different cultures, which was the mark of the Mughal period. This magnificent monument is set around a Charbagh or ‘four garden’ plan, which is split by watercourses - a reflection of the Persian style.

The Taj Mahal itself is not set within the Charbagh but is located towards the far end of the enclosure near the bank of river Yamuna. Taj Mahal is built on a high plinth, which has four tapering minarets at each corner. At the center of this plinth is an octagonal structure comprising of a central hall, with four smaller halls grouped around it.A central bulbous dome stands atop the roof of the Taj that is surrounded by four chhatris (domed canopy, supported by pillars, mainly seen in Hindu or local monuments and sometimes in Islamic buildings).

The Taj Mahal is a two-storied structure, each having arched recesses with a highly decorated iwan in the middle. The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan are actually located in the basement, while their replicas are placed directly above in the upper hall. The Taj Mahal is entirely made of white marble and its pure white walls are decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work. It is said that different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on Taj Mahal. In spite of its massive proportions, Taj Mahal looks weightless and airy. Each section of this unique monument blends harmoniously with each other to create a perfect unit. The Taj Mahal and the gardens in front of it can be approached through an arched gateway.

Burj Al Arab - Dubai

The Burj Al Arab (Arabic: برج العرب‎, literally, Tower of the Arabs) is a luxury hotel located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At 321 metres (1,053 ft), it is the second tallest building used exclusively as a hotel, after Rose Tower, also in Dubai.[2] However, the structure of the unfinished Ryugyong Hotel is nine meters taller than the Burj Al Arab, and the Rose Tower, also in Dubai, which has already topped Burj Al Arab's height at 333 m (1,090 ft), will take away the title upon its opening.[3][4][5] The Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a boat.

Shanghai World Financial Center

Facts & Description:
• The foundation stone was laid on August 27, 1997.
• In the late 90's, the Japanese Mori Building Corporation had a fund shortage caused by the Asian financial crisis, this halted the project after the foundations were completed.
• On February 13, 2003, the Mori Group increased the buildings height to 492 meters and 101 stories from the initial plans for a 460-meter, 94 story building.
• The Shanghai World Financial Center was planned to be the tallest building in the world when it was designed in 1997. The 97 Story building would surpass the spires of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. When Construction was restarted in 2003, the 508 Meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan was already underway to becoming the World's Tallest Building. Plans where changed but the Tower couldn’t be built any higher than its present height at 492 meters since the already done foundation was meant to support a 460 meter tall building.

• The structure features 3 floors of underground parking, shops and a conference center on floors 1 through 5, offices on floors 7 through 77, a hotel located on floors 79 through 93, and finally observation and exhibition areas on floors 94 through 100.
• To protect the building from fierce winds, the Shanghai World Financial Center holds two tuned mass dampers below its observation floors to reduce the building’s sway during windstorms and earthquakes.

• After the events of September 11th, 2001, the building was redesigned to withstand a disaster such as a plane crash including 12 fireproof refugee areas, and two external elevators.
• The trapezoidal hole atop the Tower was originally a sphere, designs where changed after the Chinese Government made claims in 2005 that the Japanese Funded Building's circular hole was too similar to the rising sun on Japan's Flag.
• The observation bridge atop the building is the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.
• On August 14th, 2007 a few of the upper floors caught on fire during construction, the blaze was put out and nobody was hurt.
• The final steel girder of the building was installed on September 14th, 2007 when the building reached its full height of 492 meters.
• At 480 meters, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in the world as of 2008. It is 16 meters shorter than the 508 meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan, although this is because of the spire atop Taipei 101. Counting by roof height the Shanghai World Financial Center is a full 44 meters taller than Taipei 101.

• Inaugurated on August 28, 2008.

Sydney Opera House, Australia

Designed by Jørn Utzon, the startling shell-shaped Sydney Opera House in Australia was a finalist in the campaign to choose the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Jørn Utzon began work on the Sydney Opera House in 1957, but the modern expressionist building stirred controversy. The Sydney Opera House wasn't completed until 1973, under the direction of Peter Hall.

Although praised as a masterpeice, the Sydney Opera House has been criticized. Many people say that the acoustics are poor and that the theater doesn't have enough performance or backstage space. With Jorn Utzon's son Jan as part of a new design team, the Sydney Opera House is planning renovations and future development.

Great Structures and Skyscrapers

Great Structures and Skyscrapers