And why not? Polished concrete is durable and and beautiful, making it a popular building material. No wonder that even before this rise in popularity, concrete was chosen to be part of the most impressive structures in the world. It has long been the most durable, ubiquitous and flexible building material.
World’s Most Wonderful Concrete Projects
Let’s take a look at the world’s most wonderful concrete projects.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: this pair of towers is perhaps the most renowned exemplar of what structural design can make out of concrete.
Petronas Towers are the most famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The towers were the tallest buildings in the world last 1998, before losing that recognition in 2004. They are still the tallest twin towers in the planet though.
Each tower has 88 stories. They are built of reinforced concrete and a facade of glass and steel.
The buildings are erected on thick concrete foundations, supported by the partly limestone and partly soft rock environment. With 104 concrete piles ranging from 197 to 374 feet in depth, the twin towers have the world’s deepest foundations.
This formed a 15-foot thick foundation weighing 35,800 tons and solid enough to hold the two towers in position. This foundation was the world record holder for the largest concrete pour until 2007.
Petronas Towers also feature a number of handsome architectural details such as rounded corners and Islamic art and design, all made of hardened concrete.
Grande Dixence Dam
This is a dam in Switzerland. It’s the world’s tallest gravity dam, made of concrete.
Grande Dixence Dam fuels a total of four power stations supplying about 400,000 households with adequate power.
Image Credit to swissinfo.ch
This Swiss dam measures 935 feet in height and is 2,297 feet long. It also contains just about 212 million cubic feet of concrete.
Hyderabad Metro Rail, India
Still under construction, the Hyderabad Metro Rail project is projected to cost a total of over $2 billion upon its completion.
This elevated rail transport system is a major illustration of contemporary use of reinforced concrete to build a public utility structure.
It measures 46-miles in length and will completely modernize the entire region. The system will feature elevated stations every kilometre. They are expected to handle about 15 million riders.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge
This is one of the most famous bridges in the United States of America. The Bay Bridge connects the eastern and western parts of Maryland State, and bridges the urban and the countryside.
This extensively long over-water structure is made of steel at the top, but features numerous concrete supports through its entire length.
Image Credit to Huffington Post
Sections of the bridge near the shores are also made of concrete. Chesapeake Bay Bridge includes a suspension span 3,200 feet over the western portion; and a through-truss cantilever to the eastern section.
The Pantheon, conceivably designed by Apollodorus of Damascus in 126 AD, stands out to date as a chef-d’oeuvre of concrete handicraft.
Image Credit to planetware.com
The building’s Corinthian columns and decorative marble at the lower heights, coupled with the pure circular oculus beaming with patterned lights at the top are a true work of genius.
To top it all, it is unglazed, yet retains and ambience or pure lustre from the bottom up. This is perhaps what makes the whole work of concrete in this structure truly magnificent.
Three Gorges Dam, China
It took 17 years of work and $28 billion to construct the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest dam. It is also the most powerful but most expensive hydroelectric project ever built.
Image Credit to en.wikipedia.org
The amount of concrete that went into this mega dam is virtually incomprehensible. This multibillion dollar project on China’s Yangtze River is 595 feet tall, 131 feet wide, and well over 7,600 feet long.
Bank of London and South America
Italian-Argentinian architect Clorindo Testa used concrete to make something that resembles the skeleton of a dinosaur from the outside. Around it are neo-classical facades that succeed in achieving a civilised look.
Image Credit to architizer.com
The structure also features a perforated carapace that lets sunlight into the interior space.
These are just a fraction of the breathtaking structures made of concrete the world over. They have stood the test of time and some have remained inimitable.
Considering the continually increasing adoption of concrete, we can expect it to be one the biggest things in structural art and design.