The World’s Most Impressive Concrete StructuresJuly 28, 2016
Concrete is one of the world’s most useful and popular building materials; it has been used for centuries in the construction of many a building, statue and landmark.
This month, we’re taking a look at the most impressive concrete structures on earth, showing off the material’s versatility and timeless appeal.
The Pantheon – Rome, Italy
A testament to the sheer quality of concrete, Rome’s Pantheon was completed around 126 AD and remains today as one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring architectural feats in history. The Romans didn’t have reinforced concrete – strengthened with steel – but they were able to create masterpieces with what they had. The dome structure curves to a perfect oculus at its top, which lets natural light flood into the interior. The Pantheon stands today and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the landmark laden city of Rome.
Christ the Redeemer – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, work on the statue began in the 1920s and took nine years to finish. The statue was built using reinforced concrete and soapstone, weighs a hefty 1,145 tonnes and stands at 98ft tall (not including its 26ft pedestal). The statue’s arms stretch to 92 feet wide and is understandably one of Brazil’s most famous, enduring sights. Its location – overlooking the city of Rio from atop the Corcovado mountain – along with its clean, clear design makes for one of the world’s most striking, attractive structures.
Bank of London and South America – Buenos Aires, Argentina
While not the most frightfully inspiring title out there, the Bank of London and South America (BLAS) is certainly one of the most unique concrete structures around. From the outside, the building resembles some kind of colossal skeleton, rising from the ground. The way the structure arches inwards from the bottom before levelling off halfway up furthers the skeletal look, resembling bent legs all around the structure. This was done deliberately to create more street space for pedestrians while maintaining the look of the neighbouring buildings. The outside concrete columns are grouped together and connected by cross-beams to create a dynamic appearance, while remaining strong and durable enough to support the architectural design.
The Motherland Calls – Volgograd, Russia
This statue was built to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad and was recognised as the largest statue in the world at the time of its unveiling in 1967. The impressive thing about The Motherland Calls is its complexity. Its characteristic posture gives it a sensation of action and movement not regularly seen in most concrete statues, and this effect was achieved by the use of prestressed concrete and wire ropes. The statue, which is today recognised as the tallest statue of a woman in the world (not including pedestals), weighs an incredible 7,900 tonnes and is a great example of what can be done when you combine concrete and genius engineering.
Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You can’t have a list of the most impressive concrete structures in the world without including the tallest manmade structure on the planet. Standing at 2,717ft tall (828 meters), the building’s primary building material is reinforced concrete. Construction of the tower began in 2004 and was finished five years later, with its grand opening taking place on 4th January 2010. Over 45,000 cubic meters of concrete formed the foundation, while a further 330,000 cubic meters of concrete was used for the tower itself. The tower holds the record for highest vertical concrete pumping at 606 meters, and a painstaking 22 million man hours went into its construction. The Khalifa Tower was built to impress and everything about it, from its construction to its design, makes that apparent for all to see.
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