Not all buildings are the same and some are pretty darn unique. Construction and architecture have risen to a new level altogether with great minds working vigorously towards building a world with breathtaking structures that were a far cry from even imagining forget seeing them for real. The following 18 images are of amazing engineering wonders found across the globe. Which one is your favorite?
18. Dubai Rotating Towers
Dubai has garnered much attention in recent years with a never-ending supply of architectural wonders being built, or proposed, at a head spinning pace. Mostly these towering structures are grand and tall, but some are also green.
An ambitious project by David Fisher’s firm Dynamic Architecture looks set to be yet another new addition to Dubai’s skyline.
The building’s 59 floors will be capable of rotating about a central axis, their continuous motion allowing residents in the tower’s 200 apartments to choose a new view at the touch of a button.
The form of the building would constantly change as each floor rotates separately giving a new view of the building as it turns.
The new tower is the first building of its size to produced in a factory. Each floor, made up of 12 individual units, complete with plumbing, electric connections, air conditioning, etc., will be fabricated in a factory. These modular units will be fitted on the concrete core or spine of the building at the central tower.
The 59-floor building will be powered entirely by sun and wind energy. And, the architect claims that the building will generate 10 times more energy than required to power it, thus making it a positive energy building. Solar panels will be fitted on the roof to harness sunlight, and a total of 48 wind turbines will be sandwiched between the rotating floors, placed so that they are practically invisible.
17. Regatta Hotel Jakarta
Taking the form of ten apartment towers, a five-star hotel and an Aqua Park in a complex spawning over 11 hectares of reclaimed land, the Regatta project is certainly one of the best structures you will come across. Regatta’s development follows a nautical theme, the centrepiece of which being an aerodynamically shaped hotel bound to be one of the most striking landscape features overlooking the Java Sea. I would kill to live in some place like the Regatta, with sea as your backyard an a spellbinding view.
16. Cctv Bldg
Speaking of unique, the Cctv headquarters in China, personifies that word in every way. It is so amazingly shaped in the ‘Z-zig zag’ manner and looks super stunning. It may not be the tallest structure or the largest but it is very impressive in terms of design and treatment. The Main Building, with a total floor space of about 380,000 square meters, is divided into five sections: the administration section, the comprehensive business section, the news production and broadcasting section, the broadcasting section and the program production section. The planned new CCTV building can not only represent the new image of Beijing, but also express, in the language of architecture, the importance and the cultural nature of the TV industry.
15. Chicago Spire
The Chicago spire stands tall at no.3 and literally so as it is touted as one of the most significant residential developments in the world and also the tallest. A simple inspiration and a great result that is there for everyone to see by the year 2010. It is inspired by nature and its complexities and beauty. This 609m structure will dominate the Chicago skyline and our hearts too.
14. Singapore Green Building
A new green complex from world renowned architecture firm Foster + Partners will be adding more than a dash of green to the Singapore skyline. As sustainability becomes an essential ingredient to development in this island nation, the UK-based firm is leaving no stone unturned to make good use of alternative energy sources in this 150,000 square meter mixed-use project. As the winning design from an international competition, Singapore’s new eco-complex from Foster + Partners is pushing the green envelope from top to bottom in this sophisticated downtown design.
The complex will fill an entire city block between Singapore’s Marina Center and the Civic District with commercial, residential, retail, hotels, and a ‘green’ link to an Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station. All facades will be fitted with solar cells and, to help control solar gain, direct sunlight will be filtered through ribbon-like canopies rising from the base of the entire complex to the exposed east and west elevations of the towers.
The canopies will form vertical louvers at the elevations and provide more renewable on-site energy with integrated thin-film solar arrays. Vertical green spaces, and extensive sky gardens are also important components of the towers, further greening the whole structure with natural vegetation and ambient temperature moderation.
The slanted facades are designed to catch the wind and direct it downwards for natural cooling of the ground floor spaces. A rainwater harvesting system, geothermal heating system, chilled beams and ceilings, and an ice storage system for cooling are further enhancements planned for the complex.
13. River Gym
The River Gym will fulfill one of the major contemporary fitness goals of “functional training”. This training protocol will exploit the inherent disequilibrium of floatation devices. Often the average urbanite exercising at the gym performs controlled repetitive single plane movements using industrial fitness equipment. All of this energy is summarily dissipated and ultimately exhausted for the sake of a single individual’s wellbeing. Other potentials exist to harness this vast human expenditure of caloric energy. Why not have the simple transfer of this workout vigor supply New York with needed supplemental transport and amenities? How can we extend and capitalize on this untapped group potential? Into what form will this new kind of gym evolve?
12. Bio Marine Inspired
Malaysia is all set to get another iconic structure that will surely become one of the landmarks of the country when it gets done. Green architecture and green building has taken a new meaning in the last couple of years with green features looking more stylish than the regular ones. This can only be good news for those who have been trying to give green architecture a mighty big push forward. Yesterday we came to know that the already green Reichstag building is set to become the greenest parliament in the world. Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur is not too far behind in the green race though.
Two of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, are located in Kuala Lumpur. So it comes as no surprise to us that a stunning new residential development is planned for the Putrajaya waterfront known as Precinct 4, just 30km south of Kuala Lumpur. The design is special with green features and amazing architectural splendor inspired by marine life. It also draws from traditional Islamic designs and is arranged in a permeable, radiating block of bioclimatic architecture.
11. Moscow Crystal Island
Moscow’s rapidly growing skyline will soon feature an eye-popping new addition: Crystal Island, which will be the world’s biggest building when completed. Sir Norman Foster’s mountainous 27 million square feet spiraling “city within a building” will cost $4 billion and it is scheduled to be built within next 5 years.
The Crystal Island will be Lord Foster’s second large scale project in the Russian capital, and his third new building design that resembles a volcano (we’re talking about his two mountainous buildings in Astana, Kazakstan). Although many people are calling this design the ‘Christmas Tree’ of Moscow – we can’t help but be reminded of the utopian and also rather volcanic X-Seed 4000 design for Tokyo. Unlike that pipe-dream project, however, Foster has a track record of getting buildings built, so the likelihood is high that we will see this striking structure towering over the Kremlin within 5 years time.
10. Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, often referred to simply as The Dome, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium. Located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, England, the exhibition opened to the public on 1 January 2000 and ran until 31 December 2000. The project and exhibition was the subject of considerable political controversy as it failed to attract the number of visitors anticipated, leading to recurring financial problems.
While all of the original exhibition and associated complex has since been demolished, the canopy or shell of the dome still exists, and it is now a key exterior feature of the The O2 entertainment district.
9. Crooked House
7. Spiky Tower
It appears to consist of a stack of rotated, irregular plates. The nineteen story building will house up to 98 residents, who will obviously have plenty of natural light falling on plenty of terraces.
The design also appears to allow plenty of light to enter the housing units.
6. Grocery Basket Building
5. Honeycomb Building
This is coming to Detroit, Michigan in 2012. Designed by the architecture company MAD, it is made of two towers, a 358 meter office tower (1,174 feet) and a smaller 88 meter hotel (289 feet). Both have a revolutionary external honeycomb structure that provides such strength, the building requires no internal support structure.
4. Rabbit Building
Burj Khalifa (Arabic: ??? ?????? “Khalifa Tower”),known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the tallest man-made structure ever built, at 828 m (2,717 ft).
Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010. The building is part of the 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Burj Khalifa at the “First Interchange” along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district.
The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill of Chicago. Adrian Smith, who started his own firm in 2006, was the chief architect, and Bill Baker was the chief structural engineer for the project. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea, who also built the Taipei 101 and Petronas Twin Towers. Major subcontractors included Belgian group Besix and Arabtec from the UAE. Turner Construction Company was chosen as the construction project manager. Under UAE law, the Contractor and the Engineer of Record, Hyder Consulting, is jointly and severally liable for the performance of Burj Khalifa.
The total cost for the Burj Khalifa project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire new “Downtown Dubai”, US$20 billion. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, the Chairman of Emaar Properties, speaking at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 8th World Congress, said in March 2009 that the price of office space at Burj Khalifa had reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m2) and that the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, were selling for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m2).
2. Shanghai World Finance
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.
1. Beijing Olympic Stadium
Sports stadiums have long followed the enduring design of one of the original wonders of the world, Rome ’s Coliseum. Herzog & de Meuron’s National Stadium in Beijing is an attempt to rethink the classic sports-arena layout for more ecologically correct times.
The Swiss architects (of Tate Modern fame) wanted to provide natural ventilation for the 91,000-seat structure — perhaps the largest “eco-friendly” sports stadium designed to date. To achieve this, they set out to create a building that could function without a strictly enclosed shell, yet also provide constant shelter for the audience and athletes alike.
To solve these design problems, they looked to nature for inspiration. The stadium’s outer grid resembles a bird’s nest constructed of delicately placed branches and twigs. Each discrete space within the facility, from restrooms to restaurants, is constructed as an independent unit within the outer lattice — making it possible to encase the entire complex with an open grid that allows for natural air circulation. The architects also incorporated a layer of translucent membrane to fill any gaps in the lacy exterior.