The world’s most extreme buildings

Over the centuries, mankind has built some remarkable buildings. The world is full of them. As you will see, some are hundreds of years old, while others have only been created in the past few decades. If you want to know all about the biggest, smallest, tallest, deepest and extreme buildings, all you need to do is to read on.

The tallest building in the world – The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

At 828 meters (2716.5 feet) tall, the Burj Khalifa is almost double the height of the Empire State building. It is the tallest free-standing structure the world has ever seen.

Despite its size, sustainability was an important part of its design. For example, around 15 million gallons of water is collected from the building, recycled and used for irrigation. In addition, its solar panels provide residents and businesses with most of their hot water. So, this building has excellent environmental credentials as well as being the tallest in the world.

The world’s deepest building – The Jinping Underground Laboratory, China

When most people think about extreme buildings, underground structures rarely pop into their minds first. This is probably because a lot of these remarkable structures are not visible at all. Plus, often, the fact that they exist is kept a secret for many years.

These underground buildings are a great example of man’s ingenuity. There are some truly fascinating underground structures out there. The deepest one that we know about, is the Jinping underground laboratory, which is 7,900 feet deep and is built under a mountain.

Conditions that far underground are ideal for experiments that require there to be very low levels of background radiation. This huge laboratory is very similar to the Large Hadron Collider installation that straddles the border between France and Switzerland. At 575 feet deep, this is the next deepest building.

The world’s smallest apartment – A former cleaning cupboard in Earl’s Court, London

Across the world, the cost of housing is soaring. In many places, for various reasons, the rate of building is not keeping pace with population growth. As a result of this and several other factors, people are having to learn to live in very small homes.

This is happening at such a fast pace that it is actually quite hard to pin down which is the smallest apartment in the world. However, most of the trustworthy sources state that it is a 60-square-foot apartment in Earl’s Court, London. This tiny home has a shower and a makeshift cooking area, so it just about qualifies to be categorised as a studio apartment.

The world’s smallest houses

The world’s smallest house is also thought to be located in Islington, London. It is a single storey, standalone, 188 sq. ft. dwelling with a mezzanine bedroom that can only be accessed by stepping onto the kitchen counter and ascending a short flight of steps that jut out of the wall.

The accolade for the smallest two-storey home goes to one affectionately known as ‘Spite House’, which is located in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. The owner of the adjacent property built this tiny property to fill in an alleyway. He did so to stop vagrants and horse-drawn wagons from using the alley. In total, it offers 325 sq. ft. of living space, including a proper bedroom.

However, if you categorise the new wave of tiny houses as buildings, the 65 sq. ft. smallest Tumbleweed XS, which has a mezzanine sleeping platform, is actually the smallest home you can currently buy. However, the fact that they are built on a trailer base and some of them have wheels means that not everyone thinks they can be considered a building, plus they are made from either wood or tin.

The building with the most extreme lean – The Huzhu Pagoda, Shanghai, China

In some places, there are buildings that look like that they should not stay up. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For centuries it has defied logic and stayed standing despite leaning at a 5.5-degree angle. This lean might look extreme, but the Huzhu Pagoda in Shanghai’s Songjiang District is actually the building with the acutest lean. It leans over at a much more startling 7.10 degrees.

Building with the most floor space – The New Century Global Center, Chengdu, China

The 18,000,000 sq. ft. New Century Global Centre is a multipurpose building primarily used as a shopping centre. A whopping 4,300,000 sq. ft. is given over to retail outlets. Offices, conference rooms, and a university complex are also incorporated into this huge single building centre. There are two commercial centres, a skating rink, and an IMAX cinema. It even has its own pirate ship and a 54,000 sq. ft. water park with an artificial beach. Huge screens are used to create a fake horizon, as well as false sunrises and sunsets.

The largest factory in the world – The Tesla Gigafactory, Clark, Nevada

The Boeing Everett Factory is often quoted as being the largest factory in the world. This factory complex covers 4,300,000 sq. ft., but its usable volume is 472,370,319 cubic feet.

However, as of 2017, the Tesla Gigafactory near Clark, Nevada outstripped Boeing’s factory, in terms of size. It grew to cover 1.9 million sq. ft. with a usable area of 4.9 million sq. ft.

You also need to bear in mind that this factory is still a work in progress. On the site, Tesla has the option to build a facility that will eventually cover 10 million sq. ft. with some parts of the factory being more than a storey high. Whether Tesla will use all of the space it has to hand remains to be seen.

Largest sports stadium – Rungrado 1st May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea

This extremely impressive stadium has a floor area of 2.2 million sq. ft. It can seat 114,000 people. When it first opened in 1989, 150,000 people regularly crowded into the stadium.

The above is just a taste of some of the extreme buildings you can see around the world. As mankind needs continue to evolve, no doubt even more unusual buildings will need to be built, with the development of new building materials and techniques having a considerable impact.

Posted by Mark
August 31, 2018
Features

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