Four record-breaking buildings

Born from the genius of Sir Hugh Eyre Campbell Beaver and co-created by twin siblings Ross and Norris McWhirter in 1954, the Guinness World Records originated in Fleet Streetm, London as an annual publication. The world-renowned book records the greatest achievements attained by humankind along with extremes witnessed in the natural world.

To mark the achievement of becoming the best-selling book with a copyright in 2004, Guinness World Records Day was created. In a yearly celebration of breaking records held every November, people across the globe in the thousands unite with the single-minded aim of becoming Guinness World Record title holder. The date itself moves from one year to the next, but 2019’s date is today (November 14).

From the tallest to the smallest, here are some of these most significant structures to hold a world record in the famous book. Celebrate Guinness World Record Day with us as we explore some of these incredible edifices, all evidence of humankind’s uncanny ability to keep pushing the boundaries when it comes to building.

1. The tallest building

Home to a multitude of world records including the tallest chocolate sculpture, the longest handmade chain of gold and the most nationalities to sing a national anthem as one, to name but a few, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is notorious for its “Bigger is Better” ethos.

No symbol for the nation is a more impressive indicator of this ideology than the Burj Khalifa Tower that holds the title of Tallest Building in the World in the Guinness hall of fame. At an epic 828 metres in height, the Burj Khalifa has held the record since January 4, 2010 when it surpassed previous record holders, the Patronus Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Taipei 101 of Taiwan.

Designed by architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and led by top US architect Adrian Smith, the iconic building on the Dubai skyline was developed by Emaar Properties. Originally constructed to be only 518 metres in height, it gained an extra 10 metres during its development. For greater stability, the epic tower is fashioned with a specially designed Y-shaped cross-section allowing it to reduce the impact of the elements on its structural integrity.

In taking the title for the tallest building, the Burj Khalifa also claimed ownership of several other records. With 163 levels, it has the most floors in a building, and at 504 metres high, it features the tallest elevator in a building to access them all. The skyscraper also allows diners a chance to break their own personal records and eat in the highest restaurant from ground level at 441.3 metres

2. The largest prehistoric building

Built in 3001 BC, one of the structures at a sacred site called Stanton Drew in Somerset holds the Guinness World Record for the largest prehistoric building. Not far from the village of Stanton Drew, the Stone Age site features a stone circle of Neolithic monuments, but it is a structure thought to have been a temple that holds the record for the largest building of the era.

Estimated by archaeological examinations to be 5,000 years old, the ancient building is a staggering 90 metres in diameter, making it six times larger than the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Believed to be 10 metres and 32 feet in height the lofty structure was probably topped by thatched roofing well-supported by over 400 columns crafted from wood, each with a diameter of a metre and placed to create nine rings.

The remains of the mighty Stone Age construction are to be found mainly beneath the ground and consist largely of humungous holes once filled by the towering columns.

3. The heaviest building

The Palace of the Parliament stands in Romania’s capital Bucharest and weighs in as the heaviest building in the world. Designed by a veritable army of architects numbering over seven hundred, the project was helmed by Anca Petrescu with construction taking place from 1984 to 1997. Built under the authority of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, it features Neoclassical forms as well as Totalitarian and Modernist styles.

The colossal construction features one million cubic metres of marble, 700,000 tonnes of bronze and steel, 900,000 cubic metres of wood including oak, walnut and sweet cherry and 3,500 tonnes of crystal glass used in the 480 chandeliers, making it the heaviest building on our planet. In 1990, media mogul Rupert Murdoch attempted to buy the massive building for one billion US dollars, but his offer was not accepted with the building last valued at over three billion, making it the most expensive administrative structure in the world.

Labelled by some as a “Pharaonic Construction” the Palace of the Parliament surpasses the volume of the Great Pyramid of Egypt at Giza by 2%. On account of its extraordinary weight, the massive building sinks into the ground by 6mm each year, compressing the layers of earth below its tremendous load.

4. The smallest hotel

With visiting guests offered a total floorspace of 53 square metres, the Eh’ Hausl Hotel based in the Bavarian city of Amberg in Germany owns the record for the world’s smallest hotel. Squeezed between two far larger edifices, the tiny hotel has no side walls of its own and is only able to accommodate two guests at any one time.

The little boarding house built for two in 1728 attained its Guinness World Record in 2008 and takes its name appropriately from German Jargon meaning “marriage house”. Despite its diminutive size the Eh’Hausl has been renovated for a luxury experience. The hotel presents those who stay with a surprising selection of amenities that count among them a mini spa, open fireplace and flat screen television.

Making the most of the limited room, a candle-lit staircase allows visitors to appreciate several areas at different levels. Mirrors create the illusion of additional room and slender antique furnishing and well-placed sculptures ensure the living spaces never feel cramped or confining.

From ancient architectural achievements buried beneath the ground near Bristo,l to the modern masterpieces of the Middle East that scrape the skies, our world is full of record-breaking buildings. Why not use this special day to celebrate these amazing endeavours, along with the inspirational Guinness World Records and its dedicated team who authenticate and document these outstanding achievements?

Posted by Mark
November 14, 2019

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