Today the world is full of extraordinary examples of urban structures showing off new feats in design and construction. It’s not just property that is going all out. Throughout time, mankind have built structures that are taller, grander and more expensive than everything around them to make an impact or reach a new world record.
It seems as though every country you visit today has its own iconic building, attracting tourists throughout the world to come and gaze upon its amazing architecture and intricate design.
Here are five of our favourites that we believe make an impact through their impressive construction.
1. Sydney Opera House
One of the most iconic and recognisable buildings in Australia, the Sydney Opera House was completed in 1973 and is an example of Australia’s technical and creative achievement. Known for its white roof sails that soar into the sky, it took 16 years to build and has been internationally acclaimed as an architectural icon of the 20th century.
One of the hardest parts of construction was the roof sails which took four years to solve and today it attracts tourists from every corner of the world.
2. The London Underground
Opening in 1863, the London Underground (more commonly referred to as the Tube, or the Underground), is an integral part of London’s history and is made up of a staggering 402 km of track which serves 270 stations.
The Underground was the world’s first underground railway system and initially used gas-lit wooden carriages pulled by steam locomotives, before electric locomotives took over in 1890.
As well as serving as a subway, the Underground was extremely important during WWII and was used as an air raid shelter during bomb raids. Today, more than 1 billion passengers travel on the Tube every year.
3. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, opening in 1937 is a suspension bridge that spans across the Golden Gate strait and links from San Francisco to Marin County. Until 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge main span in the world and held this title until 1964, at 4,200 feet (1,300 m).
It is known as one of the most internationally recognised symbols of San Francisco as well as the United States and took just four years to build. It has also been declared as one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
4. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was first constructed in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair and is still the tallest structure in Paris today as well as being the most-visited paid monument in the world. Standing at 324 metres tall, it held the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years, before the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930.
Taking its name from Gustave Eiffel, a French civil engineer, the actual tower was designed by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, part of Gustave’s company Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel. It was completed in just two years and was an engineering feat of the time.
5. Guggenheim Bilbao Museum
Designed by Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect, the museum opened its doors in 1997 and the building was frequently named as one of the most important works completed since 1980 in the 2010 World Architecture Survey.
Encompassing a site of 32,500 square metres, the building is designed as random shapes and curves made of stone, glass and titanium and sits along the Nervión River. Surprisingly, it was constructed on time and to budget.
Published on 7th of November 2014 by Marty Stanowich