The advent of the ‘megaproject’ is truly upon us as such projects become a key feature of city landscapes.
The Empire State Building, the Panama Canal, the Regatta Hotel in Indonesia – these are just a few of the architectural and infrastructure wonders of the world that you probably take for granted. With the National Geographic putting images on the map and now the Internet fuelling easy access to pics, it’s easy to forget how difficult these projects are for engineers to build. Behind the scenes, much goes on to tackle the making of a magnificent bridge, building or highway and byway. Here are a few such projects that should cause you to sit up and have your breath taken away because of their grandiosity, complexity and stunning beauty.
New York Residential Building
Still in the building stages, a residential towel at 432 Park Avenue is set to be one of the most expensive addresses in the U.S. Taller than the Empire State Building by 50 meters, the 426 meter building is considerably large, but plans to host just 104 apartments. Living in the building will cost you, though. If you’ve got $17 million you can start the process of bargaining for an apartment; however, the best apartments are the penthouses that will span an entire floor and go for $82 million or more.
The Panama Canal
Now that the Panama Canal has been in place nearly 100 years, we take for granted how it revolutionised trade and travel. The recent billion dollar improvement projects increased the length and width of the canal, adding more locks at both ends of the passageway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Now that even bigger container vessels can travail the Canal, neighboring Nicaragua is in the planning stages of building its own canal – to the tune of $40 billion. The best and brightest engineers harnessed real ingenuity to figure out how to tame Mother Nature to advance the cause of expanding travel.
Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge, China
Hong Kong’s bridge project is one of the largest most complex in the world and uses a series of tunnels and bridges to connect three major cities: Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau. Costing more than $10 billion to build, it will drive the freight land transport needs of the region as well as facilitate the movement of passengers between the cities. The three-lane bridge and tunnel roadway includes the construction of two artificial islands to accommodate the building of the various roads involved with the project.
These and other architectural projects that defy gravity, plunge the depths of the ground and cover the sea are a wonder to behold. They put the best of human genius to work to solve complex problems such as how to build a bridge over a considerable expanse of water and accommodate tunnels under the water. The creativity of the world’s engineers and architects are put to the test, and they come up as winners every time with projects like the Park Avenue residential building, the Panama Canal and The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. However, the human mind still can’t come close to understanding the vastness of the whole universe. But as we get better at it, we clearly see two things: how tiny and insignificant man is by himself—and just how huge and wonderful is the plan that God most have for us!