Architecture is a fascinating industry that encapsulates a variety of jobs and sectors. By definition, it can be a term to describe physical structures itself, the art and science of designing these structures, the specific style of design and a method of construction, making it somewhat of an umbrella term for many. Here at ANYWeld, we’re fascinated by architecture from all over the world, from the tallest skyscrapers to the unique style of staircases within homes and everything in between. We’ve explored some of the most fascinating facts about architecture in every form so that you can read, enjoy and share with your friends.
An Eggy Bridge
In Lima, Peru, stands a bridge that was built around 1610 and is made from a mortar that was mixed with the whites of 10,000 eggs. The eggs, laid by sea birds, were thought to improve the consistency of the mortar and made it easier for architect Juan del Corral to work with. The bridge connects Lima to Rimac across the Rimac River, and remains standing today, albeit a popular place for tourists to Lima to grab a selfie.
An Olympic Sport
Believe it or not, architecture was classified as an Olympic sport for the first forty years of the Olympic Games. Together with music, painting, sculpture, literature and architecture, 151 medals were awarded, and Baron Pierre de Coubertin who revived the modern games considered art to be a major part of the competition. The only rule was that every submission must have some element that is related to sports.
The Empire State Building
This iconic New York building is 103 stories high and consists of 10 million bricks. It is one of the most well-recognised buildings in the world and took one year and 45 days to construct, or the equivalent of seven million man-hours. It attracts about four million visitors every single year and regularly appears in Hollywood blockbusters, including Elf, The Amazing Spiderman and Sleepless in Seattle. On a clear day, the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are all visible.
A computer game that seems to have stood the test of time and remains popular across the generations today was originally designed as a simulator for architecture. Debuting in 2000, the first concept worked much like SimCity, with players designing a house before others would test the success of the build and design.
Pyramids of Egypt
The oldest and biggest of the three pyramids is known as the Great Pyramid of Giza and is one of the seven wonders of the world. To give a perspective of the size of this awe-inspiring structure, the base alone can cover ten football fields combined. It was built for Pharaoh Khufu around 2580 BC and took 400,000 men twenty years to construct. The original purpose of the pyramids were to be tombs for the dead as they believe Pharaohs should be buried with their treasure. However, by 1000 BC, every single pyramid had been robbed of its treasure, so perhaps they are not as secure as once hoped. For more on this, check out our recent blog post, The History of Structural Engineering.
The Abandoned Subway of Cincinnati
Hidden away underneath the busy and bustling streets of Cincinnati lies the largest abandoned system of tunnels and stations in the US. Originally designed as an upgrade to the city’s streetcar system, the project was proposed in the 1910s, but was then interrupted by World War One. In the years that followed, the United States suffered devastating inflation and political uncertainty, causing the project to be abandoned and never revisited.
The Great Wall of China
A favourite piece of trivia that often pops up at the local pub quiz, The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that is visible from space. It has a total length of 13,170.7 miles and is renowned for being the longest ever feat of human engineering. The average height of the walls is just six-seven metres, with the tallest point reaching 14 metres, although the highest altitude of the wall boasts an elevation of nearly 1500 metres. The lowest point, based in Laolongtou in Hebei is just above sea level, demonstrating the sheer magnitude of this construction. Thought to be around 2700 years old, The Great Wall was built by over 1,000,000 workers and today attracts 50 million visitors from across the globe.
Farmers in Japan remove the hulls from their rice crop and mix them into some kind of paste to create brick-shaped blocks, which are then used to build houses. This resourceful way of getting on the property ladder in Japan is a fascinating form of architecture and are known locally as ‘houses of rice skin’.
We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out some of our favourite facts about architecture and have learned something new. As one of the many steel fabrication companies in the UK, we are one of the fastest-growing in the south west and specialise in the design, manufacture and installation of structural and architectural steel and glass products. With over thirty years of industry experience, we’d love to hear more about your project and offer guidance on whether we can help, so contact us today to make your architectural visions, a reality.