Thousands of construction projects happen every year, involving millions of construction workers, so it is indeed difficult to pick the coolest of them all in any given year. Nevertheless, we have compiled a list of 8 of our favorite and coolest building projects from around the world for your enjoyment.
If you think we missed one, please leave us a note in the comments section!
8. Inflatable Bubble Building
This is perhaps the strangest project on our list, but it’s still very interesting. Due to the heavily polluted Shanghai, China skies, architect Francesco Gatti and his design firm 3GATTI have designed an inflatable antibacterial nylon exterior on an old-multi-story building. The nylon is designed to amplify the sunlight entering the room and create a much better climate inside the building.
7. Tallest North American Wood Building
Wood has been used to build structures since trees have existed, but their main drawback is that they’re not great in terms of fire protection. That’s the main reason why they have not typically been used to construct tall buildings. Cross Laminated Timber greatly increases the fire rating of a wood building because the tightly stacked, solid wood panels make it hard for the structure to burn. It also has a couple other benefits: it provides a fantastic thermal barrier and is up to 45% lighter than other non-wood buildings. The Origine Condominium Complex in Prince George, British Columbia is using Cross Laminated Timber to become North America’s tallest wood building, reaching heights of 134 feet.
6. Dubai Eye
Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are no stranger to record breaking buildings, as made evident by the World’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, among others. One of their latest record breakers is the Dubai Eye, a 715 foot tall Ferris wheel, which is set to break Las Vegas’ High Roller Ferris Wheel’s current record of 550 feet. The Dubai Eye will also feature a 165 foot LED screen in the center of the wheel to broadcast movies, ads, and other interactive material.
5. World’s First Zero Energy Hotel
While many of these projects on our list involve new and innovative technology, this specific project’s design was inspired by a termite hill. Termites use a series of dirt mounds to regulate temperature and air flow. Designer Ben Bronsema’s project, titled “Breeze” will cool air down by spraying it with ground water, allowing cool and warm air to circulate throughout the hotel without any mechanic air conditioning or heat.
4. Canadian Building Built Roof First
For thousands of years, roofs were installed after all of the lower floors had been completed, but that’s not entirely true anymore. The Upbrella construction method, developed by Canadian company 3L Innogenie is turning construction sequencing on its head, literally. The method involves building the roof structure right on top of the foundation and using a lifting method to build the lower floors. The method allows construction work to continue in the harsh weather of Canada much more efficiently.
3. US Capital Building Renovation
Building new and innovative buildings is always cool, but so is preserving centuries old historical buildings and bringing them back to their original state. Such is the case with the United States Capital Building, which is currently undergoing a $100 million restoration of its famous dome. The building has not been remodeled since 1960, so many of its thousands of ornamental cast iron pieces have rusted.
Below is one of the few videos that we have shared. To see more, visit the other stories linked directly above.
2. Miami’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
Building a 500,000 gallon seawater aquarium out of concrete can be described as nothing other than “epic.” Add to that, it’s a sphere. Oh and also, it’s going to be filled with water (obviously), so it can’t have any cracks in it. Those are the circumstances that Skanska was tasked with on Miami’s new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science. In order to complete the lower bowl, which has angles up to 44 degrees, they had to schedule a 25 hour continuous concrete pour, totaling over 1,200 cubic yards of concrete, which you can watch in the video below.
1. Tallest Building Site in Germany
It’s not all about the actual buildings on our list, so we decided to include the project with the best view of the year. The Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany and is located in the Wetterstein Mountains. The Eibsee cable car runs to the summit and a team of workers was tasked with building a new cable car station 10,000 above sea level. Thankfully, Liebherr captured how they were able to install a tower crane on top of the mountain on video and shared it with the world.