Underwater restaurants, folding bridges, floating hotels and cliffside homes. Humankind has an incredible capacity to do some truly insane creations. Here is a small selection of some of the recent achievements of extreme engineering.
Norway’s very ambitious Stad Ship Tunnel finally got full marks. The tunnel, which is scheduled to begin construction next year, will pass through the entire peninsula, allowing ships to bypass Norway’s most dangerous shipping route.
Eco-Floating Hotel makes an ambitious return to sustainable design
Qatar isn’t exactly lacking in notable architecture, but a new floating hotel would definitely be a dizzying addition to the Middle Eastern country.
Luxury house disappears in rugged Greek landscape
It would be easy to miss the NCaved house amid the rugged landscape of the Greek island of Serifos. Designed by Mold Architects, the house sits so well on the rocky hill that it’s like a piece of it. NCaved was created in collaboration with structural engineers Studio 265 and sits at an enviable spot in a small secluded bay.
The road bridge unfolds like an umbrella
In Austria, a creative new approach to bridge construction was demonstrated for the first time, where engineers connected the opposite sides of two rivers with a new construction method similar to opening an umbrella.
The tallest statue in the world opens to the public in India
The tallest statue in the world was officially opened in India. Standing almost 600 ft (182 m) high, the new Unity Statue depicts the Indian freedom fighter Vallabhbhai Patel
Europe’s first underwater restaurant offering sea floor view
With Norwegian visitors now neither can eat two fish in an impressive new restaurant by Snøhetta. The building, aptly named Under, was partially sunk into the sea and housed in a concrete shell designed to withstand the harsh conditions on the sea floor on Norway’s rugged southern coast.
China’s magnificent “horizontal skyscraper” opens to visitors
Construction work is still ongoing on China’s massive Raffles City Chongqing project, but its most striking feature, the “horizontal skyscraper” is now open to visitors. The stunning skybridge features a park and a glass-bottom observation point.
Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world
Even in the cutting edge world of skyscraper design, the Burj Khalifa stands out from the rest. Officially opened in 2010, the building remains by a long way the tallest building in the world and represents an incredible engineering feat. Besides being the tallest skyscraper in the world, Burj Khalifa is the tallest independent structure in the world.
The tallest sand castle in the world reaches the sky in Germany
This sand castle is not the kind you make on the beach with a bucket and shovel, but an ambitious project declared by the Guinness World Records as the tallest sand castle in the world. Composed of 3,500 tons of compacted sand, this sand surpassed the previous record in Odisha, India by 184 cm (6 ft). Sandcastle is located in Duisburg, Germany and was commissioned by a German tour company called Schauinsland-Reisen.
Zaha Hadid’s holey hotel turns heads in Dubai
Dubai is full of impressive buildings, including the tallest building in the world, but even with this company, Opus stands out as something extraordinary.
Heatherwick Studio’s park on stilts soars on the Hudson River in NYC
Little Island, first introduced as Pier 55 in 2014, is the product of an architecture competition organized by the Hudson River Park Trust and businessman and philanthropist Barry Diller.
Gorgeous luxury home is a real cliff hanger
When Daz Architects was commissioned to design a family house on the slope of a mountain in Lebanon, they decided on an unconventional approach. CH730 Villa curves down to follow the slope of the mountain and offers a magnificent view of the scenery below.
The most spectacular and dangerous cliffside houses
Everyone loves a good view, but some architects have taken this obsession to the extreme, with structures perched on dangerous cliffs, often leaving parts of dwellings literally suspended above drops.
From buried bunkers to hobbit houses – a glimpse of underground life
In addition to offering the energy-saving benefits of the surrounding soil acting as insulation, many of these coercive structures seem to be absent in their surroundings. From the grass-covered pyramids of Biesbosch Museum Island to the Great Wall of WA in Australia, many of these buildings sit in perfect harmony with their surroundings.