At , much of the work we focus on takes place in the realms of the incredibly small. Transistors, after all, stopped being visible to the naked eye quite some time ago. But just because we focus on the nanoscale as a general rule doesn’t mean there aren’t major breakthroughs taking place that are, well, quite a bit bigger. Today, we’re rounding up some of the largest construction projects around the world.
Instead of looking for a single theme, we’ve pulled together a range of projects, each notable for its own achievements. The result is a touch more eclectic, but also hopefully more interesting.
Amager Resource Center (ARC) Power Plant
The Amager Resource Center in Denmark is a 1.02 million square-foot facility to convert waste heat and energy into useful electricity. What makes the plant unique is that it includes a ski resort, a smokestack capable of blowing smoke rings, and it’s a critical component of Copenhagen’s push to be a zero-carbon city by 2025. While the waste-burning section of the plant is already active, the ski slope isn’t expected to be ready until 2018, which makes it eligible for inclusion here. The plant can produce up to 63MW of electricity or 247MW of heat, and is claimed to be the cleanest incineration plant in the world.
Grand Egyptian Museum
The Grand Egyptian Museum, also called the Giza Museum, is intended to serve as the largest archaeological museum in the world dedicated to the artifacts and collections of Ancient Egypt (a topic we’ve discussed ourselves a time or two). The building is aligned with the Great Pyramid and pyramid of Menkaure and will open with the full collection of Tutankhamun, of roughly 5,000 pieces total. Cutting-edge technology like VR will also be used in exhibits and displays.
Amazon’s Seattle Spheres
The Seattle Spheres are an interesting example of how to pack huge amounts of plant diversity into a comparatively compact space. These three conservatories are open to the public on the weekends and house 40,000 plants in what’s technically known as a pentagonal hexecontahedron. Included plants are gathered and segregated into New World and Old World species, and it took three years to construct the domes and grow the plants.
The Nanjing Towers look like a SimCity 2000-era arcology or similarly futuristic design. The towers — stylized as the first Vertical Forest built in Asia — include 1,100 trees from 23 local species, while 2,500 “cascading plants” will be used to complete the design, with a total of 6,000 square meters of “forest” coverage across the buildings. The installation in Nanjing, China will absorb 25 tons of CO2 per year and produce ~60kg of oxygen per day. The towers will be used for a variety of spaces, including a museum, Hyatt hotel, and in one case, a private club.
The Framework building is noteworthy for being an 11-story structure built primarily from wood rather than the steel Americans would typically expect. The structure will include 31,260 square feet of office space on floors 2-6, with floors 7-11 reserved for families earning less than 60 percent of the median income in Portland, Oregon. Steel post-tension rods are still used for earthquake resiliency and the building is designed to be repairable after a major seismic incident, though we hopefully won’t find out whether or not that’s actually the case.