In our short time on this planet, mankind has accomplished much in reshaping our environment through the manipulation of a variety of materials. Yet when it comes to strength, durability and design excellence, steel structures tend to stand out the most in terms of our accomplishments.
From pulling the stuff out of the earth and smelting it into a usable material, right down to designing marvels of engineering out of steel; our history is filled with mind-boggling accomplishments thanks to this versatile material.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles
The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles was completed in 2003 by designer Frank Gehry. This remarkable building consists of stainless steel slats and cost a whopping $27 million to build.
Initially, the slats were comprised of matte steel, but after numerous complaints by local residents regarding the glare that they produced, the slats were eventually sanded to reduce it.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
This remarkable bridge is just over a kilometre long and carries almost all modes of transportation from pedestrians and cyclists, to trams, busses and cars. It connects the Sydney CBD to the North Shore, and took nearly ten years to complete.
The estimated weight of the steel used in this massive construction is around 53000 tonnes which makes it no surprise that the bridge has the largest arch in the world; an arch which increases by around 7 inches in the midday heat.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai
This 830-meter, 163 floor building is now considered to be the tallest in the world and is made up of around 4000 tonnes of steel in just the spire alone. It took only a little over five years to be completed and cost its investors (Emaar Properties) $1.5 billion to build.
It plays host to a stunning viewing deck, a restaurant, hotel and an 11-hectare office park.
The Eifel Tower
The Eifel Tower is a cultural icon and is one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. Built in 1889, the construct is a true testament to the innovation of people. It was once considered to be the tallest building in the world (many years ago,) at an underwhelming 320 meters; that was until the Chrysler building shattered its record.
It is estimated to have around 7300 tonnes of steel in its structure. However, since it was designed with space in mind, should you melt down the entire tower, those 7300 tonnes of steel would fill a meagre 6-meter radius sphere.
The cost of the building (in 1889) totalled to 7.8 million French gold francs, or $31 million by today’s standards.
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