From the first steel skyscraper built in 1885 to the towering 2,717 ft Burj Khalifa, architects have been on a quest to make steel structures bigger and better. Constant vying for the top spot on the list of tallest and biggest has produced a collection of massive steel structures that boggle the mind. Here are the 4 biggest steel structures in the World that have been built to date.
1. New Century Global Centre
The south western Chinese city of Chengdu is home to the world’s largest building by square footage. To get an idea of size – you can fit 16 Wembley stadiums could fit underneath its vast roof. The Centre has its own artificial sun and an indoor beach complete with a giant 500 ft LED screen that mimics sunrise and sunset. Constructed of steel and glass, the Centre boasts several hotels, a university and various businesses and offices.
2. Boeing Everett Plant
American aircraft manufacturer Boeing began building their sprawling plant in Everett, Washington in 1966. The plant’s internal area was doubled in size after further expansion in the early 1990’s. It remains the largest building in the world in terms of usable space.
3. Burj Khalifa
A monument to the excesses of Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world. The highlight of the skyscraper is its 660-foot spire made of 4,000 tons of steel. The tower is built around steel girders and beams. As part of the building’s special heat-resistant cladding, the Burj Khalifa features over 24,000 stainless steel window frames.
This is a view from the top:
Warning: This video from the top of Burj Khalifa might make you hands sweat (not advised for anyone who suffers from vertigo)
4. Chaotianmen Bridge
The mighty Yangtze River is home to the world’s longest steel arch bridge. The bridge spans 552 meters over the Yangtze and carries both railway and automobile traffic. Completed in 2008, it was modeled after several famous bridges, including Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma Bridge and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Whether steel is forged into a huge airplane factory or a soaring skyscraper, the feats of contemporary architecture continue to push the boundaries of human ingenuity and imagination.