30 Architectural Marvels: Interesting Facts About Famous Buildings

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1Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree

The tallest free-standing tower in the world, the Tokyo Sky Tree, had its final height chosen solely because of wordplay; several numbers were considered because of their alternate meanings, they ended up choosing 634 meters for "Musashi."

2. The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be scrapped after 20 years. It only survived because the military started using it as a radio tower, intercepting crucial military transmissions during World War 1.

3. The Sydney Opera House actually has terrible acoustics. Edo de Waart, the former chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, once threatened to boycott the building. There is a $202 million project underway to renovate and improve the acoustics.

4. After 10 years of effort and $40 million, the Leaning Tower of Pisa stopped moving in 2001 for the first time in its 800-year history. The tower is now expected to stay stable for at least 200 years.

5. The Pagoda at Horyuji is the oldest wooden building on the planet. It contains some timbers that came from trees felled around 600 A.D.

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6Japanese buildings

Japanese buildings

Traditional Japanese buildings do not use nails or glue. Instead, timbers are connected by elaborate dovetail joints.

7. A small, single-story building (Corporation Trust Center) at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware is the registered home of over 6,500 corporations and 200,000 businesses, such as Google, American Airlines, Apple, GM, Coca-Cola, KFC, Verizon Internet Services, and Deutsche Bank.

8. The Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona has been under construction for over 130 years and it is not expected to be completed at least until 2026, according to the earliest estimates.

9. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is actually just as wide as it is tall. It is 630 feet in height and 630 feet in width. It is also the tallest man-made monument in the United States.

10. The Parthenon is in such bad condition because occupying Turkish forces used it as a powder magazine which exploded when hit by a Venetian shell in 1687.

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11Pentagon Bathrooms

Pentagon Bathrooms

The Pentagon was constructed with twice the number of bathrooms needed for the number of employees because segregated Virginia at the time required separate facilities for "white" and "colored" persons.

12. In 2007, the First Mount Olive Free Will Baptist Church purchased a $150,000 Bentley, neglected to pay their $12,000 water bill, and defaulted on their $1.5 million mortgages. The church was struck by lightning and the subsequent fire completely destroyed the building.

13. The Walkie-Talkie building in London has unintentionally melted cars and changed weather patterns due to its concave design, which focuses a beam of light 6 times brighter than sunlight and heats the pavement to nearly 250°F at certain spots.

14. The world's thinnest house is just 4 feet wide. It is set between two buildings in Warsaw, Poland. The home is 33 feet in length and about 30 feet tall.

15. In a competition to build the world's tallest building, the architect of the Chrysler Building secretly built it with a 125 feet long spire inside of it. When his competitor’s building was completed, the spire was pushed up through the building making it taller by 119 feet.

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16Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat used far greater amounts of stone than all the Egyptian pyramids combined, and occupied an area greater than Paris. Unlike the Egyptian pyramids, which used stone quarried from only 0.5 km (0.3 miles) away, the entire city of Angkor was built with stone quarried over 35km (22 miles) away.

17. The world's first bio-adaptive building facade in Hamburg uses algae-filled biomass panels to capture heat, reflect light and generate electricity - "it is, in essence, an architectural ecosystem."

18. During the rebuild of the World Trade Centre, a 30-min lunch break actually ran much longer as workers had to wait for elevators to ferry them up and down. To accommodate these workers, Subway created a mobile restaurant that moved up the building as they finished each floor.

19. The Forbidden City, built in 1420, was so well-designed that it withstood over 200 earthquakes and can withstand one with magnitude 10.1 on the Richter scale.

20. In 1950, the interior of the Whitehouse was dismantled, leaving the house as a shell. It was then rebuilt using concrete and steel beams in place of its original wooden joists.

21Roman Colosseum

Roman Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum had 28 lifts which hoisted animals 24 feet up, then cage lids and trap doors in the arena floor opened simultaneously, unleashing beasts to fight each other or men. Exact replica of the lift was remade in 2015. A wolf was then chosen to be the first animal to successfully make the ascension in the replica, who received a biscuit when released into the Colosseum.

22. The minarets (towers) surrounding the Taj Mahal lean slightly outwards in order to appear straight when viewed from the main gates, and in the event of an earthquake or other disasters will naturally fall away from the Taj itself.

23. The restrooms on the 103rd floor of the Willis (Sears) Tower, at 1,353 feet (412.4 meters) high, are the highest in the Western Hemisphere, relative to street level.

24. The Michigan Theater which was once one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in the Midwest is now used as a parking garage.

25. There is a temple in India named Lotus Temple where anyone is welcome regardless of religion.

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