When most people think about cities, to visit or to live, they tend to conjure up familiar images of a city’s attributes, a city’s skyline contrived of buildings or bridges. However, cities are fundamentally about the people within, where they go, where they meet and the infrastructure that makes it all possible. People are the core of what makes a city.
Ere go, even more significant than the cities themselves are the public works that support the city and its inhabitants. Today, some of the most transformative changes in cities are due to public works architecture projects. We at SH Architecture believe public works architecture is the key to a great city and what makes a city come alive.
Throughout history, public works architecture projects have dominated the headlines. From the tallest buildings in the world to colossal bridges, people around the world depend on these amazing examples of innovation in public works architecture. That’s because all of this architecture and innovation ties back to that core purpose: to support human life and make it more enjoyable.
In this article, we’ll take a look at eight of the most impressive public works architecture projects from across the globe.
8 Wonders of Public Works Architecture
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the oldest and most famous monuments in the world and is the last of the “seven wonders” of the ancient world still standing. Precisely how the ancient Egyptians managed to build the massive pyramids throughout Egypt is still a matter of debate among architects, and for many years, it was believed that the workers responsible for constructing the pyramids were slaves. However, Egyptologists now believe that the pyramids were, in fact, public works architecture projects.
The Great Wall of China
In 214 BC, Emperor Shih Huang-ti conquered all of China’s warring nations and unified the country. However, they were under a severe threat of Mongol raids, which caused a great deal of destruction throughout the country. Shih Huang-ti decided to put an end to the Mongol threat by constructing one of the largest public works architecture projects in the history of the world. Today, the Great Wall of China is considered the longest man-made structure on the planet.
Aqueduct of Segovia
The ancient Roman civilization is well-known throughout the architecture community and history as one of the greatest builders of infrastructure. In fact, they were the first civilization to dedicate themselves to a serious, determined effort to public works as a basis for their settlements. The Aqueduct of Segovia, which carried water from the Rio Frio river to the Roman settlement in Segovia, Spain, is one of the most extensive surviving public works architecture projects from the Roman Empire.
The Brooklyn Bridge and its distinctive masonry towers are a symbol of New York City and recognized by people around the world. During the 19th century, the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the city’s greatest achievements of public works architecture and remains so today.
Construction of the Hoover Dam began during one of the most difficult times in American history, the Great Depression. It stands 726 feet tall and is 660 feet wide at its base and provides both electricity and irrigation to Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. Today, more than 70 years after it initially opened, the Hoover Dam is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, drawing about 10 million visitors each year—a wonder of public works architecture.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate bridge, which stands at the entrance of San Francisco Bay, is an icon of American ingenuity and one of the nation’s greatest public works architecture projects. In fact, the Golden Gate Bridge is the best known, most frequently visited suspension bridge on the planet and a perfect blend of natural and man-made environments.
The Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, is a “megatall” skyscraper recognized as the tallest man-made structure in the world. It stands a colossal 2,722 feet tall and has redefined what is possible in the design and engineering of public works architecture. The Burj Khalifa is still under construction (and has been since 2004), but aims to be home to 1,044 luxury apartments, 49 floors of offices and a 160-room hotel. Around 12,000 people are expected to live and work in the tower.
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (or Qingdao Haiwan Bridge)
The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, also known as the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, opened in 2011 and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest bridge over water. In fact, it’s so big that there’s a highway interchange on it. The bridge connects the city of Qingdao with an island across the Jiaozhou Bay and is undoubtedly a feat of public works architecture.
If you need an architecture firm for your public works project, contact SH Architecture today. We have offices in Las Vegas and Salt Lake City and look forward to making the building of your dreams a reality.