With the tremendous growth in technology and personnel efficiency, the world has a record number of iconic buildings. From the Burj Khalifa to the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, there is no limit to how far humanity can go.
To every masterpiece, there is a story. Here, we learn some interesting facts about the world’s most iconic buildings.
1. The Burj Khalifa Holds Six Other Records
Most people know that the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. With a staggering height of close to a kilometer (828 meters), the Dubai-based iconic building has everything you can think of. Celebrities such as Tom Cruise have visited and explored it in the past.
However, being the tallest skyscraper isn’t the only record the Burj Khalifa holds. Others include the following:
- It has the most outdoor observation decks
- Burj Khalifa’s elevator system travels the longest distance
- It has the tallest service elevator
- It is the tallest free-standing structure in the world
- Has the most stories of any building worldwide
- It has the highest occupied floor in the world
The Burj Khalifa skyscraper is so tall that you can see the tip of the sphere from 95 kilometers away. Its elevators move at about 10m/s, making them one of the fastest in the world. If the building’s design looks familiar, it’s because it was inspired by the shape of a hymenocallis flower (spider lily).
2. The Eiffel Tower Could Be Non-Existent
Today, the Eiffel Tower, locally known as la Tour Eiffel, is a remarkable landmark symbolizing love and iconic with Paris. However, this hasn’t always been the case. It was initially designed to serve as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair, and it did.
Its completion took 2 years, 2 months, and several days. This was no mean feat at the time, considering it used over 7,300 tons of iron and more than 2.5 million rivets. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, with the help of his employees, the tower attracted more than 2 million visitors across the fair period.
Initially, the tower was intended to show off the country’s industrial prowess, then destroyed after 2 decades. However, a radio antenna and transmitter placed on the iconic structure proved helpful to the country’s authorities, so it earned a further 70-year lease extension.
The Eiffel Tower also survived Adolf Hitler’s attacks in August 1944. Following an order to level the city, Hitler’s men air-raided the structure, causing significant damage, but it somehow survived. This further highlighted how superb a job was done by its engineers.
After surviving Hitler’s attack orders and the lease given by the local authorities expired, the Eiffel Tower earned an indelible symbol status in Paris and France. Today, it is no longer subject to demolition. Instead, it is protected by all costs.
3. Burj Al Arab Has the Highest Helipad in Dubai
Before the Burj Khalifa, there was Burj Al Arab. Standing at 321 meters, Al Arab has nothing over Khalifa height-wise, but that does not mean it’s knocked out. Burj Al Arab still holds the record for having the highest helipad in Dubai. At 212m above sea level, the helipad corresponds with the hotel’s 56th floor.
If Burj Al Arab’s helipad position does not fascinate you much, the fact that the hotel is built on an artificial island might. The building’s designers decided to create a space away from the beach to regulate its shadow. They didn’t want the skyscraper’s shadow covering the beach.
With some of Burj Al Arab’s suites going for as much as US$ 28,000 per night, the hotel ranks among the most expensive in the world. If you factor in the underwater restaurants in the facility, the building is mind-blowing.
4. The White House Receives Approximately 6,000 Visitors Daily
Over time, the White House has been known as the President’s House or the President’s Palace. The building has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, more than 400 doors, and about 6 levels to accommodate everyone that operates there. It takes about 570 gallons of paint to cover its exterior surface.
However, the White House’s ability to host about 6,000 visitors daily is more fascinating. From heads of state from other countries to diplomats from around the country, the building is one of the busiest.
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa Was Initially Straight
Every year, tourists worldwide flock to Italy to climb and take pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Constructed between 1173 and 1399, this iconic building, with over 800 years of history, took about 2 centuries to complete.
Even though the building’s leaning aspect makes it very popular, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was initially straight, like other regular structures. However, the tower’s north side started tilting even before its complete construction. The constructors’ efforts to correct the mistake bore no fruit, and it remains that way.
Surprisingly, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has survived 4 earthquakes to date. This is strange, considering specialists have constantly reiterated that the soil upon which the building stands is not suitable for construction. It remains open for everyone to visit, explore, and take pictures.
6. The Empire State Building’s Antenna Is Occasionally Struck by Lightening
The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic structures in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It is a 102-story building designed by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon in the early 1930s. The iconic building has a lot of fascinating features and history.
One of the most striking ones is that lightning hits the Empire State Building’s antenna about 25 times yearly. Fortunately, it remains safe for inhabitants as necessary measures to curb adversities are in place. People usually try to take photos of the lightning in action, with some incredible images already online.
7. Taj Mahal’s Colors Change throughout the Day
Some people consider the Taj Mahal as one of the 7 wonders of the world, and understandably so. Built by Mughal Ruler Shah Jahan, the mausoleum is so iconic that people, especially Muslims, dream of visiting it at least once.
History and architectural magnificence aside, the Taj Mahal is one of the few buildings in the world that can change its color as the day passes. It has a different color in the morning, evening, and when the moon shines.
Interestingly, the color changes are not something to marvel at for the natives. Over time, experts have blamed air pollution for the building’s marble discoloration. This has prompted India’s Supreme Court to order the closure of hundreds of nearby smoke-emitting companies. The problems still persist.
The building that took over 20 years and more than 20,000 workers to complete several centuries back is also home to the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The graves are, however, unmarked because the Islamic religion forbids such practice.