The Guinness world records are known for their grand and, at times, transparent wins. However, some buildings that portray extra-ordinary heights, weights, and peculiarities peek in from this ever-increasing list of recognition. Achieving architectural world records is not easy. It not only calls for good luck but also expects pure grit. Thus, catching up on design with ambition, funding, and labor summons the break-through.

With this, let us look at the top 10 architectural and construction wonders that have gained recognition despite their challenges.

Architectural world records for the tallest building in the world: Burj-Khalifa: 828M.

Burj-Khalifa is not only the tallest building in the world, but it also a dual holder of architectural world records. It is the tallest structure, a position held previously by KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota. Furthermore, it is the tallest free-standing structure in the world, previously held by Toronto’s CN Tower.

Architectural world records: Burj Khalifa
The Burj-Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 828m. (© Izkiz)

A Chicago-based council on tall buildings emphasizes the three criteria of the floor height, the highest occupied floor, and the elevation till the antennae tip. Surprisingly, Burj-Khalifa aces all three. In addition to this, Burj-Khalifa by Adrian Smith, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill architects has outperformed awards for the highest number of stories and the topmost observation deck. Burj-Khalifa has 162 floors above ground level and thus is the highest occupied building, a feather in another set of architectural world records. Similarly, it also features elevators with the longest travel distance, the highest mosque on the 158th floor, and the topmost pool on the 76th floor. The site excavation for this structure began in January 2004. Emaar properties launched this tower in January 2010.

Also Read: Ground scrapers: The long building architecture

The most expensive house: Antilia, House of Mukesh Ambani, India: 2 Billion U.S $.

Antilia is a private residence visualized and designed by Perkins and Will Architects. It symbolizes the fictional islands of the pacific ocean. Furthermore, the architectural design draws the lines of the sun and the lotus blooms. In addition to client response, Antilia stands tall at 27 stories, 173m, and covers about 37,000 sq.m. Furthermore, this residence features three helipads, car garages, ballrooms, a snow room, nine high-speed elevators, and a 50 seat theater. In addition to this, terrace gardens, swimming pools, and spas break the monotony, while a health care unit provides service.Thus, this residence aces up the world architectural records for budget. Above all, this elaborate private home can survive earthquakes of high magnitudes.

Architectural world records for the most expensive house
Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia, the most expensive house at 2 billion U.S $. (© Design Addict)

A theme-specific material palette furnishes the interiors. These interiors sync in with the background, lifestyle, and family routine. The top six floors of the building reserved as private residences compromise the residential core of the building.

The first 3-D printed commercial building: Dubai Future Foundation, UAE: 20 February 2020.

Surpassing the world technology, the Dubai Future Foundation, structured with just one printer, measures 20 feet high, 120 feet long, and 40 feet wide. Besides 50% lesser labor, the building also reduced its construction waste by 60%. In particular, the building took 17 days for printing, two days for installation, and about three months for landscapes for beating the architectural world records. Currently, the building shelters the DFF’s Dubai Future Academy that provides solutions through technology.

The Dubai future foundation, the first ever printed commercial building (© Archello)

This structure, designed by the Killa design studio and Gensler, features modularity in computer-aided fabrication by additive manufacturing. Thus, the labor reduced remarkably. It included a computer technician, a seven-people installation team, and general mechanical and electrical contractors. The project fuses quality, innovation, and interaction, and thus, is a part of UAE’s goal to inflect technology.

Also Read: What is 3D printing technology? How it is used in Architecture?

Architectural world records for the tallest wooden building: Mjostarnet, Norway ( 85.4 meters ):

Besides hinting at tomorrow’s sustainable cities, the wood-scraper uses vernacular resources to reduce down the Carbon-dioxide emissions. Owned by A.B Invest and designed by Voll Arkitekter, the building uses glulam timber beams to take-down concrete and steel. The structure uses about 3500cu.m of timber, or 14,000 trees.

Mjostarnet, the tallest wooden building at 85.4m (© Archello)

Mjostarnet is a mix-use tower of 18 stories with a public ground floor, lobby, and reception area. The building features a five-storied office, a four-storied hotel, and 33 residential blocks. Although residences occupy the two top floors, they also have exhibition rooms and viewing terraces. Large-scale columns and trusses align the periphery for resisting external displacement. However, they were left exposed for a raw interior finish. Furthermore, the building can withstand complete burn-outs from fire.

The oldest wooden building: Horyuji temple, Japan ( 607C.E ):

Horyuji by Prince Shotoku of the Asuka period near Nara in Japan is the only Buddhist monastery preserved in its original state. Additionally, it became the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993 CE. Furthermore, the Asuka design showcases curving and tapering columns with double terraces, tiled roofs, and timber brackets.

Architectural world records for the oldest wooden building
The oldest wooden building in the world (© Interaction Green)

The main hall is a two-storied wooden building with a tiled hip and gable roof. The facade supports wooden dragons and water deities that calm down fire, as per belief. The equally crucial swastika railings join the v-shaped posts. The temple, made from Hinoki wood, not only strengthens by 30% over 300 years but stays afresh for about 1000 years. This wood highlights the thought for longevity by the craftsmen. Thus, the 1300-year-old temple has the same strength now as of new timber.

The farthest leaning building: Capital Gate, UAE ( 18° Inclination):

Owing to a lean of more than four times of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Capital Gate earned Guinness recognition in January 2010. The 160m, 35-storied tower, appraised by the awards committee, gained fame after its completion. In addition to vertical floor plate stacking till 12 stories, staggering between 300-1400mm later on aided the lean.

The Capital gate, the farthest leaning building in the world (© CNN)

However, the lean puts immense pressure on the vertical, post-tensioned core of the building. Vertical pre-cambering strengthens the middle. It contains more than 15,000 cu.m of concrete, reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel. Although the shell is a strong exoskeleton with a clear floor plate, it uses less steel than a conventional frame.

Also Read: Zaha Hadid & her Architecture philosophies

Architectural world records for the most slender tower: Top O’ Texas tower, U.S.A (Slenderness ratio: 47.61):

Located in Texas, designed by Good Fulton and Farrell Architects with Jonathan Rollins, the 152.4m tower is worth around 12 million U.S dollars. Even though construction began in summer 2011, the structure opened on 27 September 2013 for the public. The design uses 24m long shaft elements, weighing up to 64 tons for assembly. In particular, the tower weighs 480 tons and uses 1223.3 cu. cm. concrete for its foundation.

Architectural world records for the most slender tower
The Top o Texas tower, the most slender tower (© Gff)

1.4 million LED lights illuminate the tower. Even though 100 passengers can visit the observation tower at once, the ride takes about 4.5 mins at moderate speed. During the transit, the gondola rotates along the vertical axis. Thus it offers paranomic views of the context.

Architectural world records for the largest self-supporting dome: Sports hub, Singapore (312m span):

The 1.3-billion $ sports hub and the national stadium of Singapore, designed by Arup and DP Architects, spans about 312m. The structure uses about 3000m of steel trusses and giant louvers that shield from extreme climates.

The Sports hub, Singapore, the largest self – supporting dome (© Delaware North)

The hub has mechanized seating, adjusting itself in 48 hours to host sports, concerts, and cultural events. In a brief move, the construction process utilized 26 cranes, 250,000cu.m concrete, 6000 foundation piles, and employed about 4200 workers. In comparison and contrast, the ventilation process eases out from under the stadium rather than at the top. The hub later gained momentum as a sport, entertainment, and lifestyle habitat. Additionally, over 55,000 spectators can enjoy events, visit malls, restaurants, museums, and other facilities.

Also Read: Top 10 Architectural Websites Useful for Architecture Students

The largest mud building in the world: Grand mosque in Djenne, Mali (100 X 40m span):

Completed in 1907 and currently, in its third conservation phase, this monumental building features an earthen roof supported by decorative columns. The mud bricks for this structure owe a hefty composition of mud, sand, rice-husks, and water. However, the rectilinear and semi-enclosed building of today has numerous holes covered in Terra-cotta lids. These holes flush the interiors with air. Decorative but structural timber beams act as scaffolding for the re-plastering process. During the annual festival, both men and women share in the mosque’s conservation. Re-plastering carried out by kneading butter, alluvial silt, and sand furnishes the walls. Men usually mix up construction materials while the women provide water. However, since the civil war in 2012, the government suffers from limited resources to protect, maintain and secure sites. Thus, armed disputes, civil unrest, environmental threats, urban development, and lack of co-operation cripples down this structure.


Architectural world records for the first artificial fog building: Blur building, Switzerland (2002):

In an award-winning attempt, a building designed by Diller and Scofidio architects for the Swiss National exposition uses artificial fog for its design. A suspended 60 X 100 X 20m steel platform remains enclosed under a giant cloud. This cloud, formed with precise spraying and high-grade steel jets with tiny apertures, forces lake-water onto needlepoint. Most of these droplets, 4-10 microns, and with a pressure of about 80 bars flow as fog.

The first artificial fog building, the Blur building, Switzerland (© Delaware North)

The building minimizes labor and, about 400 visitors can enter this computer-controlled environment. Though the building requires maintenance, it leaves the visitor awe-struck. The fog density constantly changes and amuses the visitor with its long trails and cooler temperatures.

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