With ongoing innovation in computer-aided design, architecture, and construction technology, architects and builders today have the capacity to make their structures more complex than ever. While we have some ancient buildings that are considered works of art, some of the more modern structures would not be possible without the use of computers for design and testing.
Here is look at some of today’s most complex buildings around the world, either under construction or already complete.
Sydney Opera House
One of the first major projects to use CAD for testing, the famous Opera House in Sydney opened in 1973. It was tested by early computer programs to ensure that its unique design was structurally viable. It now a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most recognized buildings.
Dubai’s Museum of the Future
Dubai has many unique buildings, but its new Museum of the Future could turn out to be one of the world’s most complex buildings. Currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2019, this is a building that will be shaped like a torus, which is a futuristic look that has put designers and engineers to the test using the latest BIM and 4D sequencing technology.
Also located in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa holds the current record for the world’s tallest completed building at 2,717 feet and 163 floors. It was completed in 2010, and designers used CAD to conduct over 40 wind tunnel tests to ensure that the structure would remain sound. Tests resulted in the decision to rotate the tower 120 degrees to lower the stress from winds at certain heights.
With an anticipated completion date in 2019, this new tower in the United Arab Emirates is going to dwarf the world’s tallest building by more than 550 feet. This building is going to be the first ever with a height topping over a kilometer. It is going to include a Four Seasons hotel, luxury condos, offices, and observatory.
A new hotel under construction in China is such a unique concept that it is costing a fortune in design and engineering fees. Set at the edge of a quarry, this hotel has its roof at ground level and works its way down the face of a cliff. In fact, the first several floors of the hotel are under water. This $151 million project has involved over 5,000 architects, designers, engineers, and workers from its inception more than a decade ago.
Agora Garden Tower
Located in Taipei, this is a double-helix-shaped 20-story building housing luxury condos. What makes this building unique is not only its shape but also that it is “green” in just about every sense. It has balconies on every floor supporting garden spaces and state-of-the-art sustainable features that include rainwater recycling and solar cells.
Digital Grotesque II
This mixture of artwork and structure is the second such project using digital design and 3D printing technology to create a complex grotto. The structure consists of 7 tons of printed sandstone and is comprised of 1.35 billion surfaces. The development and completion of the project took two years and can be viewed at the Centre Pompidou in France.
Design and construction have been dramatically improved by digital tools such as CAD and now AI. While some buildings might be larger in size or more ornate than the ones we listed, the complexity of design, engineering, and construction involved with these structures makes them truly unique.