Des de Gran Bretanya, passsant per l’ Orient mitjà i la Xina, els enginyers i arquitectes estan empenyent els límits del possible en la seva lluita per crear el més gran i el millor. És això correcte en el món en què vivim? Ens pot més l’esperit de superació?
Photograph: Render by Methanoia © Zaha Hadid Architects
Photograph: Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Photograph: PR handout
Chernobyl reactor, Ukraine
The engineers of the USSR who fought to bring the Chernobyl disaster under control built a hastily constructed concrete sarcophagus, designed to cover the hole that had opened up above the destroyed reactor. A new steel arched structure is being built, to be rolled on rails over the reactor, from which point demolition work can begin using cranes suspended from the new roof. It’s the most insanely difficult project, right down to the shift practices of the workers – if your personal radioactivity meter hits a certain level it’s tools down and you’re off site.
Hotel Abraj Kudai, Mecca
Over in Mecca, the area around the Kaaba will be a forest of cranes for decades to come, as the Grand Mosque is upgraded to accommodate more than two million pilgrims every hajj. Looking down upon the mosque, vast constructions, including the Abraj al Bait, the fourth tallest structure in the world, provide luxury accommodation for Islam’s holiest place. This transformation is completely redefining Mecca, prompting cries that the physical archaeology of Islam is being wiped away. Nearby, the Abraj Kudai cluster of towers will hold mor
Many underground railways have been built before, but the logistical manoeuvring that has been necessary to keep a city of millions running above while this new east-west link is threaded through the sewers, cables, and foundations of London – not to mention existing underground tunnels – is truly staggering. Crossrailis strange for the UK, in that much of the infrastructure of the country is old, and there’s not a great deal of opportunity for expansion. But elsewhere in the world, there are projects on site that set new records for size.
Photograph: Populous & Ateliers