Underground structures are often some of the most astonishing structures that you can delve into. Most underground structures require a significant amount of planning on the part of the architects and execution savviness on the part of the building team. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about architectural genius, take a look at these amazing underground manmade structures across the world.
1. Ukraine: Arsenalna Metro Station
There are plenty of underground subway stations around the world, but the Arsenalna station in Kyiv, Ukraine takes the world record for the deepest one. It takes five minutes on an escalator to go between the station and the surface. This happened because Arsenalna itself is on an incredibly tall hill right between a river and a valley. Instead of having the metro go over the hill every time it had to go to the Arsenalna station, the designers chose to go through the hill, placing it 346 feet below ground.
2. Australia: Sydney Opera House
When discussing the Sydney Opera House, many people think about the beautiful designs up top. However, not nearly as many think about the underground parking garage, which takes the record for the deepest basement in the world. It’s 120 feet deep and utilizes a unique double helix shape to ensure it’s in line with fire escape regulations. Though not nearly as many people notice it, this basement can be just as beautiful as the rest of the structure.
3. Switzerland: Gotthard Base Tunnel
The Swiss Alps is a beautiful and well-loved mountain range, but it can also pose a challenge to people who are looking to get across it. In an attempt to fix this challenge, the Gotthard Base Tunnel was approved in 1992 and finally opened to the public in 2016. Today, due to the fact that it goes through the Alps with no elevation climb, it holds the record for longest underground tunnel as it winds its way through the Swiss Alps for 35 miles. Workers had to remove about 28 million metric tons of rock to create it.
4. United States: Salesforce Tower
Skyscrapers have to have extremely sturdy bases to ensure that they don’t fall over. Nowhere is this more obvious than the Salesforce Tower, which holds the record for deepest building foundation at 310 feet below grade. That makes it nearly a third of the height of the 1,070-foot skyscraper. This is partially because San Francisco is an earthquake-prone area, so the development team had to create an earthquake-proof skyscraper. It set new benchmarks in seismic safety ratings as a result.
5. Turkey: Derinkuyu Tunnels
Underground architectural feats aren’t limited exclusively to the modern era. The Derinkuyu tunnels, rediscovered under Cappadocia in 1963, are a great example of this. They were completed by 1200 CE, then used as a hiding place during the wars that tended to happen in the area for hundreds of years. This led to their development as the biggest underground city, with 18 stories of depth behind them. The tunnels were abandoned in the early 1900s, then accidentally rediscovered in 1963 by a Turkish man renovating his basement.
6. China: Jinping Underground Laboratory
An underground laboratory might seem unnecessary to you, but to researchers studying neutrino physics and dark matter, it’s crucial. If they do the experiments on the surface, cosmic radiation can interfere with the results. Enter China’s underground laboratory, which is built inside a former gold mine, making it the deepest laboratory in the world at 7,900 feet deep. Here, Chinese researchers can do important experiments while reducing the impact of cosmic radiation by a factor of over 10 million.
Underground structures require a lot of foresight and knowledge to build. If you’re looking to learn more about underground structures, this is a great place to start, although it’s only a fraction of the incredible underground buildings that exist across the world. Remember, too, that your home needs attention underground, even if you’re not breaking any world records under there.