Ten of the World’s Most Impressive Structures Made with Concrete

Concrete is a material that has been used for centuries and some of the world’s most famous ancient structures, such as the Pantheon (built 118-128 AD) and the Coliseum in Rome (70 AD), were made from concrete.

Known for its strength, versatility, affordability and ability to withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes, it is readily used in the construction of a number of dramatic structures worldwide including statues, bridges, dams, buildings and tunnels.

In this article Madmix, suppliers of ready to use concrete Cambridge, looks at some of the most impressive structures on the planet made with concrete.


Tallest Freestanding Structure in the Western Hemisphere

The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, (see above) stands at an incredible 553.33m high and at the time it was built, in 1976, it made a name for itself as the world’s tallest freestanding structure. It’s now the 6th largest tower as this record has been exceeded by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Tokyo Skytree, the Shanghai Tower, the Abraj Al Bait Towers in Saudi Arabia, and the Canton Tower in China. Built using a climbing concrete formwork, the CN Tower remains a major attraction, playing host to two million visitors a year, who visit the observation deck or dine in the revolving restaurant.

The World’s Heaviest Concrete Structure

The Three Gorges Dam, a hydropower dam on the Yangtze River in China is considered the world’s heaviest concrete structure. It is built from an amazing 144,309,356,753.51 pounds of concrete. According to Construction Chat, who provides support to students on behalf of the construction industry, China is a major user of the substance, using more in the last three years than the US used in the last century!


The World’s Largest Concrete Pour

The Burj Khalifa, also known as the Khalfia Tower (pictured above), involved a staggering amount of ready-to-use concrete in its construction. As well as being one of the world’s largest concrete structures, the tower took 22 million man hours to build, with 330,000 cubic metres of concrete used for the tower alone. It broke the record for the world’s largest continuous foundation concrete pour, with 20,927 cubic yards poured in 2007. This record has since been broken by a skyscraper under construction on the Wilshire Grand site in Los Angeles.

The World’s Tallest Concrete Dam

The title of the world’s tallest concrete dam is awarded to the Grande Dixence in Switzerland. It’s 285m tall, took eight years to build, and was finished in 1961. A total of six million cubic metres of concrete was used in its construction.

The World’s Longest Concrete Viaduct

The Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct Bridge in Pennsylvania, USA, is currently the longest concrete viaduct on the planet. It’s 73m high and 724m long, although most of the bridge is actually underground. When it was built a century ago it was declared the largest concrete structure in the world. It is used daily by freight trains and runs from Scranton to Binghamton, New York.


The World’s Tallest Concrete Building

The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago (as seen above) is the world’s tallest concrete building. It was designed by Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, who was also involved in the design and build of the Khalfia Tower. The 98 floor building, completed in 2009, consists of a luxury hotel, apartments, shops and a garage.

The World’s Longest Continuous Concrete Bridge

This title goes to the Pontchartrain Causeway which crosses Lake Pontchartrain in Southern Louisiana. The longer of the two parallel bridges made the Guinness Book of Records in 1960. It’s eight miles long and both bridges are supported by nine and a half thousand concrete pilings.


World’s Tallest Concrete Statue of Jesus

The statue of Christ the Redeemer, Brazil, (above) is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was built from reinforced concrete and soapstone. Work on the statue started in the 1920s and took nine years to complete. The 635 tonne statue stands at 30.1m tall (without its pedestal) and at the time of construction it was the world’s tallest concrete statue of Jesus. However, this title is now awarded to the statue of Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland, which is 3m higher than Christ the Redeemer and is made from concrete and fibreglass.

World’s Tallest Concrete Non-Religious Statue

Motherland Calls, Volgograd, Russia, was built as a tribute to the Battle of Stalingrad and in 1967, it was declared the world’s largest statue at 52m (excluding the plinth). It was made using prestressed concrete and wire ropes, and is the world’s tallest non-religious statue of a female.

World’s Longest Tunnel

Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland, is a 35.4 mile railway tunnel set for completion next year, and it will be used for high speed trains and freight trains. The tunnel starts in Erslfeld, Uri, and ends in Bodio, Ticino, and so far has taken 20 years to build.

Ready to Use Concrete Cambridge –  Click here to see our range of ready mix concrete for a host of large and small concrete projects.

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