Any structure can be an impressive one if it’s backed up with sound design and architectural knowledge, but underground structures are often even more impressive than aboveground ones. That’s because underground structures have to contend with all kinds of potential problems that aboveground structures don’t have to deal with. Here are some of the most impressive underground structures out there.
1. Deepest Subway Station: Arsenalna Station in Kyiv, Ukraine
The deepest subway station in the world, at 346 feet below ground, is Arsenalna Station. It’s this deep because of the hilly landscape. The town is on a high hill; the construction team decided that driving through the hill would be more cost and labor-effective than trying to go up and down the hill every day.
2. Deepest Basement: Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
You might know Sydney Opera House from its impressive aboveground structure, but did you know that the belowground structure is just as impressive? This 120-foot-deep parking garage is the world’s deepest basement. To conform with fire regulations, it’s an innovative double helix shape.
3. Longest Underground Tunnel: Gotthard Base Tunnel in Erstfeld and Bodio, Switzerland
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, which opened to the public in 2016, is the first-ever flat route through the Swiss Alps. To achieve this feat, the Gotthard Base Tunnel construction team had to excavate around 28 million metric tons of rock, putting the tunnel at 8,040 feet below the surface at its deepest level.
4. Deepest Building Foundation: Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, United States
The Salesforce Tower is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the United States, but its foundation is even more impressive. The 310-foot-deep foundation is about a third of the depth of the skyscraper’s height, and it set new benchmarks in seismic safety due to the earthquake-prone area.
5. Biggest Underground City: Derinkuyu Tunnels in Cappadocia, Turkey
The Derinkuyu Tunnels date back hundreds of years, with evidence the tunnels were fully completed by the year 1200 AD. The 18-story underground city was lost in the beginning of the 20th century, but rediscovered in 1963 when a Turkish man attempting to renovate his basement discovered a tunnel into them.
6. Deepest Underground Research Center: Jinping Underground Laboratory in Sichuan, China
Underground laboratories are helpful for researchers running very sensitive physics experiments. Cosmic radiation can have an impact on sensitive physics experiments, but moving a laboratory a mile underground can reduce the cosmic radiation impact by a factor of 10 million. The Jinping Underground Laboratory, which hosts over 28 active research projects, is 7,900 feet deep and in a former gold mine.
Underground manmade structures can be incredibly impressive, whether or not you’re an architecture expert yourself. Whether you’re looking into these underground structures or something else, you should know the greatness of the architectural genius behind them. Underground manmade structures are often some of the most impressive structures out there, so don’t be afraid to research into them if you’re looking for architectural wonders.