Manmade structures around the world can be architecturally beautiful. However, some of the most incredible architectural achievements are actually underground. Underground architecture often has to be more creative than aboveground architecture simply because there are more forces that often impact underground architecture. Here are some of the most impressive underground structures around the world.
Ukraine: Deepest Subway Station | Arsenalna Station
Ukraine holds the record for the deepest subway station. At 346 feet below ground, the Arsenalna station requires a five-minute escalator ride to reach it. This is because Arsenalna is on a high hill surrounded by a valley and a river. Instead of riding up and down every day, the construction crew decided it was best to go through the mountain.
Australia: Deepest Basement | Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House may stick in your mind due to its aboveground architecture, but this is far from the only architectural feat it has. Underneath the Sydney Opera House is a massive underground parking lot that stretches 120 feet underground. It uses a unique double helix shape to conform to fire safety regulations.
Switzerland: Longest Underground Tunnel | Gotthard Base Tunnel
The Gotthard Base Tunnel opened to the public in 2016, and it’s the first-ever flat route through the Swiss Alps. That means at its deepest point, the tunnel is 8,040 feet below the surface. It’s also 35 miles long, making it 10 times longer than the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.
United States: Deepest Building Foundation | Salesforce Tower
The Salesforce Tower may not be the tallest building in the United States, but because it’s in San Francisco, a notoriously earthquake-prone area, it does have the deepest building foundation in the world. This 310-foot foundation supports a 1,070-foot skyscraper, and it set new benchmarks for seismic safety.
Turkey: Biggest Underground City | Derinkuyu Tunnels
Underground architecture is in no way a new phenomenon, and perhaps nothing showcases that as well as the Derinkuyu tunnels under Cappadocia. These tunnels were likely completed by 1200 AD, and they reach 18 stories deep. The tunnels were lost in the early 20th century, but were rediscovered by a Turkish man in 1963.
China: Deepest Underground Research Center | Jinping Underground Laboratory
Leading scientists sometimes experience problems with “cosmic radiation,” a force that can impact very sensitive physics experiments. Jinping Underground Laboratory is managing this with the help of a former gold mine that’s 7,900 feet underground. Here, scientists work on more than 28 active research projects, including projects having to do with dark matter and neutrino physics.
Underground structures can be just as beautiful as aboveground structures. From an architectural standpoint, they can sometimes be even more difficult to manage and therefore even more beautiful than aboveground structures. From these structures to others scattered all across the world, underground structures are a sign of how hard architectural designers and construction teams have to work so you can have beautiful buildings to look at and live in every day