Underground structures can be incredibly interesting things to research and generally take a look at. If you’re interested in seeing some of the greatest architectural successes that have ever existed, it’s a good idea to look at underground structures. Here are six of the biggest manmade underground structures on the planet.
1. Deepest Subway Station: Arsenalna Station, Kyiv, Ukraine, 346 Feet Below Ground
Subway stations can be extremely deep anywhere, but Arsenalna Station holds the record for the deepest below ground. As a matter of fact, this has happened because of the unique positioning of Arsenala itself. The city is on the top of a tall hill next to a valley. Instead of making the subway go up and down this tall hill every day, the designers for the subway decided to just make it go through the hill.
2. Deepest Basement: Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, 120 Feet Underground
Most people think of the architectural feats of the aboveground Sydney Opera House when they’re thinking about it. While it’s certainly an extremely beautiful building, that’s not remotely where its beauty ends. The Sydney Opera House also has the world’s deepest basement, which it uses as a parking garage. Plus, the basement utilizes an interesting double helix shape to accommodate fire restrictions.
3. Longest Underground Tunnel: Gotthard Base Tunnel, Erstfeld and Bodio, Switzerland, 35 Miles Long
The Swiss Alps is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, but it’s also a mountain range that can impede travel across it. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the very first tunnel to go through the Swiss Alps with no elevation change, which means it has to go through the mountains deep underground. It travels for 35 miles without exiting the mountains, with its deepest point over 8,000 feet below the surface.
4. Deepest Building Foundation: Salesforce Tower, San Francisco, United States, 310 Feet Below Ground
Skyscrapers need extremely large building foundations to ensure they don’t capsize. This is especially true in areas prone to earthquakes. That’s why the designers for the 1,070-foot-tall Salesforce Tower had a huge design challenge ahead of them. They ended up creating this 310-foot foundation, nearly a third of the height of the building itself, and set new benchmarks in terms of seismic safety while they were doing it.
5. Biggest Underground City: Derinkuyu Tunnels, Cappadocia, Turkey, 18 Stories Deep
Underground feats of architectural mastery don’t just date to the present-day. The Derinkuyu tunnels underneath Cappadocia are a great example of this. These tunnels were finished by the 12th century and locals would occasionally use them to hide when battles were happening around them. This continued all the way into the early 1900s, when they were finally abandoned. However, a man rediscovered them in 1963 when he was knocking down a wall in his basement. Today, they’re an extremely interesting tourist attraction underneath the city.
6. Deepest Underground Research Center: Jinping Underground Laboratory, Sichuan, China, 7,900 Feet Deep
Although many experiments can happen aboveground with no problems, extremely sensitive physics experiments can sometimes run into problems aboveground. This is because cosmic radiation can actually have a measurable impact on these experiments. To help with this problem, Chinese scientists have created this underground research center in the middle of a former gold mine. With a depth of nearly 8,000 feet, they can reduce the impact of cosmic radiation by a factor of over 10 million.
Underground architecture is a truly astonishing area of work. It takes a lot of skill and knowledge to be able to create underground architectural feats. If you’re interested in underground architecture, you should know that there are a variety of architectural feats to research. Plus, while your home might not set any records, it’s definitely a good idea to take a look at it and ensure the underground areas are safe.