Инфоурок / Иностранные языки / Научные работы / Статья по страноведению: "Чудеса современной архитектуры Великобритании"
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Конкурс "Законы экологии"

Статья по страноведению: "Чудеса современной архитектуры Великобритании"






Региональная научно-практическая конференция учащихся и педагогов образовательных

учреждений Московской области «Наука для всех»






Лаврикова Софья Олеговна


  1. Introduction ____________________________________________________3

  2. Scottish Parliament _______________________________________________4

  3. The Angel of the North ____________________________________________5

  4. The London Eye _________________________________________________6

  5. Falkirk Wheel ___________________________________________________7

  6. Gateshead Millennium Bridge ______________________________________8

  7. Thames Barrier __________________________________________________9

  8. The Channel Tunnel _____________________________________________10

  9. Wembley Stadium _______________________________________________11

  10. Value of the objects ______________________________________________12

  11. Construction time _______________________________________________13

  12. Conclusion ____________________________________________________14

  13. Bibliography ___________________________________________________15


Nowadays architects make such interesting and beautiful projects that people cannot stop admiring them. Some of them are very unusual, others are practical.

I decided to found out some information about the most interesting and world known objects of Great Britain such as Scottish Parliament Building, that is wonderful in its form; the statue of Angel of the North with its huge size. It is necessary to mention the most popular tourist attractions – The London Eye, from which London is easily seen or Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which is famous for its «blinking» movements.

There are also some technical wonders which look like some attractions but they play an important role in helping or protecting people. They are Falkirk Wheel, Thames Barrier and The Channel Tunnel.

All these architecture wonders worth watching and speaking about.

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament is one of the most wonderful and unusual building in Scotland. It is situated between Royal Holyrood Palace and street buildings, that is also unusual.

Building architecture can be called neither traditional nor rational. Enrike Miraies, an architect, started his work on the project with drawing flowers, leaves and hills.

The building is very interesting. Its towers look like inverted boats, windows are leaves shaped. Inside it there are small rooms which are called «compartment for thought» and look like monastery cells.

It was very difficult project and there were over 15000 changes.

It was supposed that the cost of the project would be about 72 million dollars, but it was much exceeded and made 776 million.


The Angel of the North

The Angel of the North is a contemporary sculpture, designed by Sir Antony Gormley, located near Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, England.

Completed in 1998, it is a steel sculpture of an angel, 20 meters (66 ft.) tall, with wings measuring 54 meters (177 ft.) across. The wings do not stand straight sideways, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward; Gormley did this to create "a sense of embrace".

According to Gormley, the significance of an angel was three-fold: first, to signify that beneath the site of its construction, coal miners worked for two centuries; second, to grasp the transition from an industrial to an information age, and third, to serve as a focus for our evolving hopes and fears.

Work began on the project in 1994 and cost £800,000.

Due to its exposed location, the sculpture was built to withstand winds of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Thus, foundations containing 600 tons of concrete anchor the sculpture to rock 70 feet (21 m) below. It was made in three parts—with the body weighing 100 tons and two wings weighing 50 tons each.


The London Eye


The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. Also known as the Millennium Wheel.

The structure is 443 feet (135 m) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet (120 m).

The London Eye was designed by architects, husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks.

The wheel was constructed in sections, which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete, it was lifted into an upright position.

The wheel's 32 sealed and air-conditioned oval passenger capsules are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each of the 10-tonne capsule holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule. The wheel rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes.


Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel is the first turning rotating ship lifter built in Scotland. It is situated in Falkirk. It is a part of the project of Scotland navigation resumption.

This lifter makes it possible to connect revers Fort and Clyde with Union Channel height discontinuity between which is about 35m.

Aqueduct can take two 20m long ships and carry them from one river into another.

It is interesting to know that this wheel is so well balanced that it uses as much electricity as only two electric kettles.

Falkirk Wheel helps to develop trade and tourism. In 2004 it was visited by 450 000 people.


Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead's Quays arts quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank. Opened for public use in 2001, the award-winning structure was conceived and designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre 

The bridge is sometimes referred to as the “Blinking Eye Bridge” or the “Winking Eye Bridge” due to its shape and its tilting method.

The bridge rotates back on large bearings to allow small ships and boats to pass underneath. The bridge takes as little as 4.5 minutes to rotate through the full 40° from closed to open, depending on wind speed

Its length is 126 m (413ft)

Its width is 8m (26ft)


Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier is located downstream of central London. Its purpose is to protect London against a very high flood level storm surges moving up from the North Sea. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide, it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea. 

Built across a 520-metre wide stretch of the river, the barrier divides the river into four 61-metre (200 ft.) and two 30 meter (100 ft.) navigable spans.

Total construction cost was around £534 million with an additional £100 million for river defenses.

During the barrier's entire history up to February 2016, there have been 176 flood defense closures. It costs £16,000 to close the Thames Barrier on each occasion.

The barrier was originally designed to protect London against a very high flood level up to the year 2030, after which the protection would decrease, whilst remaining within acceptable limits. At the time of its construction, the barrier was expected to be used 2–3 times per year. It is now being used 6–7 times per year.


The Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is a 50.5-kilometre (31.4 mi) rail tunnel linking Folkston, Kent, in the United Kingdom, with Pas-de-Calais, in northern France, beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is 75 m (250 ft) deep. At 37.9 kilometers (23.5 mi), the tunnel has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world. The width of the tunnel is 8m.

Working from both the English side and the French side of the Channel, eleven tunnel-boring machines cut through chalk marl to construct two rail tunnels and a service tunnel.

On December, 1st, 1990 an English worker Gram Fegg shook his hand with a French worker Philip Coset through the drilled hole in the limestone. Both the English and the French had been waiting for this event for 7 years. 15 000 people built the tunnel.

On May, 6, 1994 the Channel Tunnel was officially opened and Elizabeth II met the president of France Mitterrand in its center.


Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in London, which opened in 2007. The stadium hosts major football matches and home matches of the England national football team.

Wembley Stadium has 90,000 seats, it is the second-largest stadium in Europe and the largest stadium in the United Kingdom.

It was designed by Foster and Partners, it includes a partially retractable roof and the 134-metre-high (440 ft) Wembley Arch. The stadium was built by Australian firm Multiplex at a cost of £798 million.

It is one of the most expensive stadium ever built and has the largest roof-covered seating capacity in the world.

The stadium roof has an area of 40,000 m2, of which 13,722 m2 is movable. The primary reason for the sliding roof was to avoid shading the pitch, as grass demands direct sunlight to grow effectively. The sliding roof design minimizes the shadow by having the roof pulled back on the east, west and south.


Value of the objects

When working with this information I became interested about the value of this objects. So I made a diagram to found out what the most and the least expensive objects are. As it turned out, the cheapest one is Angel of the North and the most expensive is the English Channel Tunnel.


Construction time

Besides I found out which of this objects had the longest construction time. It was Barrier on the river Thames. It took workers 9 years to finish it. The most quickly built is London Eye. It was finished in 1.5 year.



During my work, I found many interesting facts about these wonderful buildings and constructions. Some of them are really unimaginable and exciting. I am sure I will continue my work and will I find out more about other architecture wonders of Great Britain.


  1. Глэнси Джонатан. Архитектура. Полная энциклопедия/ Джонатан Глэнси. – Лондон: АСТ, 2010. – 512с

  2. Фролова, Е.А. 100 самых удивительных достижений современной архитектуры/ Е.А.Фролова. – М.:Эксмо, 2011. – 232с

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