Wood Beams have been used in architecture for centuries and some of the most impressive structures in the world are wooden. The workability of timber means that architects can really get the most out of their design, for anything, from arks to temples and bridges to stadiums.
The Ark Encounter is life size version of Noah’s Ark and is a popular tourist attraction at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The Ark is made entirely of wood and stands at 155m long, 25m wide and 15m high and contains three decks full of exhibits. Englemann Spruce and Pine were the most common timbers used for the Ark.
As the oldest wooden building in the world the horyuji temple is special. The temple sits near the Japanese city Nara and is really in the middle of nowhere. The oldest parts of the temple have been standing for over 1300 years and were originally built in around 700AD, although after a fire broke out parts of the building had to be later rebuilt.
U Bein Bridge
The U Bein Bridge is situated just south of Mandalay, Burma. The Bridge was built after the capital moved from Amarapura to Mandalay. The U Bein is still used today as hundreds of commuters cross it per day and some fisherman even fish in its shadow which makes the bridge an integral part of the community. The wood beams and planks used to make the bridge are supposedly taken from the dismantled Teak palace when the capital city was moved.
The Superior Dome is home to the Wildcat American Football Team in Michigan and was recorded as the largest wooden dome in the world in 2010. The stadium has a capacity of 16,000 encompassing an impressive 5.1 acres under its roof. The dome is also the home of the United States Olympic training site so the field is interchangeable between football, American Football, Hockey, Tennis, Basketball, Volley Ball and a 200m running track.
Todaiji, The Great Eastern Temple
The Great Eastern Temple is based in Nara itself and is one of the greatest Japanese attractions. Todaiji covers most of Nara park and holds many other attractions within its grounds including:
- Todaiji Museum
- Nagatsudo Hall
- Hokkedo Hall
- Kaidanin Temple
The main hall of the temple holds one of the biggest bronze statues of Buddha in Japan which stands 15m tall and represents Vairocana.