Long-Span Buildings That Defy Gravity

Long-Span Buildings That Defy Gravity

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In architecture, ‘span’ is the term given to the length of a structural component that extends between two supports, or the continuous space created between two pillars of a building structure, and when we think of this element, one cannot help recalling classics such as Lina Bo Bardi's MASP, Álvaro Siza's Expo'98 Portuguese National Pavilion, and the Roman Pantheon. However, there are several other buildings with this feature, and recent projects have been using innovative and bold structures to create even more unexpected designs.

Here, we have gathered some of these creations featuring structures that span long distances using different materials, such as steel, concrete, and bamboo. Among the many different types of buildings, some even use unusual materials such as polyurethane foam and plastic, proving that there's always room for creativity and innovation in architecture.

Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute

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Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Photo: © Ossip van Duivenbode
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Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Photo: © Ossip van Duivenbode

Teshima Art Museum / Ryue Nishizawa

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Teshima Art Museum / Ryue Nishizawa. Photo: © Iwan Baan
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Teshima Art Museum / Ryue Nishizawa. Photo: © Iwan Baan

Soft Matter / NATURALBUILD

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Soft Matter / NATURALBUILD. Photo: © Hao Chen
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Model - Soft Matter / NATURALBUILD

Tian Han Cultural Park / WCY Regional Studio

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Tian Han Cultural Park / WCY Regional Studio. Photo: © Li Yao
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Tian Han Cultural Park / WCY Regional Studio. Photo: © Li Yao

Hangzhou Xixi Green Office Complex / gad

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Hangzhou Xixi Green Office Complex / gad. Photo: © Li Yao
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Hangzhou Xixi Green Office Complex / gad. Photo: © Jinrong Huang

Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Centre / Zaha Hadid Architects

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Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Centre / Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo: © Virgile Simon Bertrand
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Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Centre / Zaha Hadid Architects. Photo: © Virgile Simon Bertrand

Jewel Changi Airport / Safdie Architects

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Jewel Changi Airport / Safdie Architects. Photos courtesy of Jewel Changi Airport
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Jewel Changi Airport / Safdie Architects. Photos courtesy of Jewel Changi Airport

Upper Skeena Recreation Center / Hemsworth Architecture

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Upper Skeena Recreation Center / Hemsworth Architecture. Photo: © Ema Peter
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Upper Skeena Recreation Center / Hemsworth Architecture. Photo: © Ema Peter

The Arc at Green School / IBUKU

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The Arc at Green School / IBUKU. Photo: © Tommaso Riva
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Section - The Arc at Green School / IBUKU

Taiyuan Botanical Garden / Delugan Meissl Associated Architects

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Taiyuan Botanical Garden / Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. Photo: © CreatAR
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Taiyuan Botanical Garden / Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. Photo: © CreatAR

BUGA Fibre Pavilion / ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

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BUGA Fibre Pavilion / ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart. Photo: © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart
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BUGA Fibre Pavilion / ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart. Photo: © ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart

Urban Podium In Rotterdam / Atelier Kempe Thill

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Urban Podium In Rotterdam / Atelier Kempe Thill. Photo: © Architektur-Fotografie Ulrich Schwarz
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Urban Podium In Rotterdam / Atelier Kempe Thill. Photo: © Architektur-Fotografie Ulrich Schwarz

Bridge Gallery / Atelier Lai

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Bridge Gallery / Atelier Lai. Photo: © Yilong Zhao
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Bridge Gallery / Atelier Lai. Photo: © Yilong Zhao

Tianjin Binhai Cultural Center / gmp Architects

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Tianjin Binhai Cultural Center / gmp Architects. Photo: © Christian Gahl
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Section - Tianjin Binhai Cultural Center / gmp Architects

Beyond the Geometry Plastic 3D Printed Pavilion / Archi-Union Architects + Fab-Union

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Beyond the Geometry Plastic 3D Printed Pavilion / Archi-Union Architects + Fab-Union. Photo: © Schran Image
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Beyond the Geometry Plastic 3D Printed Pavilion / Archi-Union Architects + Fab-Union. Photo: © Schran Image

Le Monde Office Building / Snøhetta + SRA Architects

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Le Monde Office Building / Snøhetta + SRA Architects. Photo: © Jean-Marc Besacier
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Section - Le Monde Office Building / Snøhetta + SRA Architects

Suzhou Bay Grand Theater / Christian de Portzamparc

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Suzhou Bay Grand Theater / Christian de Portzamparc. Photo: © Feng Shao
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Suzhou Bay Grand Theater / Christian de Portzamparc. Photo: © Feng Shao

Moynihan Train Hall / SOM

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Moynihan Train Hall / SOM. Photo: © Nicholas Knight | Empire State Development
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Section - Moynihan Train Hall / SOM

Habitat Qinhuangdao / Safdie Architects

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Habitat Qinhuangdao / Safdie Architects. Photo: © Tim Franco
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Habitat Qinhuangdao / Safdie Architects. Photo courtesy of Safdie Architects

PGA TOUR Headquarters / Foster + Partners

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PGA TOUR Headquarters / Foster + Partners. Photo: © Chuck Choi
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PGA TOUR Headquarters / Foster + Partners. Photo: © Chuck Choi

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About this author
Cite: Equipe ArchDaily Brasil. "Long-Span Buildings That Defy Gravity" [Vão livre: edifícios que desafiam a gravidade] 03 Sep 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Duduch, Tarsila) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/967697/long-span-buildings-that-defy-gravity> ISSN 0719-8884
Teshima Art Museum / Ryue Nishizawa. Photo: © Iwan Baan

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