Man Made Marvels

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Sunday 19 October, 8.30pm

Its breathtaking shape defied every engineering and construction rule in the book. Danish architect Jorn Utzon’s original plans were so radical that they were physically impossible to build using existing technology. Completion of the Opera House was supposed to take five years at a cost of seven million dollars. In the end, construction took 14 years and cost over 100 million dollars. Throughout its construction designers faced countless challenges and responded with innovative and inventive answers and these ground-breaking solutions would eventually become standard building practice. Using today’s technology, building the Opera House would be a challenge but 50 years ago when it was first designed it was nearly impossible.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Thursdays from October 02, 8.30pm

This series examines the ambitious plans of some of Asia’s greatest constructions while also looking back at some of the amazing wonders created around the Asia-Pacific including the world’s ultimate casino, the world’s largest tunnelling project, the world’s first green city and the
breathtaking shape that defied every engineering and construction rule in the book.

Discovery Channel – Sunday 25 May, 7.30pm

In August 2008, Beijing will be hosting the summer Olympic Games and the eyes of the world will be on the Chinese capital. In addition to the existing facilities, 11 new competition venues will be constructed to host an estimated 10,500 international athletes, media and tourists. Slowly and painstakingly, Beijing is changing. More than 2,000 acres in the heart of the city are being transformed into a pristine Olympic playground, at the centre of which is the stunning Olympic Stadium nicknamed the ‘Bird’s Nest’. Encased in an elaborate mass of twisting steel rods designed to replicate the random patterns of nature, the stadium is a fusion of western innovation and eastern inspiration, symbolizing the spirit of the event.

Discovery Channel – Sunday 27 April, 7.30pm

In August 2008, Beijing will be hosting the summer Olympic Games and the eyes of the world will be on the Chinese capital. In addition to the existing facilities, 11 new competition venues will be constructed to host an estimated 10,500 international athletes, media, and tourists. This episode looks at the building avant garde new Chinese National Theatre that the locals refer to as ‘The Egg’. A massive shimmering dome of glass and titanium, the outside layer of The Egg is made up of 22,000 panels in 6,250 different sizes, each one meticulously set in place by hand. The entire building, measuring 1.6 million square feet, appears to be floating in crystal-like water with no supporting columns; it is truly one of China’s MAN MADE MARVELS. However, these architectural marvels are not without their critics or their share of controversy and when completed, they will change the Beijing skyline forever. Some of the new buildings have been embraced by the people while others have met with opposition with some residents voicing concerns about the new-age clashing with the traditional.