In the second half of the 19th Century, a visionary named Jules Verne dreamed up marvelous machines and ingenious artifacts, and anticipated situations that wouldn’t be realized for many years if not decades later.
His most famous creations included the bathyscaphe Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the helicopter Albatross from Robur the Conqueror and the space cannon in From the Earth to the Moon. All these devices later inspired engineers and inventors to create the automatic submarine, the passenger plane and spaceship.
Human history runs parallel to the development of maritime navigation. From the dawn of the first peoples born to sail – the Greeks, Phoenicians and Vikings – ancient civilizations expanded their nautical frontiers using natural refuges, like inlets, bays and large estuaries offered by rivers, to shelter from the inclement seas and oceans.
Have you ever thought what you would do if you had an extra four-and-a-half free days a year? It could be the ideal length of time for that romantic weekend away you’ve been planning for months. 112 hours that could be enough to finish off the old motor you are restoring. Or 6,720 minutes doing nothing at all but enjoying a long walk, lying on the sofa or simply spending time with your loved ones.
We are walking through an unending labyrinth of streets flanked by hundreds of buildings crammed around us. They are towers over 30 meters high – 10 or 11 stories – protecting us thankfully from the sun’s suffocating heat. No, we are not in the Chicago Loop, nor the Hong Kong quarter of Tsim Sha Tsui or San Francisco Financial District. We are in Manhattan, but not that Manhattan. This is Shibam in Yemen, the Manhattan of the desert, and these skyscrapers were erected 1,700 years ago.
The first thing you notice when entering the remodeled National Archaeological Museum (MAN, for its acronym in Spanish) is the light. A permanent brilliance inundates the enormous hall, with every detail bathed in bright light, right into the corners. Once the eyes have got used to this agreeable sensation of brightness, within a few seconds one becomes aware of the harmonious coexistence of polished steel, natural stone and precious wood making up the interior. The smell, feel and conspicuous silence have the effect of inhibiting even our breathing, as we strive to disturb the eternal rest of the history contained between these walls. Continue reading →
ACCIONA has installed the world’s first lighthouse made of composite materials in the Port of Valencia. The building is self-sufficient in energy, relying only on renewable sources, and it is lighter, more modern, sustainable and durable than its conventional predecessors.