Shropshire architects invited to ‘design and build’ 10 of the world’s greatest monuments


A Shropshire architects practice has made the bold claim that ten of the world’s most famous landmarks could be built in a combined total of less than 100 years.

Johnson Design Partnership (JDP) was asked by energy provider E.ON to work out how modern day design and build techniques could speed up the build of iconic monuments, including the Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal and The Pyramids of Giza.

The firm, which has offices in Bridgnorth and London, spent time researching the traditional construction methods and then looked at ways in which the process could be modernised to reduce time and the labour required.

This included the use of cranes to lift stone into place, electric machines to cut it, sustainable technology to help with cooling and heating and 3D printing to recreate Stonehenge stones in an alternative material.

Matt Spinks, Director at JDP, commented: “We were delighted to be invited by E.ON to take part in this project. Design is our passion so it was a really interesting challenge to review how 10 world famous landmarks were built and how we would go about it if we were appointed today.

“In total, we believe it would now take just 92 years to construct all of the monuments, utilising over 15,000 labourers and construction specialists. This is compared to over 4300 years traditionally, with more than 250,000 people and many animals helping with the build.”

He continued: “It is unbelievable that these landmarks could have been created when they were, a real sign of ingenuity, hard work and outstanding tenacity. Whilst today’s techniques are quicker, we can still learn a lot from the designs of years gone by.”

The Great Wall of China would still command the biggest workforce using today’s design and build techniques, with 5000 people needed to complete the project. This was followed by the Pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal, whilst Stonehenge requiring the least with just 150 workers.

The best-known prehistoric monument in Europe also enjoyed the biggest reduction in construction time, dropping from 1500 years to just 1.

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