The deepest underground structures

The importance of the underground construction for the modern urban development is evident. The development of the future cities goes in both direction, to the sky and down below the surface. Underground structures slowly become the part of the cities’ cores, solving transport infrastructure challenges and making urban life more comfortable.


Underground laboratories
Underground parking
Deepest underground buildings

The Tunnel of The Large Hadron Collider - CERN. Source:

The Tunnel of The Large Hadron Collider – CERN. Source:

Underground research laboratories

The geologists dig down for research work directly related to their profession, looking for the knowledge about the soils, while their colleagues involved into physics ascend underground for the special conditions, required for their experiments, which may be obtained only there. There were many discussions about The Large Hadron Collider. The less of them mentioned the structure was situated at the depth of 175 metres. The laboratory is a property of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and is situated at the border of France and Switzerland. The underground structure was built in 2008. The length of the ring of magnets is 27 km. The laboratory was created for the research of the particle physics.

The China Jinping Underground Laboratory is officially the deepest if the kind in the world. The Chinese scientists use it for their research on the neutrino and the dark matter. It is located at the depth of 2.4 km in the Szechuan Province. The entrance to the lab is not the vertical one but horizontal, as it is in the mountains. It was constructed in 2010.

Underground labs

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is the underground laboratory at the depth of 2.1 km in Canada, constructed in 1999. Previously the place was used for the nickel mining. Now, there is a unique room, 22 metres diameter, 2 km deep underground, which serves as a laboratory. With its sensors, it looks like a Sci-Fi movie, in reality, there is almost no dust at all, which makes the neutrino research work more efficient. The scientists run the SNO+ experiment there, at present.

One of the most famous underground laboratories in Russia was constructed early comparing to the others in the world, in 1967. It is the Baksan Underground Observatory. But the main equipment complex started working in 1978. The Baksan underground scintillation telescope under the mountain Andyrchi, the North Caucasus, is located in the place called Neutrino. The type of the research work undertaken there is evident.

Later, the equipment was upgraded. The underground complex facilitates the astrophysics research and the particle physics exploration. The telescope is located in the cavern with the parameters 24 metres wide and 16 metres high. The main room is 0.5 km from the entrance deep in the mountain.

The construction of the Sanford underground research Center

The construction of the Sanford underground research Center. Source:

Latin America plans to construct the scientific neutrino research center in The Andes on the border of Chile and Argentina. The planned depth is about 1,750 metres. In France, near the city of Modane the deepest European laboratory continues the research work on a neutrino.

Italy, Finland and India also constructed the underground laboratories, and Italian is the largest in the world so far. The Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS) is located at the depth of 400 metres and its total area is 6,000 square metres.

In Finland, there is a very different in its purpose but still an interesting object  – the underground nuclear fuel repository Onkalo. It is almost a half of kilometer deep, 520 metres, and it is situated in 5 km from the NPP Olkiluoto.  As the country respects its ecological system, the matters of the environment are always regarded with attention there.

Grand Sasso virtual tour

Underground Parking

In the countries with the rapidly growing wealth, the underground parking construction is popular. Many cities make the construction of underground parking a prerequisite for the construction of the real estate, especially in Asia.

In Europe, the one of the deepest underground parking Leiden, the Netherlands, it is 22 metres deep, which is equal to the 7 stores building.  In China, in Hangzhou city, the 12-leveled underground parking 40 metres deep may accomodate up to 200 vehicles. Among the public buildings, the University of Minnesota is remarkable in its class. It has 7 underground levels, and it was constructed back in 1983.

Sydney Opera miniature

Sydney Opera miniature

The deepest underground buildings

Aside from the underground levels of the public and military buildings the urban development makes the leading cities to construct underground trade centers, business centers, data centers and other structures which appeared to be comfortable to be placed there.

For example, the famous Sydney Opera has the underground part equal to the part above the surface, it is 37 metres deep, which is equal to the 12 story building.

China is about to complete the first large underground hotel in Shanghai. The building will be the deepest building in the world. The Chinese developers used the old mine for their purposes. The name of the hotel is The Deep Pit Hotel. There will have 16 underground levels (80 metres) and only one level above. The construction work is completed.

The Deep Pit Hotelin Shanghai

The Deep Pit Hotelin Shanghai. Source:

In Norway, the Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall is at the depth of 55 metres. It was constructed for the Olympic Games in 1994. It may welcome 5,500 people, during the Olympic Games there it was an Ice Hockey Arena.

The most promoted image of the underground structures is the famous Earthscraper created for the Mexico city. The architects suggest the construction of the upturned pyramid in the center of Mexico, 300 metres deep.  It could have 65 levels. At present, the project stays a concept more than a really planned construction, but it inspires smaller forms of the underground construction around the world.

The Earthscraper design project

The Earthscraper design project. Source:

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