As our world and society have evolved, so too have our buildings. These structures are used for a variety of purposes. We use buildings as shelter from the elements, as a place to gather as groups, as a retreat or respite from the less satisfactory parts of our lives and of course, for protection. Examples of these ultra-secure structures exist throughout our world.
Guantanamo Bay Prison, Cuba
Guantanamo Bay Prison is not only the oldest U.S. military base outside the United States, but is also the only one located within a Communist country. Used in past years to imprison alleged terrorists, this prison retains its high security reputation. A multitude of mines and fences surround the perimeter as well as armed military guards, making this an incredibly safe building. According to Lynx Brand Fence Products Ltd., the fences used in these prisons are some of the most durable in the world.
Fort Knox, USA
Located in Kentucky, Fort Knox is a depository for the United States’ gold assets. Security is considered paramount here as evidenced by a 250 ton door denoting its vault opening. As an added security measure, multiple individuals are deemed necessary to contribute different portions of a combination, ensuring that no one person can have all the required information. The military camp surrounding Fort Knox provides yet another layer of protection to one of the largest gold storage facilities in the United States.
Buckingham Palace, UK
Buckingham Palace has long been considered home to the British Royal family, as far back as 1761. Armed guards keep watch constantly over the palace and stationed on every watch tower are sentry guards; the palace even houses its own police headquarters. In the event of an emergency, the Foot Guards Battalion at Wellington, Hyde Park, and Chelsea Barrack units are on a permanent stand-by just minutes away.
Area 51, USA
One of the most mysterious and secure structures in the world, Area 51 outside of Las Vegas is a military base whose purpose has remained unclear. Any movement around the perimeter of the base is captured by sensors and signs abound that photography and trespassers will not be tolerated. The area is guarded by its own armed security who are authorized to use lethal force if necessary. Mainly thought to be used for testing experimental aircraft, the government takes great care to keep their staff in and everyone else out.
Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway
Unlike most of these locations which are protected externally with equipment like Calgary chain link fences, this building has been tunneled deep within a large mountain. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is not only one of the safest locations in the world, it is also one of the most important. This building is home to 250 million varieties of seeds, a safeguard in the event of the decimation of our current food supply. Both isolated and remote, it’s located over 400 feet above sea level, allowing for even the most extreme global warming possibility.
Buildings have always been and will continue to be created to serve a wide range of needs. Whether it is the structure itself or what surrounds the structure (soldiers, fences, locks), its purpose is nearly always to protect what lies within. The safety and security provided by buildings are a benefit to everyone.