Tag Archives: architecture

Construction by helicopter

An evening pause: As noted on the youtube webpage, “The last two components of the Incity Tower spire were put in place by helicopter on Sunday 21 June [2015]. This metallic spire, which measures 50 metres and weighs 25.9 tonnes, took the building to its final height of 200 metres. This confirms its position as the highest tower in Lyon and the third highest in France. Three aerial beacons and a lightning rod will now be placed at the top.”

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.

The eerie, alien, and abstract World War II monuments of Yugoslavia.

The eerie, alien, and abstract World War II monuments of Yugoslavia.

Very strange. They all look like something out of the weird Yugoslavian science fiction animated film community of the 1960s. Somewhere I’ve seen the one listed as #1 (though it isn’t the first in the story), though I can’t remember where.

A new Chinese suspension bridge, set to open November 25, has won top honors for being such a long three-tower/two span bridge.

A new Chinese suspension bridge, set to open November 25, has won top honors for being such a long three-tower/two span bridge.

When it opens on Nov. 25, Taizhou Bridge will carry six lanes of traffic (plus two maintenance lanes) nearly 3-km across the Yangtze River. Though the total length of 2,940 m is an awfully long way, the bridge has two main spans using three towers rather than the norm of one main span using two support towers.

The two spans are each 1,080 m (3,540 ft) long, which individually is less than the main span of the Golden Gate Bridge at 1,280 m (4,200 ft), and much less than the 1,990-m (12,830 ft) span of the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, the longest main span of any suspension bridge on Earth. Two end spans of 390 m (1,280 ft) connect Taizhou Bridge with the banks of the river.

But in using two spans the Taizhou Bridge is a major breakthrough in structural engineering. The design requires the perfect balance of flexibility and rigidity in its 192-m (630-ft) steel central tower in order to withstand changing and imbalanced loads to either side. The complementary side towers are 178 m (584 ft) tall, and are made of concrete. The two main cables supporting the bridge are 3,110 m (10,200 ft) long and 72 cm (28 in) in diameter.

Think about it. The central tower is going to be pulled from both directions. Similarly, the outside towers must have incredible strain pulling them towards the center. Balancing it all is an amazing architectural achievement.

New York’s “greenest” skyscraper turns out to be its biggest energy hog.

New York’s “greenest” skyscraper turns out to be its biggest energy hog.

Maybe the building’s problem is that it has Al Gore as one of its tenants.

Seriously, the article illustrates well “the law of unintended consequences.” You pass a law or regulation intended to do x, and discover that people instead manipulate the law or regulation to get y instead.

Scientists have finally discovered the forgotten formula for the concrete the Romans used.

Scientists have finally discovered the forgotten formula for the concrete the Romans used.

The secret to Roman concrete lies in its unique mineral formulation and production technique. As the researchers explain in a press release outlining their findings, “The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated—incorporating water molecules into its structure—and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.”

The Portland cement formula crucially lacks the lyme and volcanic ash mixture. As a result, it doesn’t bind quite as well when compared with the Roman concrete, researchers found. It is this inferior binding property that explains why structures made of Portland cement tend to weaken and crack after a few decades of use, Jackson says.

A new New York skyscraper — the largest residential building in the world — has won the top award for 2011 for its unusual undulating facade.

A new New York skyscraper — the largest residential building in the world — has won the top award for 2011 for its unusual undulating facade.

It is worth a look, as the building is quite strange-looking and actually stands out in the New York skyline, something you would think would be difficult for a new skyscraper to do.

The construction of Freedom Tower will today finally exceed the Empire State Building, making it the tallest building in New York.

The construction of Freedom Tower will today finally exceed the Empire State Building, making it the tallest building in New York.

The best memorial to those killed on September 11th is to rebuild, and to rebuild bigger and better.

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