Massive Fails: Buildings That Didn’t Live Up To ExpectationsPosted: December 10, 2012
Most people expect architects to know what they are doing. After all, their key job is to design buildings that are as functional as they are aesthetically appealing. There have, however, been many buildings that simply did not live up to their expectations. While there were different reasons for these buildings being less than they were designed to be, it does bring up the importance of good building design.
Here is a look at a few buildings that were designed a bit less carefully than they should have been:
Walt Disney Concert Hall
In Los Angeles, California, at Disneyland, you can see the Walt Disney Concert Hall that has sparked many conversations about bad building design.
What makes this a bad design? The building itself is very shiny, and while that may not seem to be a problem, shiny buildings will reflect light. When that light is concentrated into a small area, it can cause a laser reaction.
In short, the concert hall tends to send out laser beams that have been known to blind drivers that are passing by neighbouring traffic lights. The building acts as a huge magnifying glass that can heat up sidewalks in the area to nearly 140 degrees.
In 2005 the issue with the Walt Disney Concert Hall was rectified when the offending panels were buffed to remove the glare.
In Shanghai in 2009, a lovely building complex was created. This complex consisted of 11 different buildings and was situated on the side of the river.
By the time that the complex had finished construction, nearly all of the flats inside were sold and just a few days before the final work was done the building itself fell right over into the river. Apparently, the construction of an underground parking garage next to the building was all that it took to topple it over, completely intact.
As reported on the blog China Realtime Report, an investigation revealed the true cause of the collapse. It was found that the complex collapsed when construction began on an underground garage next to the building. Earth was removed from the location of the garage and dumped into a landfill next to a creek, and the weight of the earth was simply too much for the river bank, which collapsed under the pressure.
John Hancock Tower
The John Hancock Center won an award from the American Institute of Architects when it was built in 1977. Now the tallest building in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, the Centre is a landmark in the United States.
Unfortunately, it is not as safe as many would like. The building apparently has difficulties keeping its windows intact. In fact, those windows tend to topple out and drop to the pavement below the building. When winds picked up just a few years after the building was created, more than 60 of its windows fell to the ground below. Police began roping off the area around the Centre during heavy storms just to protect citizens from falling glass and other debris.
Now, the Center’s windows are fixed firmly in place. One of the architects involved in its construction went on to use the new techniques in his design of the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, France.
This just goes to show that even the world’s most renowned architects can make mistakes. Not every building ever designed has been perfect, and the chances are that there will be more buildings in the future that need a bit of work.
Whatever you are planning to build, be certain that you are careful in choosing your designs. Always make sure that your designs are created using safety measures to protect both the building and the public from harm.
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