China Opens World’s Coolest Library With 1.2 Million Books, And Its Interior Will Take Your Breath Away

Nobody likes to be watched while they’re trying to read a book, but we’re willing to make an exception if it means getting to visit this stunning new library in China, because as you can see below, the incredible structure has a giant spherical auditorium in the middle that looks just like a giant eye.

Located in the Binhai Cultural District In Tianjin, the five-story library, which was designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) and has since been dubbed “The Eye of Binhai”, covers 34,000 square metres and can hold up to 1.2 million books. Taking just three years to complete, the library features a reading area on the ground floor, lounge areas in the middle sections and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top. We’re not sure how much studying we’d get done though – we’d be far too busy marveling at the awesome architecture!

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about the endlessly creative MVRDV. Click here to read about their giant scaffold staircase and here for their beautiful market hall in Rotterdam.

Update: Turns out, most of these futuristic-looking floor to ceiling shelves are painted to look like they’re full of books, but in reality, much of the covers in the hall are printed images. The real books are stored in other rooms in the building.

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Rhijnspoor Building earns highest BREEAM award for an educational building in the Netherlands

by Kristine Lofgren

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The Team RSG-designed Rhijnspoor Building in Amsterdam was recently awarded a BREEAM Excellent certification with 4 stars – the highest score ever given to an educational building in the Netherlands. The sustainable building was designed for the Amsterdam University building of Applied Sciences and features a solar aluminum facade, intelligent lighting and climate control, a green roof and even housing for the local swallows.

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The 13-story building and surrounding 6-story block sits at the entrance to the University, serving as an archetype of the University’s dedication to sustainability for those entering the campus. The urban block and building are connected via a massive atrium and each floor of the building will feature a terrace that opens up into the atrium.

The building was designed with two principles in mind: first, that it advanced enough that it can adapt to the changing technology of the future and, second, that it be rooted in sustainability. To that end, the green innovations in the building means that it uses 40 percent less energy than is recommended by Dutch building regulations, nabbing it the coveted BREEAM excellent rating.

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The World’s Largest Open-stack Public Library: Guangzhou Library (China)

The World’s Largest Open-stack Public Library: Guangzhou Library (China)

December 5, 2013

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Guangzhou Library is a large-scale library boasting a total floor space of about 100,000 m2 and a collection of some 4 million books. The design for the library was selected at an international architectural design competition held in 2005, and the building celebrated its grand opening in June this year. It has been thronged with crowds every day since its opening, welcoming over 10,000 visitors daily.

The library is located in a corner of the cultural zone in Guangzhou’s Zhujiang New City district. On neighboring sites are facilities such as the Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Opera House, Children’s Palace, and an urban park. As the final facility to be constructed to complete the cultural zone, the design not only aimed to harmonize with the other existing plans in order to heighten the overall attraction of the new cultural zone, but to also create a dynamic and open facility that breaks away from the traditional, static and closed image of large-scale libraries.

The main characteristic of this library is that it provides the public with direct access to shelves holding some 3.5 million books, making it the world’s largest open-stack public library. Along with an open and soft design that makes the library a place that citizens can “enjoy using as an integral part of their lives,” it has an approachable layout with a large atrium in continuity with an urban park.

The structure’s role as a “collection of knowledge” is expressed through a random masonry-like exterior facade that invokes an image of a pile of books. The deeply chiseled exterior achieved through stone pitching is also effective in preventing Guangzhou’s strong sunlight from directly entering the reading rooms. In the center of the building is an atrium that cuts across the structure from east to west. This atrium delivers natural light from the skylights to each of the floors, and accomplishes an ecological role as a passageway for natural ventilation throughout the whole building.

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The layout of the interior is more akin to that of a large department store than a library. The enormous size of the facility led to the design of a large atrium that provides good visibility for patrons to quickly grasp where things are located. From the atrium, they can reach the books they seek by using escalators or observation elevators. The 10-story building has books and videos arranged by genres such as general books, foreign books, children books, Chinese classics, multi-media, and cinema, in a manner that resembles specialty shop arcades. Visitors can enjoy strolling around the facility and browsing the books as if they are going shopping.

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With advancements in the Internet and progress in digital technology, the “information” environment is undergoing a sea change. It could be said that this is precisely why it will become even more important for people to come in touch with the “real thing,” experiencing the weight, feel, color, and the smell of ink that only real books can provide. This library aims to be a treasure house of knowledge, where people can perceive the real world, not a virtual one.

Hiroshi Miyakawa (Design Fellow, Nikken Sekkei)

miyakawa[1]China, as it continues to develop rapidly, is a veritable cornucopia of non-standard projects that are beyond our imagination. The conditions for the design of this library were also unprecedented, with the need to place 3.5 million books on open stacks for people to browse. What kind of form should this large open-stack public library take? How do we satisfy demands for functionality as a library, an intuitive layout and comfort from the standpoint of the users, structural safety, and environmental performance? We compiled the design by discussing these matters with the parties concerned. Since it was a complex building, it was quite a difficult birth, but seeing how popular it has become among the public since its opening, it all seems worthwhile, and I am glad to see that the original design concept has been achieved.

Naoto Noguchi (Chief, Architectural Design Department, Nikken Sekkei)

001[1]When you turn the pages of a book, on one page you find a rhythmical arrangement of letters, and another page, photographs in an array of colors. One book is a composed description of history, another a narrative of longings for the infinite realms of outer space. These different aspects are folded within the pages that form the weight and thickness of the books lining the shelves. Just like turning and viewing the pages of a book, in this library spaces appear where you can view a variety of bookshelves. By strolling around the library, I hope visitors will enjoy another kind of reading experience, one on a meta-level.

Zhang Jian (PM Section, Nikken Sekkei China)

zj[1]People tend to associate libraries with a hard box-like image, but in this project, in addition to the essential functions of a library, we were strongly requested to deliver added value in the form of a space providing recreation and relaxation for the public. The building was completed after many complications and was far behind its original planned schedule for completion. By sharing a common goal with our local partners, we were able to overcome many various difficulties in not only the design aspects, but especially with regard to onsite coordination. I now view this as a memorable experience. The library has been completed in a form that we can see, and I am looking forward to its future. But I also wish to always cherish the bonds that were built during this process with the many parties concerned.

 

 

List of Tallest Buildings and Structures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The world’s tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of “Tallest Building in the World” and the tallest self supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010. The second-tallest self-supporting structure and the tallest tower is the Tokyo Skytree. The tallest guyed structure is the KVLY-TV mast.

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Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo, Japan in 2014.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the “World’s Tallest”, recognizes a building only if at least 50% of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area. Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as “towers”.

There are dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 ft) in height, and only the tallest are recorded in publicly available information sources.

Contents
1 Debate over definitions
2 Tallest structures
2.1 Tallest structure by category
2.2 Tallest destroyed structures by category, not surpassed by existing structures
2.3 Tallest building by function
3 Tallest buildings
3.1 History of record holders in each CTBUH category
4 Tallest freestanding structures on land
4.1 History
4.2 World’s highest observation deck
4.3 Timeline of guyed structures on land
5 Tallest towers
5.1 History of tallest tower
6 Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings
7 References
8 External links

Debate Over Definitions


The assessment of the height of artificial structures has been controversial. Various standards have been used by different organizations which has meant that the title of world’s tallest structure or building has changed depending on which standards have been accepted. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has changed its definitions over time. Some of the controversy regarding the definitions and assessment of tall structures and buildings has included the following:

  • the definition of a structure, a building and a tower
  • whether a structure, building or tower under construction should be included in any assessment
  • whether a structure, building or tower has to be officially opened before it is assessed
  • whether structures built in and rising above water should have their below-water height included in any assessment.
  • whether a structure, building or tower that is guyed is assessed in the same category as self-supporting structures.

Within an accepted definition of a building further controversy has included the following factors:

  • whether only habitable height of the building is considered
  • whether communication towers with observation galleries should be considered “habitable” in this sense
  • whether rooftop antennas, viewing platforms or any other architecture that does not form a habitable floor should be included in the assessment
  • whether a floor built at a high level of a telecommunications or viewing tower should change the tower’s definition to that of a “building”

Tallest Structures


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Warsaw radio mast, the height record holder from 1974 to 1991.

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The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was the world’s tallest freestanding structure from 1975 to 2007.

This category does not require the structure to be “officially” open but does require it to be ‘topped out’.

The tallest artificial structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 828.1 m (2,717 ft) in height on January 17, 2009. By April 7, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA. That September it officially surpassed Poland’s 646.38 m (2,120.7 ft) Warsaw radio mast, which stood from 1974 to 1991, to become the tallest structure ever built. Guyed lattice towers such as these masts had held the world height record since 1954.

The Petronius Platform stands 610 m (2,000 ft) off the sea floor leading some, including Guinness World Records 2007, to claim it as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, it is debated whether underwater height should be counted, in the same manner as height below ground is ignored on buildings. The Troll A platform is 472 m (1,549 ft), without any part of that height being supported by wires. The tension-leg type of oil platform has even greater below-water heights with several examples more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deep. However, these platforms are not considered constant structures as the vast majority of their height is made up of the length of the tendons attaching the floating platforms to the sea floor. Despite this, Guinness World Records 2009 listed the Ursa tension leg platform as the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 1,306 m (4,285 ft). The Magnolia Tension-leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is even taller with a total height of 1,432 m (4,698 ft).

Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, set records in three of the four skyscraper categories at the time it opened in 2004; at the time the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 it remained the world’s tallest inhabited building 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its architectural height (spire). The height of its roof 449.2 m (1,474 ft) and highest occupied floor 439.2 m (1,441 ft) had been surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with corresponding heights of 487 and 474 m (1,598 and 1,555 ft). Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at 527.3 m (1,730 ft).

Burj Khalifa broke the height record in all four categories for completed buildings.

Tallest Structure by Category

Due to the disagreements over how to measure height and classify structures, engineers have created various definitions for categories of buildings and other structures. One measure includes the absolute height of a building, another includes only spires and other permanent architectural features, but not antennas. The tradition of including the spire on top of a building and not including the antenna dates back to the rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. A modern-day example is that the antenna on top of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas Twin Towers are counted.

Note: The following table is a list of the tallest completed structure in each of the 53 categories below. There can only be one structure in each category, unless the title for the tallest is a draw.

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Tallest destroyed structures by category, not surpassed by existing structures

There are some destroyed architectural structures which were taller than the tallest existing structure of their type. There are also destroyed structures omitted from this list that had been surpassed in height prior to being destroyed.

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Tallest building by function

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* Mixed-Use is defined as having three or more real estate uses (such as retail, office, hotel, etc.) that are physically and functionally integrated in a single property and are mutually supporting.

Tallest Buildings


Prior to 1998, the tallest building status was determined by the height of the building to the top of its architectural elements including spires, but not including “temporary” structures (such as antennas or flagpoles), which could be added or changed relatively easily without requiring major changes to the building’s design. Other criteria for height measurement were not used. For this reason, the originally 1,451-foot (442-meter) to rooftop or 1518 feet with original antennas Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was generally accepted as being the tallest building continuously after its completion in 1973, and being taller than both World Trade Center towers, in spite of the fact the 1 World Trade Center Tower (North Tower) possessed a higher pinnacle absolute height after it added its 360-foot (110 m) radio antenna (total height of 1730 feet or 527.3 meters) in 1978. The 1 World Trade Center building maintained a higher absolute height to antenna top until the Sears Tower enlarged its own radio antenna in 2000 to a total height of 1730 feet. However, the Willis Tower was always considered the taller building because it still possessed a greater height to its architectural top (1451 feet vs. 1362 feet), and thus its status as the world’s tallest was generally not contested.

Other historic cases in which a building with a taller absolute pinnacle height was not considered the tallest building include, in 1905 when the former New York Times building or The Times Square Building (at 229 West 43rd Street in New York) was completed at 111 m (364 ft) to the roof with 128 m (420 ft) including a flagpole. That building was never considered to be taller than the 119-metre-high (390 ft) then-current record-holder Park Row Building of New York because a flagpole is not an integral architectural part of a building.

Prior to 1998 the tallest building status had been contested on occasion, but the disputes did not result in a change of the criteria used to determine the world’s tallest building. An example was the rivalry between the Trump Building (then known as the Bank of Manhattan Building) and the Chrysler Building. The Bank of Manhattan Building employed only a short spire and was 927 ft (283 m) tall and had a much higher top occupied floor (the second category in the 1996 criteria for tallest building). In contrast, the Chrysler Building employed a very large 125-foot (38 m) spire secretly assembled inside the building to claim the title of world’s tallest building with a total height of 1,048 feet (319 m), despite having a lower top occupied floor and a shorter height when both buildings’ spires are not counted in their heights. Upset by Chrysler’s victory, Shreve & Lamb, the consulting architects of Bank of Manhattan building, wrote a newspaper article claiming that their building was actually the tallest, since it contained the world’s highest usable floor. They pointed out that the observation deck in the Bank of Manhattan Building was nearly 100 feet (30 m) above the top floor in the Chrysler Building, whose surpassing spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible. However, the Chrysler Building was generally accepted as the tallest building in the world despite their protests.

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The Petronas Towers remain the tallest twin towers in the world.

However, none of the previous discrepancies or disputes in criteria to measure height (spires vs antennas, absolute pinnacle height vs. architectural height, height of highest occupied floor, etc.) resulted in the controversy that occurred upon the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The Petronas Towers possessed a higher architectural height (spires, but not antennas), but a lower absolute pinnacle height and lower top occupied floor than the previous record-holder Willis Tower in Chicago, United States. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, Willis Tower was still considered the tallest at that time. When the Petronas Twin Towers were built, controversy arose because their spires extended nine metres higher than the roof of Willis Tower. Excluding their spires, the Petronas Towers are not taller than Willis Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) found the Willis Tower to be the third-tallest building, and the Petronas Towers to be the world’s tallest buildings. This decision caused a considerable amount of controversy in the news media because this was the first time a country outside the United States had held the world’s tallest building record. Therefore, the CTBUH revised their criteria and defined four categories in which the world’s tallest building can be measured, by retaining the old criterion of height to architectural top and added three new categories

  1. Height to Architectural Top (including spires and pinnacles, but not antennas, masts or flagpoles). This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the rankings of the 100 Tallest Buildings in the World.
  2. Highest Occupied Floor
  3. Height to Top of Roof (omitted from criteria from November 2009 onwards)
  4. Height to Tip

The height-to-roof criterion was discontinued because relatively few modern tall buildings possess flat rooftops, making this criterion difficult to determine and measure. The CTBUH has further clarified their definitions of building height, including specific criteria concerning subbasements and ground level entrances (height measured from lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance rather than from a previously undefined “main entrance”), building completion (must be topped out both structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and able to be occupied), condition of the highest occupied floor (must be continuously used by people living or working and be conditioned, thus including observation decks, but not mechanical floors) and other aspects of tall buildings.

The height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance. At the time, the Willis Tower held first place in the second and third categories, the Petronas Towers held the first category, and the 1 World Trade Center building held the fourth with its antenna height to top of pinnacle. In 2000, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Willis Tower, giving it hold of the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, was completed. Its completion gave it the world record for the first three categories. On July 21, 2007 it was announced that Burj Khalifa had surpassed Taipei 101 in height, reaching 512 m (1,680 ft).

Since being completed in early 2010, Burj Khalifa leads in all categories (the first building to do so). With a spire height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), Burj Khalifa surpassed Taipei 101 as the tallest building to architectural detail and the Willis Tower as the tallest building to tip. It also leads in the category of highest occupied floor.

Before Burj Khalifa was completed, Willis Tower led in the fourth category with 527 m (1,729 ft), previously held by the World Trade Center until the extension of the Chicago tower’s western broadcast antenna in 2000, over a year prior to the World Trade Center’s destruction in 2001. Its antenna mast included, One World Trade Center measured 527.3 m (1,730 ft). The World Trade Center became the world’s tallest building to be destroyed or demolished; indeed, its site entered the record books twice on September 11, 2001, in that category, replacing the Singer Building, which once stood a block from the World Trade Center site. A different superlative for skyscrapers is their number of floors. The World Trade Center set that at 110, and this was not surpassed for nearly four decades until the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

Structures such as the CN Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower are excluded from these categories because they are not “habitable buildings”, which are defined as frame structures made with floors and walls throughout.

History of record holders in each CTBUH category

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Tallest Freestanding Structures on Land


Freestanding structures must not be supported by guy wires, the sea or other types of support. It therefore does not include guyed masts, partially guyed towers and drilling platforms but does include towers, skyscrapers (pinnacle height) and chimneys. (See also history of tallest skyscrapers.)

The world’s tallest freestanding structure on land is defined as the tallest self-supporting artificial structure that stands above ground. This definition is different from that of world’s tallest building or world’s tallest structure based on the percentage of the structure that is occupied and whether or not it is self-supporting or supported by exterior cables. Likewise, this definition does not count structures that are built underground or on the seabed, such as the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Visit world’s tallest structure by category for a list of various other definitions.

The tallest freestanding structure on land is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the 553.3 m (1,815 ft) CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It was completed in 2010, with final height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft).

History

The following is a list of structures that have held the title as the tallest freestanding structure on land.

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Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (377–443 ft). It was the world’s tallest non-pyramidal structure for many centuries. Another notable mention includes the Jetavanaramaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was built in the third century, and was similarly tall at 122 m (400 ft). These were both the world’s tallest or second-tallest non-pyramidal structure for over a thousand years.

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Diagram of the Principal High Buildings of the Old World, 1884.

The tallest secular building between the collapse of the Pharos and the erection of the Washington Monument may have been the Torre del Mangia in Siena, which is 102 m (335 ft) tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97-metre-tall (318 ft) Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.

World’s Highest Observation Deck

Timeline of development of world’s highest observation deck since inauguration of Eiffel Tower.

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Higher observation decks have existed on mountain tops or cliffs, rather than on tall structures. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, constructed in 2007, protrudes 21 m (70 ft) over the west rim of the Grand Canyon and is approximately 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above the Colorado River, making it the highest of these types of structures.

Timeline of Guyed Structures on Land

As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts, here is a timeline of world’s tallest guyed masts, since the beginning of radio technology.

As many large guyed masts were destroyed at the end of World War II, the dates for the years between 1945 and 1950 may be incorrect. If Wusung Radio Tower survived World War II, it was the tallest guyed structure shortly after World War II.

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Tallest Towers


Towers include observation towers, monuments and other structures not generally considered to be “habitable buildings”, they are meant for “regular access by humans, but not for living in or office work, and are self-supporting or freestanding, which means no guy-wires for support”, meaning it excludes from this list of continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers as well as radio and TV masts.

Bridge towers or pylons, chimneys, transmission towers, and most large statues allow human access for maintenance, but not as part of their normal operation, and are therefore not considered to be towers.

The Tokyo Skytree, completed in February 2012, is 634 m (2,080 ft), making it the tallest tower, and second-tallest freestanding structure in the world.

History of Tallest Tower

The following is a list of structures that have historically held the title as the tallest towers in the world.

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Tallest Structures, Freestanding Structures, and Buildings


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Burj Khalifa and other tallest structures

The list categories are:

  • The structures (supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that might use some external support constructions like cables and are fully built in air. Only the three tallest are listed, as more than fifty US TV masts have stated heights of 600–610 metres (1,970–2,000 ft).
  • The structures (media supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that are not totally built in the air but are using support from other, denser media like salt water. All structures greater than 500 metres (1,640 ft) are listed.
  • The freestanding structures list uses pinnacle height and includes structures over 500 metres (1,640 ft) that do not use guy-wires or other external supports. This means truly free standing on its own or, in similar sense, non-supported structures.
    The building list uses architectural height (excluding antennas) and includes only buildings, defined as consisting of habitable floors. Both of these follow CTBUH guidelines. All supertall buildings (450 m and higher) are listed.

Notes:

  • Eight buildings appear on the freestanding structures category list with heights different from another category. This is due to the different measurement specifications of those lists.
  • Only current heights and, where reasonable, target heights are listed. Historical heights of structures that no longer exist, for example, for having collapsed, are excluded.

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List of the Tallest Statues in the United States

List of the Tallest Statues in the United States


This list of the tallest statues in the United States ranks free-standing statues based on their height from base to top. The list also includes novelty architecture, (which are not statues).

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Statues over 12.2 m (40 ft)


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Statues between 6.1 and 12.2 m (20 and 40 ft)


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Statues under 6.1 m (20 ft)


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Leaning Tower of Pisa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply the Tower of Pisa (Torre di Pisa [ˈtorre di ˈpiːza]) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry.

The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The height of the tower is 55.86 metres (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 metres (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons). The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees. This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the centre.

Contents
1 Architect
2 Construction
2.1 Timeline
2.2 Builders
3 History following construction
4 Alternative candidates
5 Technical information
6 Gallery

Architect


There has been controversy about the real identity of the architect of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. For many years, the design was attributed to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano, a well-known 12th-century resident artist of Pisa, famous for his bronze casting, particularly in the Pisa Duomo. Pisano left Pisa in 1185 for Monreale, Sicily, only to come back and die in his home town. A piece of cast bearing his name was discovered at the foot of the tower in 1820, but this may be related to the bronze door in the façade of the cathedral that was destroyed in 1595. A 2001 study seems to indicate Diotisalvi was the original architect, due to the time of construction and affinity with other Diotisalvi works, notably the bell tower of San Nicola and the Baptistery, both in Pisa.

Construction


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The Pisa Baptistery (in the foreground), the Pisa Cathedral (in the middleground), and the Leaning Tower of Pisa (in the background)

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Leaning Tower of Pisa in 2004

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Leaning Tower of Pisa

Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14, 1173 during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals.

The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century, because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa, Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.

In 1272, construction resumed under Giovanni di Simone, architect of the Camposanto. In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is curved. Construction was halted again in 1284 when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans in the Battle of Meloria.

The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea Pisano, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655.

After a phase (1990–2001) of structural strengthening, the tower is currently undergoing gradual surface restoration, in order to repair visible damage, mostly corrosion and blackening. These are particularly pronounced due to the tower’s age and its exposure to wind and rain.

Timeline

  • On January 5, 1172, Donna Berta di Bernardo, a widow and resident of the house of dell’Opera di Santa Maria, bequeathed sixty soldi to the Opera Campanilis petrarum Sancte Marie. The sum was then used toward the purchase of a few stones which still form the base of the bell tower.
    On August 9, 1173, the foundations of the tower were laid.
    Nearly four centuries later Giorgio Vasari wrote: “Guglielmo, according to what is being said, in [this] year 1174 with Bonanno as sculptor, laid the foundations of the bell tower of the cathedral in Pisa.”
  • On December 27, 1233, the worker Benenato, son of Gerardo Bottici, oversaw the continuation of the construction of the bell tower.
    On February 23, 1260, Guido Speziale, son of Giovanni, a worker on the cathedral Santa Maria Maggiore, was elected to oversee the building of the tower.
  • On April 12, 1264, the master builder Giovanni di Simone and 23 workers went to the mountains close to Pisa to cut marble. The cut stones were given to Rainaldo Speziale, worker of St. Francesco.
  • Giorgio Vasari indicated that Tommaso di Andrea Pisano was the designer of the belfry between 1360 and 1370.

Builders

  • One possible known builder of Pisa Tower was Gerardo di Gerardo. His name appears as a witness to the above legacy of Berta di Bernardo as “Master Gerardo”, and as a worker whose name was Gerardo.
  • A more probable builder was Diotisalvi, because of the construction period and the structure’s affinities with other buildings in Pisa, but he usually signed his works, and there is no signature by him in the bell tower.
  • Giovanni di Simone was known to be heavily involved in the completion of the tower, under the direction of Giovanni Pisano, who at the time was master builder of the Opera di Santa Maria Maggiore. Di Simone could be the same Giovanni Pisano who completed the belfry tower.

History following construction


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Plaque in memory of Galileo Galilei’s experiments

Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped two cannonballs of different masses from the tower to demonstrate that their speed of descent was independent of their mass. However, the only primary source for this is the biography Racconto istorico della vita di Galileo Galilei (Historical Account of the Life of Galileo Galilei), written by Galileo’s secretary Vincenzo Viviani and published in 1717, long after Viviani’s death.

During World War II, the Allies discovered that the Germans were using the tower as an observation post. A U.S. Army sergeant sent to confirm the presence of German troops in the tower was impressed by the beauty of the cathedral and its campanile, and thus refrained from ordering an artillery strike, sparing it from destruction.

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Lead counterweights, 1998

Numerous efforts have been made to restore the tower to a vertical orientation or at least keep it from falling over. Most of these efforts failed; some worsened the tilt. On February 27, 1964, the government of Italy requested aid in preventing the tower from toppling. It was, however, considered important to retain the current tilt, due to the role that this element played in promoting the tourism industry of Pisa.

A multinational task force of engineers, mathematicians, and historians gathered on the Azores islands to discuss stabilisation methods. It was found that the tilt was increasing in combination with the softer foundations on the lower side. Many methods were proposed to stabilise the tower, including the addition of 800 tonnes of lead counterweights to the raised end of the base.

The tower and the neighbouring cathedral, baptistery, and cemetery are included in the Piazza del Duomo UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was declared in 1987.

The tower was closed to the public on January 7, 1990, after more than two decades of stabilisation studies and spurred by the abrupt collapse of the Civic Tower of Pavia in 1989. The bells were removed to relieve some weight, and cables were cinched around the third level and anchored several hundred meters away. Apartments and houses in the path of the tower were vacated for safety. The solution chosen to prevent the collapse of the tower was to slightly straighten it to a safer angle by removing 38 cubic metres (1,342 cubic feet) of soil from underneath the raised end. The tower was straightened by 45 centimetres (17.7 inches), returning to its 1838 position. After a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the tower was reopened to the public on December 15, 2001 and was declared stable for at least another 300 years. In total, 70 metric tons (77 short tons) of earth were removed.

In May 2008, engineers announced that the tower had been stabilized such that it had stopped moving for the first time in its history. They stated that it would be stable for at least 200 years.

Alternative candidates


Two German churches have challenged the tower’s status as the world’s most lop-sided building: the 15th-century square Leaning Tower of Suurhusen and the 14th-century bell tower in the town of Bad Frankenhausen. Guinness World Records measured the Pisa and Suurhusen towers, finding the former’s tilt to be 3.97 degrees. In June 2010, Guinness World Records certified the Capital Gate building in Abu Dhabi, UAE as the “World’s Furthest Leaning Man-made Tower”. The Capital Gate tower has an 18-degree slope, almost five times more than the Pisa Tower; however the Capital Gate tower has been deliberately engineered to slant. The Leaning Tower of Wanaka in New Zealand, also deliberately built, leans at 53 degrees to the ground.

Technical Information


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An elevation image of the Leaning Tower of Pisa cut with laser scan data from a University of Ferrara/CyArk research partnership, with source image accurate down to 5 mm (0.2 in). This elevation shows the interesting quandary facing the campanile. The circular shape and great height (currently 55.86 m (183 ft 3.21 in) on the lowest side and 56.67 m (185 ft 11.10 in) m on the highest) of the campanile were unusual for their time, and the crowning belfry is stylistically distinct from the rest of the construction. This belfry incorporates a 14 cm (5.5 in) correction for the inclined axis below. The siting of the campanile within the Piazza del Duomo diverges from the axial alignment of the cathedral and baptistery of the Piazza del Duomo

  • Elevation of Piazza del Duomo: about 2 metres (6 feet, DMS)
  • Height from the ground floor: 55.863 metres (183 ft 3 in), 8 stories
  • Height from the foundation floor: 58.36 m (191 ft 5.64 in)
  • Outer diameter of base: 15.484 metres (50 ft 9.6 in)
  • Inner diameter of base: 7.368 metres (24 ft 2.1 in)
  • Angle of slant: 3.97 degrees[27] or 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from the vertical[30]
  • Weight: 14,700 metric tons (16,200 short tons)
  • Thickness of walls at the base: 2.44 metres (8 ft 0 in)
  • Total number of bells: 7, tuned to musical scale, clockwise
    1st bell: L’Assunta, cast in 1654 by Giovanni Pietro Orlandi, weight 3,620 kg (7,981 lb)
  • 2nd bell: Il Crocifisso, cast in 1572 by Vincenzo Possenti, weight 2,462 kg (5,428 lb)
  • 3rd bell: San Ranieri, cast in 1719–1721 by Giovanni Andrea Moreni, weight 1,448 kg (3,192 lb)
  • 4th bell: La Terza (1st small one), cast in 1473, weight 300 kg (661 lb)
    5th bell: La Pasquereccia or La Giustizia, cast in 1262 by Lotteringo, weight 1,014 kg (2,235 lb)
  • 6th bell: Il Vespruccio (2nd small one), cast in the 14th century and again in 1501 by Nicola di Jacopo, weight 1,000 kg (2,205 lb)
  • 7th bell: Dal Pozzo, cast in 1606 and again in 2004, weight 652 kg (1,437 lb)[31]
    Number of steps to the top: 296[32]

About the 5th bell: The name Pasquareccia comes from Easter, because it used to ring on Easter day. However, this bell is older than the bell-chamber itself, and comes from the tower Vergata in Palazzo Pretorio in Pisa, where it was called La Giustizia (The Justice). The bell was tolled to announce executions of criminals and traitors, including Count Ugolino in 1289.[33] A new bell was installed in the bell tower at the end of the 18th century to replace the broken Pasquareccia.

About the 5th bell: The name Pasquareccia comes from Easter, because it used to ring on Easter day. However, this bell is older than the bell-chamber itself, and comes from the tower Vergata in Palazzo Pretorio in Pisa, where it was called La Giustizia (The Justice). The bell was tolled to announce executions of criminals and traitors, including Count Ugolino in 1289. A new bell was installed in the bell tower at the end of the 18th century to replace the broken Pasquareccia.

Gallery


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View looking up

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Entrance door to the bell tower

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External loggia

 

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Inner staircase from sixth to seventh floor

 

 

 

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Inner staircase from seventh to eighth (the top) floor

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View from the top

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Assunta bell

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Pasquareccia bell

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View, looking down from the top

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A popular photo opportunity with tourists is to pose as if one was either holding up or pushing over the tower

Eiffel Tower

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Opera Snapshot_2017-11-17_181645_en.wikipedia.org

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The Eiffel Tower (/ˈaɪfəl ˈtaʊ.ər/ EYE-fəl TOW-ər; French: tour Eiffel, pronounced [tuʁ‿ɛfɛl] About this sound listen) is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift.

Contents
1 History
1.1 Origin
1.2 Artists’ protest
1.3 Construction
1.3.1 Lifts
1.4 Inauguration and the 1889 exposition
1.5 Subsequent events
2 Design
2.1 Material
2.2 Wind considerations
2.3 Accommodation
2.4 Passenger lifts
2.5 Engraved names
2.6 Aesthetics
2.7 Maintenance
3 Tourism
3.1 Transport
3.2 Popularity
3.3 Restaurants
4 Replicas
5 Communications
5.1 FM radio
5.2 Digital television
6 Illumination copyright
7 Taller structures
7.1 Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower
7.2 Structures in France taller than the Eiffel Tower
8 See also
9 References
10 Bibliography
11 External links

History


Origin

The design of the Eiffel Tower was the product of Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel, after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world’s fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel openly acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853. In May 1884, working at home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as “a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals”. Eiffel initially showed little enthusiasm, but he did approve further study, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company’s architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments.

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First drawing of the Eiffel Tower by Maurice Koechlin including size comparison with other Parisian landmarks such as Notre Dame de Paris, the Statue of Liberty and the Vendôme Column

The new version gained Eiffel’s support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying the tower would symbolise,

Not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.

Little progress was made until 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as president of France and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May, Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which effectively made the selection of Eiffel’s design a foregone conclusion, as entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars. (A 300-meter tower was then considered a herculean engineering effort). On 12 May, a commission was set up to examine Eiffel’s scheme and its rivals, which, a month later, decided that all the proposals except Eiffel’s were either impractical or lacking in details.

After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years. He later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself.

Artists’ protest

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Caricature of Gustave Eiffel comparing the Eiffel tower to the Pyramids

The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who objected on artistic grounds. These objections were an expression of a long-standing debate in France about the relationship between architecture and engineering. It came to a head as work began at the Champ de Mars: a “Committee of Three Hundred” (one member for each metre of the tower’s height) was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the arts, such as Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet. A petition called “Artists against the Eiffel Tower” was sent to the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, Charles Alphand, and it was published by Le Temps on 14 February 1887:

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.

Guillaume_Apollinaire_Calligramme

A calligram by Guillaume Apollinaire

Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to the Egyptian pyramids: “My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?” These criticisms were also dealt with by Édouard Lockroy in a letter of support written to Alphand, ironically saying, “Judging by the stately swell of the rhythms, the beauty of the metaphors, the elegance of its delicate and precise style, one can tell this protest is the result of collaboration of the most famous writers and poets of our time”, and he explained that the protest was irrelevant since the project had been decided upon months before, and construction on the tower was already under way.

Indeed, Garnier was a member of the Tower Commission that had examined the various proposals, and had raised no objection. Eiffel was similarly unworried, pointing out to a journalist that it was premature to judge the effect of the tower solely on the basis of the drawings, that the Champ de Mars was distant enough from the monuments mentioned in the protest for there to be little risk of the tower overwhelming them, and putting the aesthetic argument for the tower: “Do not the laws of natural forces always conform to the secret laws of harmony?”

Some of the protesters changed their minds when the tower was built; others remained unconvinced. Guy de Maupassant supposedly ate lunch in the tower’s restaurant every day because it was the one place in Paris where the tower was not visible.

By 1918, it had become a symbol of Paris and of France after Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a nationalist poem in the shape of the tower (a calligram) to express his feelings about the war against Germany. Today, it is widely considered to be a remarkable piece of structural art, and is often featured in films and literature.

Construction

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Foundations of the Eiffel Tower

Work on the foundations started on 28 January 1887. Those for the east and south legs were straightforward, with each leg resting on four 2 m (6.6 ft) concrete slabs, one for each of the principal girders of each leg. The west and north legs, being closer to the river Seine, were more complicated: each slab needed two piles installed by using compressed-air caissons 15 m (49 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) in diameter driven to a depth of 22 m (72 ft) to support the concrete slabs, which were 6 m (20 ft) thick. Each of these slabs supported a block of limestone with an inclined top to bear a supporting shoe for the ironwork.

Each shoe was anchored to the stonework by a pair of bolts 10 cm (4 in) in diameter and 7.5 m (25 ft) long. The foundations were completed on 30 June, and the erection of the ironwork began. The visible work on-site was complemented by the enormous amount of exacting preparatory work that took place behind the scenes: the drawing office produced 1,700 general drawings and 3,629 detailed drawings of the 18,038 different parts needed. The task of drawing the components was complicated by the complex angles involved in the design and the degree of precision required: the position of rivet holes was specified to within 0.1 mm (0.0039 in) and angles worked out to one second of arc. The finished components, some already riveted together into sub-assemblies, arrived on horse-drawn carts from a factory in the nearby Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret and were first bolted together, with the bolts being replaced with rivets as construction progressed. No drilling or shaping was done on site: if any part did not fit, it was sent back to the factory for alteration. In all, 18,038 pieces were joined together using 2.5 million rivets.

At first the legs were constructed as cantilevers, but about halfway to the first level, construction was paused in order to create a substantial timber scaffold. This renewed concerns about the structural integrity of the tower, and sensational headlines such as “Eiffel Suicide!” and “Gustave Eiffel Has Gone Mad: He Has Been Confined in an Asylum” appeared in the tabloid press. At this stage, a small “creeper” crane designed to move up the tower was installed in each leg. They made use of the guides for the lifts which were to be fitted in the four legs. The critical stage of joining the legs at the first level was completed by the end of March 1888. Although the metalwork had been prepared with the utmost attention to detail, provision had been made to carry out small adjustments in order to precisely align the legs; hydraulic jacks were fitted to the shoes at the base of each leg, capable of exerting a force of 800 tonnes, and the legs were intentionally constructed at a slightly steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the scaffold. Although construction involved 300 on-site employees, only one person died thanks to Eiffel’s stringent safety precautions and the use of movable gangways, guardrails and screens.

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The start of the erection of the metalwork.

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7 December 1887: Construction of the legs with scaffolding.

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20 March 1888: Completion of the first level.

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15 May 1888: Start of construction on the second stage.

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21 August 1888: Completion of the second level.

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26 December 1888: Construction of the upper stage.

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15 March 1889: Construction of the cupola.

Lifts

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The Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape lifts during construction. Note the drive sprockets and chain in the foreground

Equipping the tower with adequate and safe passenger lifts was a major concern of the government commission overseeing the Exposition. Although some visitors could be expected to climb to the first level, or even the second, lifts clearly had to be the main means of ascent.

Constructing lifts to reach the first level was relatively straightforward: the legs were wide enough at the bottom and so nearly straight that they could contain a straight track, and a contract was given to the French company Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape for two lifts to be fitted in the east and west legs. Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape used a pair of endless chains with rigid, articulated links to which the car was attached. Lead weights on some links of the upper or return sections of the chains counterbalanced most of the car’s weight. The car was pushed up from below, not pulled up from above: to prevent the chain buckling, it was enclosed in a conduit. At the bottom of the run, the chains passed around 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in) diameter sprockets. Smaller sprockets at the top guided the chains.

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The Otis lifts originally fitted in the north and south legs

Installing lifts to the second level was more of a challenge because a straight track was impossible. No French company wanted to undertake the work. The European branch of Otis Brothers & Company submitted a proposal but this was rejected: the fair’s charter ruled out the use of any foreign material in the construction of the tower. The deadline for bids was extended but still no French companies put themselves forward, and eventually the contract was given to Otis in July 1887. Otis were confident they would eventually be given the contract and had already started creating designs.

The car was divided into two superimposed compartments, each holding 25 passengers, with the lift operator occupying an exterior platform on the first level. Motive power was provided by an inclined hydraulic ram 12.67 m (41 ft 7 in) long and 96.5 cm (38.0 in) in diameter in the tower leg with a stroke of 10.83 m (35 ft 6 in): this moved a carriage carrying six sheaves. Five fixed sheaves were mounted higher up the leg, producing an arrangement similar to a block and tackle but acting in reverse, multiplying the stroke of the piston rather than the force generated. The hydraulic pressure in the driving cylinder was produced by a large open reservoir on the second level. After being exhausted from the cylinder, the water was pumped back up to the reservoir by two pumps in the machinery room at the base of the south leg. This reservoir also provided power to the lifts to the first level.

The original lifts for the journey between the second and third levels were supplied by Léon Edoux. A pair of 81 m (266 ft) hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level, reaching nearly halfway up to the third level. One lift car was mounted on top of these rams: cables ran from the top of this car up to sheaves on the third level and back down to a second car. Each car only travelled half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers were required to change lifts halfway by means of a short gangway. The 10-ton cars each held 65 passengers.

Inauguration and the 1889 exposition

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General view of the Exposition Universelle

The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and, on 31 March, Eiffel celebrated by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower. Because the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent was made by foot, and took over an hour, with Eiffel stopping frequently to explain various features. Most of the party chose to stop at the lower levels, but a few, including the structural engineer, Émile Nouguier, the head of construction, Jean Compagnon, the President of the City Council, and reporters from Le Figaro and Le Monde Illustré, completed the ascent. At 2:35 pm, Eiffel hoisted a large Tricolour to the accompaniment of a 25-gun salute fired at the first level.

There was still work to be done, particularly on the lifts and facilities, and the tower was not opened to the public until nine days after the opening of the exposition on 6 May; even then, the lifts had not been completed. The tower was an instant success with the public, and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top before the lifts entered service on 26 May. Tickets cost 2 francs for the first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price admission on Sundays, and by the end of the exhibition there had been 1,896,987 visitors.

After dark, the tower was lit by hundreds of gas lamps, and a beacon sent out three beams of red, white and blue light. Two searchlights mounted on a circular rail were used to illuminate various buildings of the exposition. The daily opening and closing of the exposition were announced by a cannon at the top.

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Illumination of the tower at night during the exposition

On the second level, the French newspaper Le Figaro had an office and a printing press, where a special souvenir edition, Le Figaro de la Tour, was made. There was also a pâtisserie.

At the top, there was a post office where visitors could send letters and postcards as a memento of their visit. Graffitists were also catered for: sheets of paper were mounted on the walls each day for visitors to record their impressions of the tower. Gustave Eiffel described some of the responses as vraiment curieuse (“truly curious”).

Famous visitors to the tower included the Prince of Wales, Sarah Bernhardt, “Buffalo Bill” Cody (his Wild West show was an attraction at the exposition) and Thomas Edison. Eiffel invited Edison to his private apartment at the top of the tower, where Edison presented him with one of his phonographs, a new invention and one of the many highlights of the exposition. Edison signed the guestbook with this message:

To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison.

Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years. It was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it should be easy to dismantle) but as the tower proved to be valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit.

Eiffel made use of his apartment at the top of the tower to carry out meteorological observations, and also used the tower to perform experiments on the action of air resistance on falling bodies.

Subsequent Events

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Panoramic view during ascent of the Eiffel Tower by the Lumière brothers, 1898

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Franz Reichelt’s preparations and jump from the Eiffel Tower

For the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the lifts in the east and west legs were replaced by lifts running as far as the second level constructed by the French firm Fives-Lille. These had a compensating mechanism to keep the floor level as the angle of ascent changed at the first level, and were driven by a similar hydraulic mechanism to the Otis lifts, although this was situated at the base of the tower. Hydraulic pressure was provided by pressurised accumulators located near this mechanism. At the same time the lift in the north pillar was removed and replaced by a staircase to the first level. The layout of both first and second levels was modified, with the space available for visitors on the second level. The original lift in the south pillar was removed 13 years later.

On 19 October 1901, Alberto Santos-Dumont, flying his No.6 airship, won a 100,000-franc prize offered by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe for the first person to make a flight from St. Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back in less than half an hour.

Many innovations took place at the Eiffel Tower in the early 20th century. In 1910, Father Theodor Wulf measured radiant energy at the top and bottom of the tower. He found more at the top than expected, incidentally discovering what are known today as cosmic rays. Just two years later, on 4 February 1912, Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt died after jumping from the first level of the tower (a height of 57 metres) to demonstrate his parachute design. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, a radio transmitter located in the tower jammed German radio communications, seriously hindering their advance on Paris and contributing to the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne. From 1925 to 1934, illuminated signs for Citroën adorned three of the tower’s sides, making it the tallest advertising space in the world at the time. In April 1935, the tower was used to make experimental low-resolution television transmissions, using a shortwave transmitter of 200 watts power. On 17 November, an improved 180-line transmitter was installed.

On two separate but related occasions in 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig “sold” the tower for scrap metal. A year later, in February 1926, pilot Leon Collet was killed trying to fly under the tower. His aircraft became entangled in an aerial belonging to a wireless station. A bust of Gustave Eiffel by Antoine Bourdelle was unveiled at the base of the north leg on 2 May 1929. In 1930, the tower lost the title of the world’s tallest structure when the Chrysler Building in New York City was completed. In 1938, the decorative arcade around the first level was removed.

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American soldiers watch the French flag flying on the Eiffel Tower, c. 25 August 1944

Upon the German occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French. The tower was closed to the public during the occupation and the lifts were not repaired until 1946. In 1940, German soldiers had to climb the tower to hoist a swastika-centered Reichskriegsflagge, but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. When the Allies were nearing Paris in August 1944, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. On 25 June, before the Germans had been driven out of Paris, the German flag was replaced with a Tricolour by two men from the French Naval Museum, who narrowly beat three men led by Lucien Sarniguet, who had lowered the Tricolour on 13 June 1940 when Paris fell to the Germans.

A fire started in the television transmitter on 3 January 1956, damaging the top of the tower. Repairs took a year, and in 1957, the present radio aerial was added to the top. In 1964, the Eiffel Tower was officially declared to be a historical monument by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, André Malraux. A year later, an additional lift system was installed in the north pillar.

According to interviews, in 1967, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau negotiated a secret agreement with Charles de Gaulle for the tower to be dismantled and temporarily relocated to Montreal to serve as a landmark and tourist attraction during Expo 67. The plan was allegedly vetoed by the company operating the tower out of fear that the French government could refuse permission for the tower to be restored in its original location.

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Base of the Eiffel Tower

In 1982, the original lifts between the second and third levels were replaced after 97 years in service. These had been closed to the public between November and March because the water in the hydraulic drive tended to freeze. The new cars operate in pairs, with one counterbalancing the other, and perform the journey in one stage, reducing the journey time from eight minutes to less than two minutes. At the same time, two new emergency staircases were installed, replacing the original spiral staircases. In 1983, the south pillar was fitted with an electrically driven Otis lift to serve the Jules Verne restaurant. The Fives-Lille lifts in the east and west legs, fitted in 1899, were extensively refurbished in 1986. The cars were replaced, and a computer system was installed to completely automate the lifts. The motive power was moved from the water hydraulic system to a new electrically driven oil-filled hydraulic system, and the original water hydraulics were retained solely as a counterbalance system. A service lift was added to the south pillar for moving small loads and maintenance personnel three years later.

Robert Moriarty flew a Beechcraft Bonanza under the tower on 31 March 1984. In 1987, A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungee jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped develop. Hackett was arrested by the police. On 27 October 1991, Thierry Devaux, along with mountain guide Hervé Calvayrac, performed a series of acrobatic figures while bungee jumping from the second floor of the tower. Facing the Champ de Mars, Devaux used an electric winch between figures to go back up to the second floor. When firemen arrived, he stopped after the sixth jump.

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The tower is the focal point of New Year’s Eve and Bastille Day (14 July) celebrations in Paris.

For its “Countdown to the Year 2000” celebration on 31 December 1999, flashing lights and high-powered searchlights were installed on the tower. Fireworks were set off all over it. An exhibition above a cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event. The searchlights on top of the tower made it a beacon in Paris’s night sky, and 20,000 flashing bulbs gave the tower a sparkly appearance for five minutes every hour on the hour.

The lights sparkled blue for several nights to herald the new millennium On 31 December 2000. The sparkly lighting continued for 18 months until July 2001. The sparkling lights were turned on again on 21 June 2003, and the display was planned to last for 10 years before they needed replacing.

The tower received its 200,000,000th guest on 28 November 2002. The tower has operated at its maximum capacity of about 7 million visitors since 2003. In 2004, the Eiffel Tower began hosting a seasonal ice rink on the first level. A glass floor was installed on the first level during the 2014 refurbishment.

Design


Material

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The Eiffel Tower from below

The puddled iron (wrought iron) of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons, and the addition of lifts, shops and antennae have brought the total weight to approximately 10,100 tons. As a demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7,300 tons of metal in the structure were melted down, it would fill the square base, 125 metres (410 ft) on each side, to a depth of only 6.25 cm (2.46 in) assuming the density of the metal to be 7.8 tons per cubic metre. Additionally, a cubic box surrounding the tower (324 m x 125 m x 125 m) would contain 6,200 tons of air, weighing almost as much as the iron itself. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun.

Wind Considerations

When it was built, many were shocked by the tower’s daring form. Eiffel was accused of trying to create something artistic with no regard to the principles of engineering. However, Eiffel and his team – experienced bridge builders – understood the importance of wind forces, and knew that if they were going to build the tallest structure in the world, they had to be sure it could withstand them. In an interview with the newspaper Le Temps published on 14 February 1887, Eiffel said:

Is it not true that the very conditions which give strength also conform to the hidden rules of harmony? … Now to what phenomenon did I have to give primary concern in designing the Tower? It was wind resistance. Well then! I hold that the curvature of the monument’s four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be … will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole.

He used graphical methods to determine the strength of the tower and empirical evidence to account for the effects of wind, rather than a mathematical formula. Close examination of the tower reveals a basically exponential shape. All parts of the tower were over-designed to ensure maximum resistance to wind forces. The top half was even assumed to have no gaps in the latticework. In the years since it was completed, engineers have put forward various mathematical hypotheses in an attempt to explain the success of the design. The most recent, devised in 2004 after letters sent by Eiffel to the French Society of Civil Engineers in 1885 were translated into English, is described as a non-linear integral equation based on counteracting the wind pressure on any point of the tower with the tension between the construction elements at that point.

The Eiffel Tower sways by up to 9 centimetres (3.5 in) in the wind.

Accommodation

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Gustave Eiffel’s apartment

When originally built, the first level contained three restaurants—one French, one Russian and one Flemish—and an “Anglo-American Bar”. After the exposition closed, the Flemish restaurant was converted to a 250-seat theatre. A promenade 2.6-metre (8 ft 6 in) wide ran around the outside of the first level. At the top, there were laboratories for various experiments, and a small apartment reserved for Gustave Eiffel to entertain guests, which is now open to the public, complete with period decorations and lifelike mannequins of Eiffel and some of his notable guests.

In May 2016, an apartment was created on the first level to accommodate four competition winners during the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament in Paris in June. The apartment has a kitchen, two bedrooms, a lounge, and views of Paris landmarks including the Seine, the Sacre Coeur, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Passenger Lifts

The arrangement of the lifts has been changed several times during the tower’s history. Given the elasticity of the cables and the time taken to align the cars with the landings, each lift, in normal service, takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip, spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each level. The average journey time between levels is 1 minute. The original hydraulic mechanism is on public display in a small museum at the base of the east and west legs. Because the mechanism requires frequent lubrication and maintenance, public access is often restricted. The rope mechanism of the north tower can be seen as visitors exit the lift.

Engraved Names

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Names engraved on the tower

Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower the names of 72 French scientists, engineers and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions to the building of the tower. Eiffel chose this “invocation of science” because of his concern over the artists’ protest. At the beginning of the 20th century, the engravings were painted over, but they were restored in 1986–87 by the Société Nouvelle d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company operating the tower.

Aesthetics

The tower is painted in three shades: lighter at the top, getting progressively darker towards the bottom to perfectly complement the Parisian sky. It was originally reddish brown; this changed in 1968 to a bronze colour known as “Eiffel Tower Brown”.

The only non-structural elements are the four decorative grill-work arches, added in Sauvestre’s sketches, which served to make the tower look more substantial and to make a more impressive entrance to the exposition.

One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to seven storeys, only a small number of tall buildings have a clear view of the tower.

Maintenance

Maintenance of the tower includes applying 60 tons of paint every seven years to prevent it from rusting. The tower has been completely repainted at least 19 times since it was built. Lead paint was still being used as recently as 2001 when the practice was stopped out of concern for the environment.

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Panorama of Paris and its suburbs from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Tourism


Transport

The nearest Paris Métro station is Bir-Hakeim and the nearest RER station is Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. The tower itself is located at the intersection of the quai Branly and the Pont d’Iéna.

Popularity

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Number of visitors per year between 1889 and 2004

More than 250 million people have visited the tower since it was completed in 1889. In 2015, there were 6.91 million visitors. The tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. An average of 25,000 people ascend the tower every day which can result in long queues. Tickets can be purchased online to avoid the long queues.

Restaurants

The tower has two restaurants: Le 58 Tour Eiffel on the first level, and Le Jules Verne, a gourmet restaurant with its own lift on the second level. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide. It is run by the multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse and owes its name to the famous science-fiction writer Jules Verne. Additionally, there is a champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Replicas

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Replica at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, Nevada, United States

As one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been the inspiration for the creation of many replicas and similar towers. An early example is Blackpool Tower in England. The mayor of Blackpool, Sir John Bickerstaffe, was so impressed on seeing the Eiffel Tower at the 1889 exposition that he commissioned a similar tower to be built in his town. It opened in 1894 and is 158.1 metres (518 ft) tall. Tokyo Tower in Japan, built as a communications tower in 1958, was also inspired by the Eiffel Tower.

There are various scale models of the tower in the United States, including a half-scale version at the Paris Las Vegas, Nevada, one in Paris, Texas built in 1993, and two 1:3 scale models at Kings Island, Ohio, and Kings Dominion, Virginia, amusement parks opened in 1972 and 1975 respectively. Two 1:3 scale models can be found in China, one in Durango, Mexico that was donated by the local French community, and several across Europe.

In 2011, the TV show Pricing the Priceless on the National Geographic Channel speculated that a full-size replica of the tower would cost approximately US$480 million to build.

Communications


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Top of the Eiffel Tower

The tower has been used for making radio transmissions since the beginning of the 20th century. Until the 1950s, sets of aerial wires ran from the cupola to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. These were connected to longwave transmitters in small bunkers. In 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar, which still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an aerial, exchanged wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory, which used an aerial in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C. Today, radio and digital television signals are transmitted from the Eiffel Tower.

FM Radio

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Digital Television

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A television antenna was first installed on the tower in 1957, increasing its height by 18.7 m (61.4 ft). Work carried out in 2000 added a further 5.3 m (17.4 ft), giving the current height of 324 m (1,063 ft). Analogue television signals from the Eiffel Tower ceased on 8 March 2011.

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The Eiffel Tower illuminated in 2015

The tower and its image have long been in the public domain. In June 1990 a French court ruled that a special lighting display on the tower in 1989 to mark the tower’s 100th anniversary was an “original visual creation” protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation, France’s judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March 1992. The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) now considers any illumination of the tower to be a separate work of art that falls under copyright. As a result, the SNTE alleges that it is illegal to publish contemporary photographs of the lit tower at night without permission in France and some other countries for commercial use.

The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for what was then called the Société Nouvelle d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SNTE), Stéphane Dieu, commented in 2005: “It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn’t used in ways [of which] we don’t approve”. SNTE made over €1 million from copyright fees in 2002. However, it could also be used to restrict the publication of tourist photographs of the tower at night, as well as hindering non-profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the illuminated tower.

French doctrine and jurisprudence allows pictures incorporating a copyrighted work as long as their presence is incidental or accessory to the subject being represented, a reasoning akin to the de minimis rule. Therefore, SETE may be unable to claim copyright on photographs of Paris which happen to include the lit tower.

Taller Structures


The Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest structure when completed in 1889, a distinction it retained until 1929 when the Chrysler Building in New York City was topped out. The tower has lost its standing both as the world’s tallest structure and the world’s tallest lattice tower but retains its status as the tallest freestanding (non-guyed) structure in France.

Lattice Towers taller than the Eiffel Tower

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Structures in France taller than the Eiffel Tower

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