Tuesday, March 25, 2008

[birdsnest] when design becomes danger

Oh my goodness!

The Societe d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) has announced that Serero Architects of Paris has won a competition to redesign the structure's public viewing platform and reception areas.

The winning design, which will be 276 metres above the ground, will not require permanent modification of the existing structure. It will double the capacity of the public viewing area on the tower's top floor.

The new platform will be bolted onto the tower using a web of Kevlar, an extremely strong and lightweight carbon fibre used in the construction of racing cars and body armour. The platform will use a cantilevered design similar to the way an aircraft's wings are attached to the fuselage.

What they fail to mention is that kevlar, though longitudinally strong, has a shelf life when exposed to the elements - any sailor knows that, kevlar being one of the main design materials.

It is also puncture vulnerable and subject to compressive failure, especially when bent. Any site here can tell you that.

Couple that with the French penchant for elan, for outrageous concepts which more than seldom fail in the initial stages and IMHO, there is here a recipe for disaster - plus it's ugly.

An example of French engineering was the hydrofoil and in particular, Hydroptere. In the photo to the left, this is how she should have sailed.

The photo lower right shows how she did sail.

Similarly, the French C Class Otip used a "flip-over" hard sail, designed to maximum efficiency.

The photo lower right shows the result.

So enjoy the new birds nest if you dare and I'll watch the result from the lower etage. And as if on cue, here is an advert for underpinning your French property.


oestrebunny said...

I can't see why on earth they'd want to change it in the first place.

Why fuck about with an internationally recognised monument and symbol of France?

Nothing wrong with it the way it is if you ask me.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

The thought had crossed my mind too.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I actually hate the Tour Eiffel because I've had to take so many school parties up there that the romance becomes lost on you. But I can't see why they have to muck around with it either.

Wolfie said...

My enduring image of my last visit to the Eiffel was the crumbling rust in the upper segment as I took the final lift ascent to the viewing platform. The whole thing should be condemned and the extra weight (of people) seems like asking or trouble.

CherryPie said...

I can't see why the would want to change the look of it either. The proposed changes make it look ridiculous and it doesn't sound very safe! Not that you would catch me on the top level anyway.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Actually, it looks just plain ugly.

Dragonstar said...

Ridiculous! They'll ruin the look, and compromise safety.