World architecture

Abomey Royal Palaces
1. Benin, Africa
The Royal Palaces of Abomey in the West African Republic of Benin formerly the Kingdom of Dahomey, on the Gulf of Guinea, are a substantial reminder of a vanished kingdom. From 1625 to 1900 Abomey was ruled by a succession of twelve kings. With the exception of Akaba, who created a separate enclosure, each built a lavish cob-wall palace with a high, wide-eaved thatched roof in the 190-acre 44-hectare royal grounds, surrounded by a wall about 20 feet 6 meters high. There are fourteen palaces in all, standing in a series of defensible courtyards joined by what were once closely guarded passages. Over centuries, the complexreally aa city within a citywas filled with nearly 200 square or rectangular single-story houses, circular religious buildings, and auxiliary structures, all made of unbaked earth and decorated with colorful bas-reliefs, murals, and sculpture it was a major and quite unexpected feat of contextual architecture in a preliterate society. According to tradition, in the twelfth or thirteenth century a.d., Adja people migrated from near the Mono River in what is now Togo and founded a village that became the capital of Great Ardra, a kingdom that reached the zenith of its power about 400 years later. Around 1625 a dispute over which of three brothers should be king resulted in one, Kokpon, retaining Great Ardra. Another, Te- Agdanlin, founded Little Ardra known to the Portuguese as Porto-Novo. The third, Do-Aklin, established his capital at Abomey and built a powerful centralized kingdom with a permanent army and a complex bureaucracy. Intermarriage with the local people gradually formed the largest of modern Benins ethnic groups, the Fon, or Dahomey, who occupy the southern coastal region. Abomey is their principal town. The irresistible Fon armiesthey included female warriorscarried out slave raids on their neighbors, setting up a trade with Europeans. By 1700 about 20,000 slaves were sold each year, and the trade became the kingdoms main source of wealth. Despite British efforts to stamp it out, it persisted, and Dahomey continued to expand northward well into the nineteenth century. King Agadja 1708?1732 subjugated much of the south, provoking the neighboring Yoruba kingdom to a war, during which Abomey was captured. The Fon were under Yoruba domination for eighty years from 1738. In 1863, in a bid to balance Fon power, Little Ardra the only southern town not annexed by Agadja accepted a French protectorate. France, fearing other European imperialists, tried to secure its hold on the Dahomey coast. King Behanzin 1889?1893 resisted, but France established a protectorate over Abomey, exiled him, and made his brother, Agoli-Agbo, puppet king under a colonial government. By 1904 the French had seized the rest of present-day Benin, absorbing it into French West Africa. Tradition has it that the first palace was built for King Dakodonou in 1645 and that his successors followed with structures of the same materials and similar designin architectural jargon, each palace was contextual. King Agadja was the first to incorporate 40-inch-square 1-meter panels of brightly painted bas-relief in niches in his palace facade. After that they proliferated as an integral decorative device for example, King Gleles 1858?1889 palace had fifty-six of them. As esthetically delightful as they were, the main purpose of the panels was not pleasure but propaganda. An important record of the preliterate Fon society, many documented key events in its rise to supremacy, rehearsing in images the probably exaggerated deeds of the kings. Just as history books might do in another society, they held for posterity the Fons cultural heritage, customs, mythology, and liturgy. When French forces advanced on Abomey in 1892, King Behanzin commanded that the royal palaces were to be burned rather than fall into their hands. Under Agoli-Agbo I, the buildings were restored. Although contemporary documents describe the compound as avast camp of ruins, the exact extent of both the damage and the reconstruction is unclear. The palace of King Glele known as the Hall of the Jewels was among the buildings to survive. Although there are doubts about the age of the existing bas-reliefs, which may be reproductions, those from that palace are probably original and the oldest of the remaining works. In 1911 the French made an ill-informed attempt at architectural restoration, particularly in the palaces of Guezo and Glele. Further inappropriate work in the early 1980s included replacing some of the thatched roofs with low-pitched corrugated steel. Denied the protection of the traditional wide eaves, the earthen bas-reliefs were badly damaged. The palaces seem to have been under continual threat. After damage from torrential rain in April 1977, the Benin government sought UNESCOs advice on conserving and restoring them. In 1984 the complex was inscribed on the World Heritage List and simultaneously on the List of the World Heritage in Danger because of the effects of a tornado. The royal compound, the Guezo Portico, King Glele s tomb, and the Hall of the Jewels were badly damaged. Several conservation programs have been initiated subsequently. In 1988 fifty of the fragile reliefs from the latter building, battered by weather and insect attack, were removed before reconstruction was initiated. After removal, they were remounted as individual panels in stabilized earth casings, and between 1993 and 1997 an international team of experts from the Benin government and the Getty Conservation Institute worked on their conservation. The Italian government has financed other projects. Today the glory of the royal city of Abomey has passed. Most of the palaces are gone only those of Guezo 1818?1858 and Glele tenuously stand. Their size gives a glimpse of their splendid past: together they cover 10 acres 4 hectares and comprise 18 buildings. They were converted into a historical museum in 1944. Apart from them, the enclosure of the Royal Palaces is abandoned. Many buildings, including the Queen Mothers palace, the royal tombs, and the so-called priestesses house remain in imminent danger of collapse. .....
Afsluitdijk
2. The Netherlands
The 20-mile-long 32-kilometer Afsluitdijk literally,closing-off dike, constructed from 1927 to 1932 between Wieringen now Den Oever and the west coast of Friesland, enabled the resourceful Dutch to turn the saltwater Zuider Zee South Sea into the freshwater IJsselmeer and eventually to create an entire new province, Flevoland. Like their successful responses to similar challenges before and since, it was an audacious and farsighted feat of planning, hydraulic engineering, and reclamation. Throughout their history, the Netherlanders have fought a battle against the water. Much of their tiny country is well below average sea level, in places up to 22 feet 7 meters. The threat of inundation comes not only from the sea but also from the great river systems whose deltas dominate the geography of Holland. Over centuries, literally thousands of miles of dikes and levees have been built to win agricultural land back from the water, and having gained it, to protect it. From the seventeenth century Amsterdam merchants invested their profits in building the North Holland poldersBeemstermeer, the Purmer, the Wormer, the Wijde Wormer, and the Schermerreclaimed through the ingenious use of the ubiquitous windmill. In 1250 the 79-mile-long 126-kilometer Omringdijk was built along Frieslands west coast to protect the land from the sea, and as early as 1667 the hydraulic engineer Hendric Stevin bravely proposed to close off the North Sea and reclaim the land under the Z uider Z ee. His scheme was then technologically impossible. The idea was revived in 1891 by the civil engineer and statesman Cornelis Lely. Based on research undertaken over five years, his plan was straightforward: a closing dike across the neck of the Z uider Z ee would create a freshwater lake fed by the River IJssel and allow the reclamation of 555,000 acres 225,000 hectares of polder landin the event, 407,000 acres 165,000 hectares were won. Despite Lelys assurances about the feasibility of the plan, his parliamentary colleagues were unenthusiastic. But attitudes changed after the region around the Z uider Z ee was disastrously flooded in 1916 moreover, World War I in which Holland remained neutral convinced the Dutch government that internal transportation links needed to be improved. The Z uiderzee Act was passed in 1918. The Z uiderzeeproject commenced in 1920 with the construction of the Amsteldiepdijk, also known as the Short Afsluitdijk, between V an Ewijcksluis, North Holland, and the westernmost point of the island of Wieringen. There were some initial foundation problems and a financial calamity for the contractor, but the dike was completed in 1926. There followed the construction of the small test polder Andijk 1927 and the Wieringermeer 1927?1930. The key element in the daring plan was the construction of the Afsluitdijk across the Waddenzee, an arm of the North Sea. The project was undertaken by a consortium of Hollands largest dredging firms, known as N. V . Maatschappij tot Uitvoering van de Z uiderzeewerken. All the work, involving moving millions of tons of earth and rock, was carried out manually by armies of laborers working from each end of the structure. Built during the Great Depression, the Afsluitdijk was a welcome source of employment. It was completed on 28 May 1932. It was intended later to build a railroad over the broad dike, but as the volume of road traffic increased in Holland, priority was given to a four-lane motorway. The railroad was never built, although adequate space remains for it. The closure of the Afsluitdijk enabled the eventual reclamation of three huge tracts of land formerly under the sea: the Noordoostpolder 1927?1942, East Flevoland 1950?1957, and South Flevoland 1959?1968. They were later combined to become a new province, Flevoland, with a total area of over 500 square miles 1,400 square kilometers. Its rich agricultural land supports two cities, Lelystad and Almere, although the latter is more properly a dormitory for Amsterdam. Flevoland is on average 16 feet 5 meters below sea level. The great freshwater body south of the Afsluitdijk was renamed IJsselmeer. Its balance, carefully controlled through the use of sluices and pumps, is determined by inflow and outflow rates, rainfall and evaporation, and storage level changes. With a surface of nearly 500 square miles 131,000 hectares, it is the largest inland lake in the Netherlands. A proposal to reclaim a fifth polder, the 230-square-mile 60,300-hectare Markerwaard, behind a 66-mile-long 106-kilometer dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad was not pursued, mainly because of ecological concerns. In February 1998 the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Waterways, and Communication published the Waterkader report, setting out national water-management policies until 2006. Aiming to keep the Netherlands safe from flooding, it presents a case for reserving temporary water-storage areas controlled floodingagainst times of high river discharge or rainfall. The government, recognizing that raising the dikes and increasing pumping capacity cannot continue forever, has adopted the mottoGive water more space. The document Long-Range Plan Infrastructure and Transport of October 1998 promised to invest 26 billion guilders approximately U.S.$13 billion in the nations infrastructure before 2006. Part of the money is earmarked for waterways, including links between Amsterdam and Friesland across the IJsselmeer. .....
Airplane hangars
3. Orvieto, Italy
The Italian engineer and architect Pier Luigi Nervi 1891?1979 was among the most innovative builders of the twentieth century and a pioneer in the application of reinforced concrete. In 1932 he produced some unrealized designs for circular aircraft hangars in steel and reinforced concrete that heralded the remarkable hangars he built for the Italian Air Force at Orvieto. None have survived but they are well documented: more than enough to demonstrate that they were a tour de force, both as engineering and architecture. Nervi had graduated from the University of Bologna in 1913. Following World War I service in the Italian Engineers Corps he established an engineering practice in Florence and Bologna before moving to Rome, where he formed a partnership with one Nebbiosi. Nervis first major work, the 30,000-seat Giovanni Berta Stadium at Florence 1930?1932, was internationally acclaimed for its graceful, daring cantilevered concrete roof and stairs. The revolutionary hangars followed soon after. There were three types, all with parabolic arches and elegant vaulted roofs that paradoxically conveyed a sense of both strength and lightness. The first type, of which two were built at Orvieto in 1935, had a reinforced concrete roof made up of a lattice of diagonal bow beams, 6 inches 15 centimeters thick and 3.7 feet 1.1 meters deep, intersecting at about 17-foot 5-meter centers. They supported a deck of reinforced, hollow terra-cotta blocks covered with corrugated asbestos-cement. The single-span roof measured 133 by 333 feet 40 by 100 meters, and its weight was carried to the ground through concrete equivalents of medieval flying buttresses. The 30-foot-high 9-meter doors that accounted for half of one of the long sides of the hangar were carried on a continuous reinforced concrete frame. In the other types Nervis fondness for structural economy led to the prefabrication of parts, saving time and money. Type two was his first experiment with parallel bow trusses assembled from open-web load-bearing elements, spanning the 150-foot 45-meter width of the hangar. A reinforced-concrete roof covering provided stiffening. The third type combined the diagonal configuration of the first and the prefabrication techniques of the second. He built examples of it six times between 1939 and 1941 for air bases at Orvieto, Orbetello, and Torre del Lago. The massive roofs, covered with corrugated asbestos cement on a prefabricated concrete deck, were supported on only six sloping columnsat each corner and the midpoints of the long sidesthat carried the weight and thrust beyond the perimeter of the hangars. All the components were cast on-site in simple wooden forms. The Germans bombed these amazing structures as they retreated from Italy toward the end of World War II. Nervi was delighted to learn that, even in the face of such a tragedy, the prefabricated joints had held together despite the destruction of his hangars. He later included them amongst his mostinteresting works, observing that their innovative forms would have been impossible to achieve by the conventional concrete technology of the day. In the early 1940s Nervi extended his experiments to ferrocimentoa very thin membrane of dense concrete reinforced with a steel gridwhich be used to build a number of boats. He next combined that material with the prefabrication techniques he had developed for the hangars. For Salone B at the Turin Exhibition of 1949?1950, he designed a 309-by-240-foot 93-by-72-meter vaulted rectangular hall with a 132-foot-diameter 40-meter semicircular apse at one end. The main hall roof and the hemidome over the apse consisted of corrugated, precast ferro-cimento units less than 2 inches 5 centimeters thick, supported on in situ buttresses, creating one of the most wonderful interior spaces of the twentieth century. Nervis designs were too complex to be calculated by orthodox mathematical analysis, and he developed a design methodology that used polarized light to identify the stress patterns in transparent acrylic models. A few unbuilt projects were followed by three structures for the 1960 Rome Olympic Games. He built the Palazzo dello Sport 1959, with Marcello Piacentini, the Flaminio Stadium 1959, with Antonio Nervi, and the Palazzetto dello Sport 1957, with Annibale Vitellozzi. The last is a gem of a building whose rational structure is so transparently expressed that the observer can almost see the loads being shepherded to the ground in a way redolent of late English Gothic fan vaulting. .....
Airship hangars
4. Orly, France
The French dominated the early history of human flight. In September 1783 the Montgolfier brothers launched a hot-air balloon carrying farm animals to show that it was safe to travel in the sky, and a few weeks later Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis dArlandes took to the air for a 5.5-mile 9kilometer trip over Paris. In 1852 another Frenchman, the engineer Henri Giffard, built the first successful airshipa steam-powered, 143-foot-long 44-meter, cigar-shaped affair that flew at about 6 mph 10 kph. About thirty years later Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs constructed an electrically powered airship that was maneuverable even in light winds. By 1914 the French military had built a fleet of semirigid airships, but they proved ineffective as weapons in the Great War. On the other hand, nonrigid airships were widely used for aerial observation, coastal patrol, and submarine spotting. Their advent generated a different type of very large building: the airship hangar. The first zeppelin shed at Friedrichshafen, Germany 1908?1909, had been 603.5 feet long, 151 wide, and 66 high 184 by 46 by 20 meters. Like most others built Europe, it was a steel-lattice structure with a light cladding. Much more inventive and spectacular were the parabolic reinforced concrete hangars built in from 1922 to 1923 on a small military airfield among farmlands at Orly, near Paris. They were a major achievement of engineering and architecture. The French engineer-architect Marie EugM ne Leon Freyssinet 1879?1962 studied at the N cole Polytechnique and the N cole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris. After serving in the army in World War I he became director of the Societe des Enterprises Limousin and later established his own practice. A great innovator, he worked mainly with reinforced concrete, building several bridges. By 1928 he was to patent a new technique, prestressing, that eliminated tension cracking in reinforced concrete and solved many of the problems encountered with curved shapes. Simply, steel reinforcing cables were stretched and the concrete poured around them when it set the cables were released and because it was in compression the structural member acquired an upward deflection. When it was loaded in situ the resulting downward deflection brought it back to the flat position while remaining in compression. At Orly, Freyssinet was presented with a brief that called for two sheds that could each contain a sphere with a radius of 82 feet 25 meters, to be built at reasonable cost. He responded by designing prestressed reinforced concrete buildings consisting of a series of parallel tapering parabolic arches that formed vaults about 985 feet long, 300 wide, and 195 high 300 by 90 by 60 meters. The internal span was about 266 feet 80 meters, and each arch was assembled from 25-foot-wide 7.5meter stacked, profiled sections only 3.5 inches 9 centimeters thick those at the base of the arch were 18 feet 5.4 meters deep and those at the crown 11 feet 3.4 meters. Placed side by side, they formed a very stiff corrugated enclosure. Starting at a height of 65 feet 20 meters, reinforced yellow glass windows were cast in the outer flanges of the arches. Freyssinet specified an easily compactable concrete to ensure that the hangars would be waterproof. It was reinforced with steel bars and poured into reusable pine formwork that was itself stressed with tension rods to create prestressed concrete. The concrete was also designed to flow into every corner of the complicated molds, and it was fast-setting so that formwork could be quickly stripped and reused. The structure was temporarily supported on timber centering, and a network of cables held the formwork in tension until the concrete developed its full strength. In other structures lateral wind loading could be resisted by cross bracing, but because clear spans were imperative, Freyssinet provided the necessary stiffening byfolding the concrete on the component arches. The selfweight of the massive structure was accommodated by increasing the cross-sectional area of the arches as they approached the ground, where the foundations consisted of deep horizontal concrete pads laid with an inward slope toward the center of the hangars. Tragically, in 1944, U.S. aircraft bombed these revolutionary and beautiful structures. .....
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
5. Kobe, Japan
The graceful Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, linking Kobe City and Awajishima Island across the deep straits at the entrance to Osaka Bay, was opened to traffic on 5 April 1998. Exploiting state-of-the-art technology, it formed the longest part of the bridge route between Kobe and Naruto in the Tokushima Prefecture, completing the expressway that connects the islands of Honshu and Shikoku. With a main span of 1.25 miles 1.99 kilometers and a total length of nearly 2.5 miles 3.91 kilometers, it was then the longest suspension bridge ever built. With the growing demand for faster land travel, more convenient links over water obstacles become necessary. If long-spansay, over 1,100 yards 1,000 metersbridges are to be politically, economically, and structurally viable, design must be optimized. Because a bridges selfweight increases in direct proportion to its span, the structure must be as light as possible while achieving minimum deformation and maximum stiffness under combined dead, wind, and traffic loads. A cable-supported suspension bridge is an ideal way to achieve that. Alternative designs were developed for the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, considering a range of main span lengths. The most economical length was between 6,500 and 6,830 feet 1,950 and 2,050 meters the final choice of 6,633 feet 1,990 meters was constrained by geological and topographical factors. The length of the side spans was fixed at 3,200 feet 960 meters, enabling the cable anchorages to be located near the original shorelines. The clients insisted that, because of its immense span, the form of bridge had to assure the public that it would withstand all kinds of loads, including typhoons and earthquakes. Also, it had to express the essential beauty of the Seto-Inland Sea region and evoke a bright future for the Hyogo Prefecture. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge would be painted green-gray because it was redolent of the forests of Japan. Construction began in May 1988. The reinforced concrete anchorages for the cables on the respective shores are of different sizes, because of different soil conditions. As an indication, the one at the Kobe end has a diameter of 283 feet 85 meters and is 203 feet 61 meters deep. It is the largest bridge foundation in the world. Huge cylindrical steel chambers caissons form the foundation of the main towers. Fabricated off- site, they are 217 feet 65 meters highmore than a 30-story buildingand 267 feet 80 meters in diameter each weighs 15,000 tons 15,240 tonnes. To provide a level base, an area of seabed about as big as a baseball field was excavated under each of them. They were floated into position, and their exterior compartments were flooded to carefully sink them in 200 feet 60 meters of water. This was achieved to within a 1-inch 2.54-centimeter tolerance. Each was then filled with 350,000 cubic yards 270,000 cubic meters of submarine concrete. The foundations of the bridge were seismically designed to withstand an earthquake of Richter magnitude 8.5, with an epicenter 95 miles 150 kilometers away. On 17 January 1995 the Great Hanshin Earthquake magnitude 7.2 devastated nearby Kobe its epicenter was just 2.5 miles 4 kilometers from the unfinished bridge. A careful postquake investigation showed that, although the quake had lengthened the bridge by about 3.25 feet 1 meter, neither the foundations nor the anchorages were damaged. As the builders boasted, it wasa testament to the projects advanced design and construction techniques. The towers rise to 990 feet 297 meters above the waters of the bay for comparison, those on the Golden Gate Bridge are 750 feet O 230 metersP high. They have steel shafts, each assembled in thirty tiers, generally made up of three prefabricated blocks that were hoisted into place and fixed with high-tensile bolts. The shafts are cruciform in cross section, designed to resist oscillation induced by the wind. The main cables, fixed in the massive anchorages and passing through the tops of towers, were spun from 290 strands of galvanized steel wirea newly developed technologyeach containing 127 filaments about 0.2 inch 5 millimeters in diameter. Their high strength does away with the need for double cables, and because they achieve a sag:span ratio of 1:10, the height of the main towers could be reduced. To prevent corrosion of the cables in the salt atmosphere, dehumidified air flows through a hollow inside them, removing moisture. The towers and the suspended structure are all finished with high-performance anticorrosive coatings to suit the demanding marine environment. From the main cables, polyethylene-encased, parallel-wire-strand suspension cables support the truss-stiffened girder that carries a six-lane highway with a traffic speed of 60 mph 100 kph. The preassembled truss members were hoisted to the deck level at the main towers, carried to their location by a travel crane, and connected then the suspension cables were attached. This construction technique was chosen because it did not disrupt activity on the water, where 1,400 ships daily pass through the straits. .....
Alberobello trulli
6. Italy
The Murgia dei Trulli, with its communes of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino, and Alberobello, is located in the Apulian interior at the upper part of the heel of Italy. Although trulli are scattered throughout the region, more than 1,500 of them are in the Monti and Aja Piccola quarters, on the western hill of Alberobello. This unique conical house form is significant in the history of architecture because it perpetuated well into the twentieth century a construction technique practiced throughout the northern Mediterranean since prehistoric times. The name derives from truddu, Greek forcupola. The clustered stone dwellings of Alberobello, small by modern Italian housing standards, are built by roofing almost square or rectangular bases although some tend toward a circle with approximately conical cupolas of roughly worked flat limestone slabs, stacked without mortar in corbeled courses. These gray roofs, no two of which are quite the same, are normally crowned with a whitewashed pinnacle in the form of a sphere standing on a truncated inverted cone. Some are painted with symbols: astrological signs or Christian ones, and even some of older pre-Christian significance. As is often the case with vernacular architecture, geometrical precision is not a priority: nothing is truly right-angled, nothing truly plumb. Bernard Rudofsky describes the roof as a retrocedent wall, because it also encloses habitable space that is traditionally used for storage. Typically, the inside of the roof is a parabolic dome, formed by packing the gaps between the larger structural stones. The walls of the ground floor are thick enoughthey can be up to 10 feet 3.27 meters in older housesto include alcoves for a hearth or cupboards, or even a curtained-off recess for a bed. Doorways are low, and the interior, though whitewashed, is usually quite dingy because the windows are small, possibly for structural reasons. Curved walls make furnishing difficult. More recent trulli, the last of which were built in the 1950s, are interconnected with others to gain more living space. The oldest documented Alberobello examples date from the fifteenth century, coinciding with the foundation of a permanent agricultural community centered in the town. However, the essential building technique and the consequent house form are much older. The type, clearly related to the prehistoric nuraghi of Sardinia and the rather more sophisticated Mycenaean tholos, has been archeologically linked to both the nomadic pastoral Early Bronze culture and permanent agrarian communities in the Apennine region. Remarkably, similar constructions can be found in the middle of Scotland and on the west coast of Sweden. A plausible and somewhat romantic tradition dates the development of trulli as the house form of Alberobello to a single historical event. It is said that in the eighteenth century the local ruler Count Girolamo II of Acquaviva compelled the peasant farmers to build their houses with mortarless stone roofs. Because drywall structures were tax-exempt, and because they could be relatively easily dismantled before the regular visits of inspectors from Naples, he chose this method of tax avoidance. Although the people were freed from his regulation by a decree from Ferdinando IM of Bourbons in May 1797, the house form persisted, perhaps because of rural conservatism. Trulli are no longer built by the traditional technique and in the traditional style, but some of the master builders are still living, and the craft skills have not yet been lost. After the mid-1950s the romantic trulli were noticed by tourists and real-estate agents, and that has been to the detriment of many of them. Since the inclusion of the Alberobello precinct on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1996, serious archeological study has been undertaken, and the old craft skills have been applied to an extensive restoration program. .....
Alpine railroad tunnels
7. Switzerland
Switzerlands governmentowned, 3,100-mile 5,000-kilometer railroad network is world renowned for its efficiency, despite the difficulties imposed by the mountainous terrain. Two of the four major rail links that pass through the small, landlocked country to connect northern Europe and Italy cross the 13,000-foot-high 4,000-meter Swiss Alps. That access was made possible only by the remarkable engineering feats embodied in the construction, between 1872 and 1922, of the St. Gotthard, Simplon, and LR tschberg Tunnels, drilled through the rock thousands of feet underground. However, the Swiss were not the first to conquer the mountains. The earliest European alpine railroad tunnel, the Frejus Tunnel, was drilled through Mont Cenis to connect Bardonecchia in the Italian province of Savoy north of the Alps, through Switzerland, with Modena on the Italian peninsula. King Carlo Alberta of Sardinia championed the scheme in 1845, and his successor V ictor Emmanuel II took it up in 1849. Drilling did not begin on the 8-mile 13kilometer double-track tunnelover twice the length of any before attempteduntil late 1857, supervised by the engineer Germain Sommeiller 1815?1871, assisted by Sebastiano Grandis and Severino Grattoni. Sommeiller patented the first industrial pneumatic drill, which greatly expedited the work. Finished in 1870, the tunnel was opened, in 1871, just two months after his death. The following year, work began on a 100-mile 160-kilometer railroad, the Gotthardbahn, which crossed the Lepontine Alps in south-central Switzerland to link N urich, at the heart of the countrys northern commercial centers, with Chiasso at the Italian frontier. Before then the way across the Alps, used for 800 years, was over the 6,935-foot 2,114-meter St. Gotthard Pass. A road was built in the 1820s. Alfred Escher the founder of Credit Suisse, was the initiator of the Gotthardbahn, and as its president, with Emil Welti he negotiated German and Italian cooperation for the project in 1869?1871. Two feeder lines meet at Arth-Goldau from there the mountain section runs through Brunner, Fluelen, and Altdorf to Erstfeld. There it commences the steep climb to Goeshenen at the northern end of the St. Gotthard Tunnel. Designed by the Geneva engineer Louis Favre, the double- track tunnel is 9.25 miles 15 kilometers long, passing through the mountain 5,500 feet 1,700 meters below the surface. The southern ramp is even steeper, and at Giornico more loops take the line to Chiasso. The tunnel was drilled from both ends, and the bores joined in 1880. The railroad was opened in 1882, when the difficult approach lines were completed. Favre had accepted punishingly tight schedules for the contract. He drove his force of 4,000 immigrant laborers to cut almost 18 feet 5.4 meters a dayover twice that achieved in the Frejus Tunnelin horrifying working conditions: water inrushes, rock falls, dust, and because of the great depth temperatures up to 102P F 39P C. About 1,000 men suffered serious injury 310 were killed. Twenty years later, the safety record on the Simplon Tunnel, although far from perfect, was much better. From the thirteenth century, the 6,590-foot 2,009-meter Simplon Pass near the Swiss-Italian border was a key to trade between northern and southern Europe and in the beginning of the nineteenth century, probably for military reasons, Napoleon I ordered a road built over it. Begun around 1898, the Simplon Railroad connects the Swiss town of Brig with Iselle, Italy. Its 12.3-mile 19.8-kilometer tunnelin reality two tunnelsunder Monte Leone was conceived as a twin-tube single-track system by the German engineer Alfred Brandt separate galleries 55 feet 17 meters apart were linked with cross-hatches. Until the completion of Japans Seikan Tunnel in 1988, the Simplon Tunnel was the worlds longest railroad tunnel. Because of its depthup to 7,000 feet 2,140 meters below groundtemperatures exceeding 120P F 49P C were faced during construction. The first gallery, Simplon I, was completed by January 1905 and traffic commenced the following year. M arious problems, including the intervention of World War I, delayed Simplon II until 1921 it was opened in 1922. The LQ tschberg Tunnel, opened in 1913, is a 9-mile 14.6-kilometer double-track railroad tunnel between Kandersteg and Goppenstein in south-central Switzerlands Bernese Alps. It is part of the 46-mile 74-kilometer standard-gauge Bern-LQ tschberg-Simplon Railway connecting Spietz and Brig. The branch lines from Thun and Interlaken meet at Spietz, where the main trunk leads to Frutigen and begins a steep mountain section, much like the Gotthardbahns, to the LQ tschberg Tunnel at Kandersteg. South of the tunnel the line descends from Goppenstein to the Rhone valley, where it reaches Brig and the line to the Simplon Tunnel and Domodossola, Italy. Together, LQ tschberg and Simplon completed a through-route from Germany and France to Italy. In 1987, the Swiss government initiated further investment in its railroad network. The major part of the plan, estimated to cost EUR10 billion U.S.R 8.8 billion, is the largest construction project in Europe. Known as NEAT for Neue Eisenbahn-Alpen Transversale, i.e., New Alpine Railroad Crossing, it involves the creation of two new 30-foot-diameter 9-meter twin-tube alpine tunnels, suitable for high-speed trains, through the St. Gotthard and LQ tschberg Mountains, respectively. Built at lower altitudes than their predecessors, they will double rail-transit capacity and significantly reduce journey times between northern and southern Europe. The first axis is expected to be in service by 2006. .....
Amsterdam Central Station
8. The Netherlands
Amsterdam Central Station is in fact geographically central in the city. Although it conformed to the general pattern of many metropolitan railroad stations before and after, it was an architectural and engineering achievement in that it was built on three artificial islands in the River IJ, supported by no fewer than 26,000 timber piles driven into the soft river bottom. That was a feat perhaps remarkable to the rest of the world but quite commonplace to the Dutch, who for centuries had coped with too much water and too little land. Economic activity in Amsterdam revived with the railroads in the second half of the nineteenth century. New shipyards and docks were built. Extravagant public buildings such as P. J. H. Cuyperss National Museum 1876?1915 and H. P. Berlages famous Stock Exchange 1884?1903 celebrated both the financial boom and awakening nationalism. In 1876 Cuypers and A. L. van Gendt were commissioned to design the Amsterdam Central Station. It was the first time that such work had been trusted to an architect rather than to engineers, a decision taken because the building would hold an important place in the nations image. Indeed, the brief jingoistically demanded that it should be in the Oud-Hollandsche Old Dutch style. That qualification presented little difficulty to Cuypers, who had developed a personal historical- revivalist manner based on late Gothic and early Renaissance forms and ideas. His abundantly decorated National Museum was already under construction. Eclectically drawing on a wide variety of styles, it did not readily expose his rationalist architectural philosophy, gleaned from E. E. Violletle-Ducs theories. Cuypers wanted to restore the crafts to a place of honor and insisted on the honest application of traditional materials. He was responsible for the appearance of the station van Gendt, thoroughly experienced as mechanical engineer for the railroad, would take care of constructional aspects. Work commenced in 1882. The station was built on the artificial islands in the Open Havenfront of Amsterdams original harbor, which had been cut off from the River IJ by the railroad. Special engineering skill was needed to create a solid foundation for the massive building and the rolling loads imposed by trains. As noted, 26,000 timber piles support the structure. The four-story station building, of red brick with stone dressings, is unmistakably Dutch. It is 1,020 feet 312 meters long and 100 feet 30.6 meters deep. On the axis of Damrakthe main street leading to the dam in the downtown areaa central pavilion flanked with clock towers houses the main entrance to the concourse. Its facade is resplendent with ornament: the clock faces the arms of those European cities to which the railroad gave access and an assortment of allegorical relief sculptures wherever they could fit, aptly representing such themes asSteam,Cooperation, andProgress. Convinced that the building process needed the collaboration of all the arts, Cuypers sought the artistic advice and skill of others, especially J. A. Alberdingk Thijm and V. de Steurs, who had worked on the National Museum. Amsterdam Central Station, The Netherlands P. J. H. Cuypers, architect L. J. Eijmer, engineer, 1884?1889. Exterior view of platform sheds the roof on the left was added in 1922. Late in 1884 the architect produced two sketches for the platform roof they have been characterized asunassuming. But that part of the design was not in his contract, and the structureanything but unassumingwas designed by the railroads own civil engineer, L. J. Eijmer. Carried on a frame of fifty semicircular, open-web trusses of wrought iron, spanning 150 feet 49 meters, the original station shed covered about 3.75 acres 1.5 hectares. During construction, problems arose over anchoring the arches, no doubt due to the foundation soil, but rejecting a suggestion to build several smaller, lighter roofs, it was resolved to proceed with the monumental designon a scale that could compare with that of the great examples abroad. Cuypers designed the decorative elements of the rafters and the glazed gable end. The roof was completed in October 1889. In 1922, to cover new platforms, another similar arch was added beside the IJ. The final phase of construction was the Kings Pavilion at the stations eastern end in 1889in the event, an ironic title, since the kingdom of the Netherlands was to be ruled only by queens for more than a century. Coaches could be driven inside, where a stair led to the royal waiting room, all in Cuyperss individualistic neo-Gothic style and enriched with a color scheme by the Austrian G. Sturm and executed by G. H. Heinen. The room was restored in 1995. The building of Amsterdam Central Station,a palace for the traveler, clearly demonstrates two issues that confronted architects and engineers late in the nineteenth century. First, after sixty years of building railway stations, they were no closer to finding an esthetic that suited the building type, fitted the new materials and technology, and removed the unnecessary tension between utility and beauty. Second, and related to the first, the nature of architectural practice was changing as increased knowledge called for specialization and the eventual replacement of the omniscient, not to say omnipotent, architect by a design team: architect, yes, but also mechanical engineer, structural engineer, interior designer, and consultant artist. That idea would not be enunciated until Walter Gropius wrote the Bauhaus manifesto in 1919. .....
Angkor Wat
9. Cambodia
Angkor Wat, a temple complex dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu, was built in the twelfth century A.D. in the ancient city of Angkor, 192 miles 310 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh. It is probably the largest and, as many have claimed, the most beautiful religious monument ever constructed. Certainly it is the most famous of all Khmer temples. Angkor served as the capital of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia from a.d. 802 until 1295. Evidence uncovered since 1996 has led some scholars to assert that the site may have been occupied some 300 years earlier than first thought, obviously affecting accepted chronologies. Whatever the case, its powerful kings held sway from what is now southern Vietnam to Yunnan, China, and westward from Vietnam to the Bay of Bengal. The city site was probably chosen for strategic reasons and for the agricultural potential of the region. The Khmer civilization was at its height between 879 and 1191, and as a result of several ambitious construction projects, Angkor eventually grew into a huge administrative and social center stretching north to south for 8 miles 13 kilometers and east to west for 15 miles 24 kilometers. The population possibly reached 1 million. Apart from the hundreds of buildingstemples, schools, hospitals, and housesthere was an extensive system of reservoirs and waterways. The public and domestic buildings, all of timber, have long since decayed. But because they were the only structures in which masonry was permitted, over 100 temple sites survive. Earlier examples were mostly of brick, but later, the porous, iron-bearing material known as laterite was used, and still later sandstone, quarried about 25 miles 40 kilometers away. The city of Angkor was the cult center of Devaraja, thegod-king, and an important pilgrimage destination. The Khmer kings themselves, from Jayavarman II 802?850 onward, had come to be worshiped as gods, and the temples they built were regarded as not only earthly but also as symbols of Mount Meru, the cosmological home of the Hindu deities. The official state religion was worship of the Siva Lingam, which signified the kings divine authority. Jayavarman II had identified the kingship with Siva, and acting upon that precedent, King Suryavarman H 1113ca. 1150 presented himself as an incarnation of Vishnu. He built Angkor Wat as a temple and administrative center for his empire and as his own sepulcher which is why it faces west to celebrate his status, he dedicated it to Vishnu. Financed by the spoils of war and taking over thirty years to finish, the sandstone-and-laterite Angkor Wat occupies a 2,800-by-3,800-foot 850-by-1,000-meter rectangular site. Its layout provides an architectural allegory of the Hindu cosmology. The temple is surrounded by a 590-footwide 180-meter moat, over 3 miles 5 kilometers long, which represents the primordial ocean. A causeway decorated with carvings of the divine serpents leads to a 617-foot-long 188-meter bridge that gives access to the most important of four gates. The temple is reached by passing through three galleries separated by paved walkways. It is an approximately pyramidal series of terraces and small buildings arranged in three ascending storiesthey stand for the mountains that encompass the worldand surmounted at the center by a templemountain of five lotus-shaped towers, symbolizing the five peaks of Mount Meru. Four of the original nine towers have succumbed to time and weather. The temple walls are replete with wonderfully crafted bas-reliefs, many of which were once painted and gilded, including about 1,700 heavenly nymphs and others that depict scenes of Khmer daily life, episodes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the exploits of Vishnu and Siva, and of course the heroic deeds of King Suryavarman II. In 1177 Angkor fell to the Cham army from northern Cambodia, who held it until it was retaken early in the reign of the Khmer King Jayavarman VII 1181?ca. 1215. When he built Angkor Thom nearby he dedicated his new capital to Buddhism, and Angkor Wat became a Buddhist shrine. Many of its carvings and statues of Hindu deities were replaced by Buddhist art. The Thais sacked Angkor in 1431. The following year the Khmers abandoned the city, and it was left to the encroaching jungle for a few centuries. However, Theravada Buddhist monks kept Angkor Wat as intact as possible until the late nineteenth century, making it one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Southeast Asia. The French explorer Henri Mouhotdiscovered Angkor in 1860. After French imperialism imposed itself in Indochina in 1863, the site attracted the scholarly interest of westerners. In 1907, when Cambodia had been made a French protectorate and Thailand returned Angkor to its control, Lecole Fran?aise dExtreme Orient established the Angkor Conservation Board. It seems that for forty years the European colonizers were more interested in reconstructing Angkor Wat than in undertaking scholarly restoration. The prodigal use of reinforced concrete made many of the buildings unrecognizable. The vandalism was mercifully halted when Khmer Rouge guerrillas occupied the site, followed by the Vietnamese army. When an uneasy peace was restored in 1986, the Archaeological Survey of India took up the project, replacing much of the French work with more modern and less intrusive techniques. At the invitation of the Cambodian government, the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor began a four-year preservation and restoration project in November 1994, initially focused on the Bayon temple in Angkor Thom but extending to the outer buildings of Angkor Wat. Because of delays caused by the July 1997 conflicts in Cambodia, the program was extended into 1999. .....
Appian Way
10. Italy
The Appian Way Via Appia, the oldest and perhaps most famous Roman road, was built by the Censor Appius Claudius Caecus in 312 b.c. Enlarging a track between Rome and the Alban Hills and forming the main route to Greece and the eastern colonies, this so-called queen of roads regina viarumeters ran south from the Porta Capena in Romes Servian Wall to Capua. It passed through the Appii Forum to the coastal town of Anxur now Terracina, 60 miles 100 kilometers from Rome, to which point it was almost straight, despite crossing the steep Alban Hills and the swampy Pontine Marshes. In 190 b.c. it was extended to Brundisium modern Brindisi on the Adriatic coastmore than 350 miles 560 kilometers from the capital and eighteen days march for a legion. Parts of itnow called the Via Appia Anticaremain in use after more than 2,000 years. The medieval proverbA thousand roads lead man forever toward Rome was popularized in William Blacks Strange Adventures of a Phaeton 1872 asAll roads lead to Rome. That was probably once true: the Romans built about 50,000 miles 80,000 kilometers of paved roads throughout their empire, mainly to expedite movements of the legions. Inevitably, the system was put to wider use and eventually served all kinds of travelers: dignitaries, politicians, commercial traffic of all kinds, and even an official postal service. Roman engineers efficiently developed road-building techniques to create enduring structures. Usually but not always, roads were laid upon a carefully constructed embankment agger to provide a foundationrubble laid in such a way as to provide proper drainagefor the base. The dimensions of the agger varied according to the importance of the road. Sometimes it may have been just a small ridge, but on major routes it could be up to 5 feet high and 50 wide 1.5 by 15 meters. For very minor roads no embankment was built, but two rows of curbstones defined the carriageway the excavation between them was layered with stones and graded material, the topmost sometimes forming the pavement. Overall, the depth of a Roman road from the surface to the bottom of the base was up to 5 feet. It seems that road width varied according to function, importance, and topography. The widest decumanus maximus was 40 feet 12.2 meters wide, while a minor road might be only 8 feet 2.4 meters. Rural thoroughfares were generally 20 feet 6 meters, but all roads became narrower over difficult terrain: some mountain passes, at less than 10 feet, were too narrow and often too steep for carts. Although stone was sometimes transported from a few miles away, local material was normally used. Of course, that practice gave rise to differences in construction along the length of a road, as is evident in the Via Appia. At one place a 3-foot-thick 1-meter bottom layer of earth and gravel from the neighboring mountains was consolidated between the curbs and covered by a thinner layer of gravel and crushed limestone, also contained by parallel rows of closely placed large stones. Elsewhere, a base layer of sand was covered with another of crushed limestone into which slabs of lava up to 15 inches 50 centimeters thick were fixed. Stone surfaces were mandatory for urban streets after 174 b.c., but other roads were not always stone-paved, especially in difficult terrain. Like the substructure, surfaces varied according to what materials were locally available: gravel, flint, small broken stones, iron slag, rough concrete, or sometimes fitted flat stones were used. The pavement thickness varied from a couple of inches on some roads to 2 feet 0.6 meter at the crown of others. Surfaces sloped downas steeply as 1 in 15from the center, to allow rainwater runoff into flanking ditches. Roman roads were strong enough to support half-ton metal-wheeled wagons, and many were wide enough to accommodate two chariots abreast. Some roads were provided with intentional ruts, intended to guide wagons on difficult stretches. Under normal traffic a paved Roman road lasted up to 100 years. Beginning with the Appian Way, the ancient Roman engineers flung an all-weather communication network across Italy and eventually their empire. The poet Publius Papinius Statius wrote late in the first century a.d.: ? How is it that a journey that once took till sunset ? Now is completed in scarcely two hours? ? Not through the heavens, you fliers, more swiftly ? Wing you, nor cleave you the waters, you vessels. .....
Archigram
11. The Archigram group was established in 1961 by a few young British architectsunited by common interests and antipathies. Its founders were Peter Cook, Michael Webb, and David Greene, who were soon joined by Dennis Crompton, Ron Herron, and Warren Chalk. Archigrams international impactits architectural feat, so to speakwas significant. Other architects would give form to its notions. The Centre Pompidou, Paris, by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, and Arata Isozakis buildings at the 1970 Osaka Worlds Fair are redolent of the fantastic schemes drawn, but never built, by Archigram. The Austrian architect Hans Hollein, too, admits his debt to them after 1964. It is in the realm of ideas about living in an advanced industrial civilization that they offered most. All the founders had been students at the Architecture Association school in London, where they had learned, in the face of a then-reactionary architectural profession, to apply democratic principles to the art. The members who came later assimilated those ideas and blended them with other influences, notably the futuristic urban visions of Friedrich Kiesler and Bruno Taut and the technological notions of Richard Buckminster Fuller, whom they heroized. They also formed a symbiotic intellectual association with the exactly contemporary Japanese Metabolist group, in which Isozaki was preeminent. The Japanese applauded their efforts todismantle the apparatus of Modern Architecture. Like the Dutch De Stijl group around 1920, Archigrams cooperation was mainly through a polemical journal and like the Hollanders, it drew its name from the title of the journal. Archigram derived fromarchitecture andtelegram oraerogram was published almost annually between 1961 and 1974. Archigram, more like a polemical broadsheet than a journal, directed an attack on the smugness of modernist architectural conservatism, reinforced by what can best be called Britishness. The powerful publication ran to ten annual issues, preaching an urgent message about architecture that has been described asesthetic technocratic idealism. Possibly the most significant architectural publication of the decade, itspop format, including beautifully drawn comic strips, declared the groupsoptimism and possibilities of technology and the counterculture of the pop generation. The 1964 issue, after a controversialLiving City exhibition at Londons Institute of Contemporary Arts, attracted the critic Reyner Banham, who became the groups champion. There followed a succession of perhaps outlandish architectural proposals. Archigrams direction was urban, technological, autocraticand some have said inhumane. The members believed that technology was the hope of the world, so traditional means of building houses and cities must be superseded. Their favorite words were change, adaptability, flexibility, metamorphosis, impermanence, and ephemerality. Accordingly, they designed a living environment that incorporated all kinds of gadgetry. They proposed an inflatable bodysuit containing food, radio, and television, and thesuitaloon, a house carried on the back. These eccentric ideas extended from the individual to the communal: Chalks Capsule Homes 1964 were projected alongside Cooks Plug-in City 1964?1966, in which self- contained living units could be temporarily fitted into towering structural frames, and Herrons nomadic Walking City in which skyscrapers could move on giant telescoping legs. The group published its Instant City in 1968. It has been suggested that in the 1960s Archigram was to modern architecture what the Beatles were to modern music. But in the early 1970s they more or less dispersed, Greene and Herron for a while becoming teachers in the United States. Crompton, Cook, and Herron formed Archigram Architects 1970?1974. Herron and Cook then established independent practices in various partnerships. Crompton maintained links with the Architectural Association, and Greene turned to writing poetry and practicing architecture. Webb moved permanently to the United States and after 1975 taught at Cornell and Columbia Universities in New York. Chalk continued writing and teaching in the United States and England, mostly at the Architectural Association, until he died in 1987. .....
Artemiseion
12. Ephesus, Turkey
The Artemiseion, a huge Ionic temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, stood in the city of Ephesus on the Aegean coast of what was then Asia, near the modern town of Selcuk, about 30 miles 50 kilometers south of Izmir, Turkey. The splendid building was acclaimed as one of the seven wonders of the world, as attested by Antipater of Sidon:When I saw the sacred house of Artemis 1/4 the [other wonders] were placed in the shade, for the Sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus. Among several attempts to identify the architectural and sculptural wonders of the ancient world, the seven best known are those listed by Antipater in the second century b.c. and confirmed soon after by one Philo of Byzantium. Artemis was the Greek moon goddess, daughter of Zeus and Leto. Whatever form she was given, it was always linked with wild nature. On the Greek mainland she was usually portrayed as a beautiful young virgin, a goddess in human form. In Ephesus and the other Ionic colonies of Asia, where ancient ideas of the Earth Mother and associated fertility cults persisted, she was linked with Cybele, the mother goddess of Anatolia, and her appearance was dramatically different, even grotesque. The original cult statue has long since disappeared, but copies survive. That is hardly surprising, because the trade in them flourished in Ephesus at least until the first century a.d. They portray a standing figure, her arms outstretched like those of the earlier decollete figurines common in Minoan Crete. Artemis was fully dressed except for her many breasts, symbolizing her fertility although some recent scholars have suggested that the bulbous forms are bulls scrotums. The lower part of her body was covered with a tight-fitting skirt, decorated with plant motifs and carved in relief with griffins and sphinxes. She wore a head scarf decorated in the same way and held in place with a four-tiered cylindrical crown. Ancient sources say that the original statue was made of black stone, enriched with gold, silver, and ebony. The Artemis shrines at Ephesus had a checkered history. The earliest was established on marshy land near the river, probably around 800 b.c. it was later rebuilt and twice enlarged. The sanctuary housed a sacred stoneperhaps a meteoritebelieved to have fallen from Zeus. By 600 b.c. Ephesus had become a major port, and in the first half of the fifth century, its citizens commissioned the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes to build a larger temple in stone to replace the timber structure. In 550 b.c. it also was destroyed when the Lydian king, Croesus, invaded the region. Croesus, whose name has passed into legend for his fabulous wealth, contributed generously to a new temple, the immediate predecessor to thewonder of the world. It was four times the area of Chersiphrons temple, and over 100 columns supported its roof. In 356 b.c. one Herostratos, a young manwho wanted his name to go down in history, started a fire that burned the temple to the ground. The Ephesian architects Demetrios and Paeonios and possibly Deinocrates were commissioned to design a more magnificent temple, built to the same plan and on the same site. The first main difference was that the new building stood on a 9-foot-high 2.7-meter stepped rectangular platform measuring 260 by 430 feet 80 by 130 meters, rather than a lower crepidoma like the earlier stone building. Another departure from the normally austere and reserved Greek architectural tradition was the opulence of the temple, which went beyond even its great size. Its porch pronaos was very deep: eight bays across and four deep. The Ionic columns towered to 48 feet 17.7 meters each had, in place of the usual Ionic base, a 14-foot-high 3.5-meter lower section, carved with narrative decorations in deep relief. The other difference was in the quality of the detail. The wonder of the world was decorated with bronze statues by the most famous contemporary artists, including Scopas of Paros. Their detail can only be guessed at, as can the overall appearance of the great temple. Attempts have been made at graphical reconstruction, but they vary widely in their interpretation of the sparse archeological evidence. Antipater described the Artemiseion astowering to the clouds, and Pliny the Elder called it awonderful monument of Grecian magnificence, and one that merits our genuine admiration. Pliny also asserted that it took 120 years to build, but it may have taken only half that time. It was unfinished in 334 b.c. when Alexander the Great arrived in Ephesus. By the time the Artemiseion was vandalized by raiding Goths in a.d. 262it was partly rebuiltboth the city of Ephesus and Artemis-worship, once flaunted as universal, were in decline. When the Roman emperor Constantine redeveloped elements of the city in the fourth century a.d., he declined to restore the temple. By then, with most Ephesians converted to Christianity, it had lost its reason for being. In a.d. 401 it was completely torn down on the instructions of John Chrysostom. The harbor of Ephesus silted up, and the sea retreated, leaving barely habitable swamplands. As has so often happened, the ruined temple was reduced to being a quarry, and its stone sculptures were broken up to make lime for plaster. The old city of Ephesus, once the administrative center of the Roman province of Asia, was eventually deserted. The temple site was not excavated until the nineteenth century. In 1863 the English architect John Turtle Wood set out to find the legendary building, under the auspices of the British Museum. He persisted through six expeditions and in 1869 discovered the base under 20 feet 6 meters of mud. He ordered an excavation that exposed the whole platform. Some remains are now in the British Museum, others in the Istanbul Archeological Museum. In 1904 and 1905 another British expedition, led by David Hogarth, found evidence of the five temples, each built on top of the former. Today the site is a marshy field, a solitary column the only reminder that in that place once stood one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. .....
Aswan High Dam
13. Egypt
The Aswan High Dam, replacing earlier dams, contains the River Nile nearly 600 miles 1,000 kilometers upstream from Cairo by a massive embankment 375 feet 114 meters high and 3,280 feet 1,003 meters long, built of earth and rock fill with a clay and concrete core. It impounds Lake Nasser, one of the largest reservoirs in the world, covering an area more than 300 miles 480 kilometers long and 10 miles 16 kilometers wide, that holds enough water to irrigate over 7 million acres 2.8 million hectares of farmland for many years. Its economic and social impact on the lower reaches of the Nile that is, in the north of Egypt makes it an engineering feat of some importance, although not necessarily always beneficial. The annual flooding of the Nile has been the historical life source of Egypt, in what is almost a rainless region. Almost all the population lives within 12 miles 20 kilometers of the river. The flooding13 billion to 169 billion cubic yards 12 billion to 155 billion cubic metersis caused by late-summer rains on Ethiopias plateaus that find their way into the Niles tributaries. Late in the nineteenth century, regional population growth was outstripping agricultural production, and the river had to be controlled to recover stability. The first Aswan Dam was built from 1899 to 1902 and raised in 1907?1912 and again in 1929?1934. .....
Avebury Stone Circle
14. England
The Avebury Stone Circle, covering around 28 acres 11 hectares, is the largest known stone circle in the world. It partly embraces the linear village of Avebury, 90 miles 145 kilometers west of London in a part of England that is replete with prehistoric remains: Silbury Hill: the Sanctuary and the long barrows of East Kennet, West Kennet, and Beckhampton. John Aubury, who accidentally discovered if while foxhunting in the winter of 1648, wrote that Aveburydoes as much exceed in greatness the so renowned Stonehenge as a Cathedral doeth a parish Church. Indeed, it is sixteen times the size of Stonehenge. When the Avebury circle was intact, its complex, if rather irregular, geometry comprised a 30-footdeep 9.2-meter ditch inside a 20-foot-high 6-meter grass-covered chalk bank 1,396 feet 427 meters in diameter. One observer describes it asa curiously amorphous ?D shape. The ditch, possibly once filled with water, enclosed an outer circle of about 100 enormous, irregular standing stones that varied in height from 9 to 20 feet 2.7 to 6 meters. Within the large circle, there were two inner circles, each about 340 feet 104 meters in diameter. The northern one now largely destroyed seems to have comprised two concentric rings, one of twenty-seven stones and one of twelve at their center stood three larger stones. The southern circle had a single 20-foot-high 6-meter stone at its center. The inmost circles are thought to have been set up about 2600 b.c. the outer ring and enclosing earthworks have been dated at a century later. Its construction called for colossal effort on the part of the builders. The standing stones were quarried and dressed 2 miles 3.2 kilometers from their final position, dragged or perhaps sledded to the sitesome weighed 45 tons 41 tonnesand set upright. The excavation of the vast surrounding ditch with rudimentary stone tools yielded an estimated 200,000 tons 203,200 tonnes of spoil, mostly chalk stone. Some of the spare material may have been carried 1 mile 1.6 kilometers to construct the mysterious 130-foot-high 39.6-meter chalk mound known as Silbury Hill, just outside the village of Avebury. Many of the stones are now missing, possiblyquarried by farmers or cleared for agricultural and even religious reasons since about the fourteenth century a.d., when villagers actually buried some of them. Only 36 of the original 154 megaliths remain standing. The outer circle was broken to form four 50-foot-wide 15.3-meter entrances, facing approximately north, south, east, and west. Two were the terminations of avenues of the same width, defined by standing stones and extending up to 1.5 miles 2.5 kilometers across the surrounding countryside. According to the eighteenth-century antiquarian William Stukeley, the so-called West Kennet Avenue ran south to the Sanctuary, another stone circle on Overton Hill the one named Beckhampton Avenue ran west to end at the neolithic tomb known as Beckhampton Long Barrow. Stukeleys measured drawings, made before 1743, are the only surviving record of the former condition of the site. He interpreted the ground plan of Avebury as the body of a serpent passing through a circlea traditional alchemical symboland whose head and tail were marked by the avenues. Recent investigations have led some scholars to speculate that the Avebury circle was part of a network of sacred places that stretched 200 miles 360 kilometers across southern England. Similar to Stonehenge and many other megalithic monuments in Britain, the Avebury Stone Circle formed part of at least a local complex of megalithic works. The whole complex probably continued to be used for around 2,300 years. That persistence and the very size of the Avebury Stone Circle give weight to the suggestion that it wasperhaps the most significant sacred site in all of Britain, if not the entire continent of Europe. The renaissance of paganism in the West at the end of the twentieth century excited new interest in its elusive mysteries. .....
Babylon Nebuchadnezzars city
15. Iraq
The city of Babylon Gate of God once stood on the banks of the Euphrates River, 56 miles 90 kilometers south of Baghdad, Iraq. It was the capital of Babylonia in the second and first millennia b.c. In a.d. 1897 the German archeologist Robert Koldewey commenced a major excavation. During the next twenty years he unearthed, among many other structures, a processional avenue to the temple of Marduk and the legendary fortified city wall, which once enjoyed a place among the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was not until the sixth century a.d. that its place was usurped by the so-called Hanging Gardens. Babylon entered the pages of history as the site of a temple around 2200 b.c. At first it was subject to Ur, an adjacent city-state, but gained its independence in 1894 b.c., when the Sumu-abum established the dynasty that reached its zenith under Hammurabi, known asthe Lawgiver. The Hittites overran the city 330 years later. It was governed by the Kassite dynasty, which extended its borders and made it the capital of the country of Babylonia, with southern Mesopotamia under its control. When the Kassites yielded to pressure from the Elamites in 1155 b.c., Babylon was governed by a succession of ephemeral dynasties and became part of the Assyrian Empire in the late eighth century b.c. In turn, the Assyrians were driven out by Nabopolassar, who founded the Neo-Babylonian dynasty around 615 b.c. His son Nebuchadnezzar II ca. 604 561 b.c. built the kingdom into an empire that covered most of southwest Asia. Babylon, now Nebuchadnezzars imperial capital, underwent a huge rebuilding programnew temples and palace buildings, defensive walls and gates, and a splendid processional wayto make it the largest city in the known world, covering some 2,500 acres 1,000 hectares. It must have impressed visitors, because the myth sprang up, perhaps from the assertion of the Greek historian Herodotus, that it was 200 square miles 510 square kilometers in area, with 330-foot-high 99meter walls, 80 feet 25 meters thick. Of his achievement, Nebuchadnezzar boasted,Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of my kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? The Euphrates River divided the city into two unequal sectors. Theold quarter, including most of the palaces and temples, stood on the east bank Nebuchadnezzars new city was on the west. The whole was surrounded by an 11-mile-long 17-kilometer outer wall enclosing suburbs and the kings summer palace. The inner wall, penetrated by eight fortified gates leading to the outlying regions of Babylonia, was wide enough to allow two chariots to be driven abreast on its top. Most prominent among the portals was the northern Ishtar Gate, dedicated to the queen of heaven: a defensible turreted building with double towers and a barbican, faced with blue glazed brick and richly ornamented with 500 bulls, dragons, and other animals in colored brick relief. Through the Ishtar Gate passed the north-south processional way, which ran past the royal palace and was used in the New Year festival. It was paved with limestone slabs, about 3.5 feet 1 meter square the flanking footpaths were of breccia stones about 2 feet 600 millimeters square. Joints were beveled and the gaps filled with asphalt. The road was contained by 27-foot-thick 8-meter turreted walls, behind which citadels were strategically placed. The faces of the walls were decorated with lions in low relief. Much of the significance of the road lies in the exotic and doubtless expensive materials employed. The land between the rivers had little naturally occurring stone, and except for their faces, the city walls and gatehouses and even the kings palace were constructed of sun-dried brick. Inside the Ishtar Gate, at the northwest corner of the old city, stood Nebuchadnezzars extensive palace with its huge throne room, and the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is more likely that they wereoverhanging gardens. Described by one first century b.c. visitor asvaulted terraces raised one above another, they were irrigated with water pumped from the Euphrates. Another early description says that this 400-foot-square 122-meter artificial mountain was more than 80 feet 25 meters high and built of stone. It was planted with all manner of vegetation, including large trees. There is a romantic legend that the Hanging Gardens were built for Nebuchadnezzars wife, Amytis, a Mede who missed the green mountains of her motherland. Beside the palace stood the rebuilt temple of the citys patron god, Marduk, replete with gold ornament. In a sacred precinct north of the temple stood a seven-story ziggurat stepped pyramid some descriptions put its height at 300 feet 90 meters. Nebuchadnezzar was Babylons last great ruler. Because his successors were comparatively weak, the Neo-Babylonian Empire quickly passed. In 539 b.c. the Persian Cyrus II took the city by stealth, overthrew Nebuchadnezzars grandson Belshazzar, and subsumed Babylon into his empire. The city became the official residence of the crown prince, but following a revolt in 482 b.c., Xerxes I demolished the temples and ziggurat, thoroughly destroying the statue of Marduk. Alexander the Great captured the city in 330 b.c. but he died before be could carry out his intention to refurbish it as the capital of his empire. For a few years after 312 b.c., the Seleucid dynasty used Babylon as a capital until the seat of government was moved with most of the population to the new city of Seleucia on the Tigris. Babylon the Great became insignificant, and by the foundation of Islam in the seventh century a.d., it had almost disappeared. Now Babylon is being rebuilt. In April 1989 the New York Times International reported that, under Iraqi President Saddam Hussein,walls of yellow brick, 40 feet [12 meters] high and topped with pointed crenellations, have replaced the mounds that once marked [Nebuchadnezzars] Palace foundations. And as Babylons walls rise again, the builders insert inscribed bricks recording how [it] was .....
Banaue rice terraces
16. Ifugao Province, Philippines
In the Banaue municipality of the northern Ifugao Province on the Philippine island of Luzon, the indigenous Igorot people have constructed 49,500 acres 20,000 hectares of agricultural land upon the inhospitable bedrock of the steep Cordillera Central Mountain Range. For millennia, succeeding generations of farmers built and maintained 12,500 miles 20,000 kilometers of dikes and retaining wallsenough to stretch halfway around the equatorcreating a unique, irregular patchwork of terraced rice paddies. The American anthropologist Roy Barton called these terraces and others in the regiona modification by man of the earths surface on a scale unparalleled elsewhere. The Cordillera rice terraces were added to UNESCOs World Heritage List in December 1995, a decision justified in the following terms:The fruit of knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they helped form a landscape of great beauty that expresses conquered and conserved harmony between humankind and the environment. Moreover, they were cited asoutstanding examples of living cultural landscapes. The tiers rise to about 4,900 feet 1,500 meters above sea level. Each is defined by a stone or clay retaining wall, snaking along the contours of the steep mountainside. Stone walls are up to 50 feet high 15 meters: some of the clay walls are more than 80 feet 25.5 meters high. Some garden terraces have been backfilled with soil, ash, and composted vegetable material, while others have been simply carved from the rock and overlaid with soil washed down from the higher levels. Rice cannot be grown without large quantities of water, and the terraces are served by an elaborate irrigation system, comprising canals cut through the rock and bamboo and wooden aqueducts. Once the highest terraces are flooded, water spills over the descending walls until the whole hillside is irrigated. What of their builders? Igorot literally,the mountain people is a broad ethnic classification applied to a number of groups bound by common sociocultural and religious characteristicsIbaloy, Kankanay, Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontocwho occupy the Cordilleras. They originate from the warlike immigrants who reached the northern islands of the Philippines from Vietnam and China, some scholars believe 10,000 years ago. Their descendants eventually became rice farmers and, against the difficulties presented by the hostile topography, built their amazing tiers of rice fields on the precipitous mountainsides. The true age of the terraces remains in question: some sources suggest that the Igorot commenced them between 200 b.c. and a.d. 100, others that they date from at least 1000 b.c. As late as the 1990s rising nationalism had not permeated their tribal highlands, and the Igorots, while regarded as citizens, did not think of themselves as Filipinos. They were further alienated by the Marcos administrations dam-building schemes, which included flooding the mountain valleys in their Cordillera homelands. They continue to resist integration into Filipino society. The rice culture of the Igorot, central to their way of life, inevitably had a spiritual dimension. As Joaquin Palencia remarks,the adversarial nature of the geography of this region and the tremendous odds faced by the Ifugao to assure access to food .....
BART Bay Area Rapid Transit
17. San Francisco, California
BART Bay Area Rapid Transit is a 95-mile 152-kilometer automated rapid-transit system, the first of thenew generation of such systems in the United States. By the end of the twentieth century there were thirteen in operation, including Washington, D.C. opened 1976, Atlanta 1979, and Miami 1986. BART has thirty-nine stations on five lines radiating out from San Francisco to serve Contra Costa and Alameda Counties in the eastern Bay Area of northern California. In 1947 a joint Army-Navy review board, predicted that another connecting link between San Francisco and Oakland would be needed to prevent intolerable traffic congestion on the Bay Bridge. It proposed the construction of a tube to carry high-speed electric trains under the waters of the bay. Four years later the California State Legislature created the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Commission and charged it with finding a long-term transportation solution in the context of environmental problems, not least among them the danger from earthquakes. After six years of investigation, the commission concluded that any transportation plan would have to be part of a total regional development plan. Because no such plan existed, the commission prepared a coordinated master strategy, later adopted by the Association of Bay Area Governments. The commissions most economical transportation solution was to establish a five-county rapid-transit district, with the task of building and operating a high-speed rapid rail network linking major commercial centers with suburban nodes. The San Francisco BART District was formed, comprising the counties Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. Plans were made for a revolutionary rapid-transit system. Electric trains would run on grade-separated corridors at maximum speeds of 80 mph 128 kph and averaging around 45 mph 72 kph. Sophisticated, well-appointed vehicles would compete with private automobiles in the Bay Area, and well-designed, conveniently located stations would be built. By mid-1961, after extensive public consultation, the final plan was submitted to the five counties for approval. San Mateo County was unconvinced and withdrew from the scheme in December. Marin County also withdrew a few months later, not only because it could not sustain its share of the cost but also because there were questions about the feasibility of running trains across the Golden Gate Bridge. The original proposal was therefore revised as a three-county plan, providing links across the bay between San Francisco and Contra Costa and Alameda. Those counties accepted the BART Composite Report in July 1962. As part of the following Novembers general election, voters approved a $792 million bond issue to finance the high-speed transit system and to rebuild 3.5 miles 5.6 kilometers of the San Francisco Municipal Railway. The estimated $133 million cost of the Transbay Tube was to be funded by Bay Bridge tolls. The rolling stock, which would run on 1,000-volt direct current, was estimated to cost another $71 million, and the total cost of the system was projected at $996 millionthe largest public works project ever undertaken by local residents in the United States. There were to be many delays, and costs would inevitably rise, eventually totaling $1.62 billion. Parsons-Brinckerhoff-Tudor-Bechtel was the consortium appointed to manage the project, consisting of Parsons-Brinckerhoff-Quade and Douglas the New York originators of the first plan and from San Francisco, Tudor Engineering Company and the Bechtel Corporation, BART construction began on 19 June 1964, on the Diablo Test Track in Contra Costa County completed ten months later, it was used to develop and test the vehicular system. The Oakland subway was commenced in January 1966. In the following November the first of the fifty-seven, 24-foot-high-by-28-foot-wide 7.4-by-14.8-meter steel-and-concrete sections of the Transbay Tube, almost 4 miles 6.4 kilometers long in total, was submerged in the bay. A 3-mile-long 4.8-kilometer drilled rock tunnel through the Berkeley Hills was completed four months later. The Transbay Tube structure was completed in August 1969. Lying as much as 135 feet. 41.3 meters underwater, it took six years to design seismic studies were an integral part of the process, and under three to build. The tunnel indeed the entire BART system would survive intact the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989. The final cost of the tunnel was $180 million. Before the tube was closed to visitors so the rail tracks could be installed, thousands of pedestrians passed through. In July 1967 construction began on the two-level Market Street subway, 100 feet 30.6 meters below San Francisco. The work was complicated by a difficult mud-and-water environment and the century-old network of underground utilities. The first tunneling on the west coast was carried out entirely under compressed-air conditions this section of the project brought the BART workforce to 5,000 in 1969. On 27 January 1971 the bore into the west end of Montgomery Street Station marked the completion of that phase of the project. Although delays and inflation were eroding capital, public and governmental pressure groups forced the relocation of 15 miles of line and 15 stations, and a general improvement of station designs. They were also substantially altered during construction to improve access. Discussion of BARTs financial problems is not the purpose of this essay: suffice it to say that an increasing input of federal money was needed to support the constant variations and improvements to the original plan. BARTs linear park was constructed to demonstrate how functionality need not spoil the amenity of the environment, and major landscaping was partly funded by federal money. When the first 250 vehicles were eventually ordered from Rohr Industries of California, the price had reached L 80 millionL 18 million above the estimate for the whole 450-car fleet. The first car was delivered in August 1970, and within months, 10 test cars operated on the Fremont Line. The paid service began operation on 11 September 1972 on the 28 miles 45 kilometers between Fremont and MacArthur Stations. Heavily subsidized by federal grants, 200 more cars were bought by July 1975. In the late 1980s, BART purchased another 150 from SOFERM AL, an American subsidiary of Alsthom Atlantique of France, and 80 more from Morrison-Knudsen a few years later. A central control room, installed in 1972 in the Lake Merritt Administration Building, was replaced in 1979 by an Operations Control Center, from which train operations and remote control of electrification, ventilation, and emergency-response systems are supervised. In 1991, the BART Extensions Program launched a L 2.6 billion plan to expand services in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Mateo Counties. Since then 5 stations and 21 miles 33 kilometers of double track have been added, including the Pittsburg-Antioch Extension, whose North Concord/Martinez Station opened in December 1995, the first new one in over 20 years. The L 517 million Dublin/Pleasanton Extension opened in May 1997. A proposal to connect BART to San Francisco International Airport SFO was first considered in 1972, just as the inaugural service was opened. The first stage opened in February 1996. During the next phase, BART will move further down the San Francisco peninsula, adding 9 miles 14.4 kilometers of track and 4 new stations, including one inside the new International Terminal. Work on the final leg started in 1997, and the line was scheduled for completion early in the twenty-first century. In 1995, BART launched a ten-year program, costing L 1.1 billion, to overhaul the system infrastructure and the original fleet of cars. .....
Baths of Caracalla
18. Rome, Italy
The Baths of Caracalla Thermae Antoninianae were built between a.d. 212 and 216 by the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus a.d. 188 217, usually known as Caracalla. Although in layout the Baths of Caracalla largely emulated the model established about a century before in the Baths of Trajan, their massive scale and opulent internal finishes were without precedent. Their fully integrated plan and imposing scale and grandeur amply demonstrated the Romans design skills. Significantly, the baths demonstrated the structural advances made possible through the masterful use of concrete to span vast spaces using barrel and groin vaults, domes, and half-domes, as well as the sophisticated mechanical engineering services developed by the Romans. Public baths thermae were an essential part of all Roman towns. The majority of citizens lived in crowded tenements insulae without running water or sanitary facilities, so communal baths were constructed and made available to both sexes of all social classes. Entry was free. Generally, mixed bathing was not favored, so the baths were open to women in the mornings and men in the afternoons and evenings. The thermae were the center of Roman social lifepeople could meet friends there and engage in any number of leisure and cultural pursuits on offer. As well as changing rooms, gymnasia, saunas, and pools of various temperatures, there were libraries, museums, restaurants, bars, shops, lecture theaters, concert halls, playing fields, gardens, and courtyards, all richly furnished with mosaics, fountains, and statues. Although extremely costly to build, the baths were a political investmenta means for the emperor to demonstrate his concern for the well-being of the community. The Baths of Caracalla occupied a 50-acre 20.25-hectare site. The complex was divided into three parts: the rectangular main building, approximately 750 by 380 feet 225 by 115 meters and large enough to accommodate 1,600 bathers encircling landscaped parks and gardens and a perimeter ring of shops, lecture halls, and pavilions. Laid out symmetrically, the compactly planned baths offered identical bathing circuits on either side of the central and shorter axis. The sequence of bathing spaces on that axis comprised the hot bath caldarium, warm bath tepidarium, and the cold bath frigidarium in a large unheated central hall. The last, which also served as a foyer, was open on one side, allowing easy access to the open-air swimming pool natatio. Changing rooms apodyteria, gymnasia, or exercise yards palaestrae, with terraced porticoes, and sauna laconica were arranged symmetrically on the transverse axis. Rooms for massage, manicure, and other services associated with the bathing routine were featured on either side of the baths. Decorative interior finishes colored marble veneers on walls, marble, basalt and granite columns and arches, and coarsely textured black-and-white mosaic floorscreated a rich and sumptuous character. Since the baths were public facilities that attracted large numbers of people, the gathering spaces needed to be vast and uncluttered with structural elements. In the absence of structural impediments, bathers were afforded extended views to various parts of the thermae. The Romans achieved these objectives by exploiting the semicircular arch. The rectangular central hall of the Baths of Caracalla demonstrated their structural method. It was roofed with an enormous semicircular intersecting concrete vault divided into three compartments. Each was 108 feet 30 meters high and rested at the corners on enormous piers. Clerestory windows adequately lit the hall. Water for the Baths of Caracalla flowed from a branch of the Aqua Marcia aqueduct into a huge reservoir, divided into eighteen chambers with a total capacity of about 2.2 million gallons 10 million liters. The water was carried through pipes laid underneath the gardens to the main building, where it was distributed directly to the cold pools, or to wood-fired boilers, where it was heated for the warm and hot baths. For ease of inspection and maintenance, distribution pipes and waste drains were located in separate tunnels. A separate network of tunnels was used to store wood for about fifty furnaces praefurnia that heated the saunas laconica and other rooms via a hot-air system hypocausta beneath the floors. The heated rooms were on the southwestern side of the complex to gain maximum benefit from the sun all had large windows. The hottest room, the circular, protruding caldarium, was covered by a 115-foot-diameter 35-meter dome, higher than the Pantheons and only slightly less in span. The Baths of Caracalla are now in ruins, but their soaring height and impressive scale allow visitors to appreciate their size and massiveness. .....
The Bauhaus
19. Germany
The German design school known as the Bauhaus literally, house of building, that functioned between 1919 and 1932, laid the foundation of a different kind of architectural education, one that was eventually adopted throughout the world. It restored the links between design and making that had been undermined during the Renaissance and virtually destroyed by the European academies. Much of the Bauhauss significance lies in the fact that some of its leaders migrated to the United States in the 1930s to head up the schools of architecture at Harvard and the Illinois Institute of Technology other members also became teachers and practitioners in America. The Bauhaus was conceived by Walter Gropius 1883 1969. After reluctantly commencing architectural studies at Berlin-Charlottenberg in 1905, between 1907 and 1910 he worked in the office of Peter Behrens before forming a partnership with a fellow employee, Adolf Meyer. During World War I Gropius served as a cavalry officer, and following the November 1918 armistice he was appointed director of two separate institutions in Weimar, Saxony, Germany: the Grand Ducal Academy of Arts and the Grand Ducal Academy of Crafts. He immediately proposed that they should be combined, and in April 1919 courses started at Das Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. Gropiuss 1919 Manifesto called forthe unification of all the creative arts under the leadership of architecture building on the doctrines of nineteenth-century English reformers, Gropius sought to improve design standards by combining art and production. Architecture was not in the curriculum of the Bauhauss first phase at Weimar 1919 1923. Because he believed that good art, architecture, and design were more the result of collaboration than of individual virtuosity, Gropiuss formal program was based upon the proposition that one cannot design without understanding the process by which the design is realized. The designed object must beby systematic practical and theoretical research into formal, technical, and economic fields derived fromnatural functions and relationshipsin short, the Bauhaus provided an applied design education based on Marxist materialism. Under Johannes Itten students were introduced to elements of designshape, line, color, pattern, texture, rhythm, and density. There were also workshops for stone, wood, metal, pottery, glass, painting, and textiles. Every course was conducted by a team: a craftsperson and an artist. The aims of the Bauhaus were maintained through the three phases of its existence in three different places and despite several changes in its direction. They were: first,rescue all of the arts from the isolation in which each then found itself second, raise the status of craft to that of the so-called fine arts and third, link the designer with emerging industrial production. Those ideas are taken for granted now, but they were first spelled out by the Bauhaus. In spite of Gropiuss ostensible nonpolitical stance, the unfamiliar ideas, left-wing beliefs, and eccentric ways evident at the Bauhaus unsettled the government and brought opposition. Objecting to official insistence upon an exhibition Art and Technics in 1923, immediately afterward the staff resigned. Gropius was swamped with offers to relocate, and accepted one from Dessau. To house the school he designed a group of connected blocks 1925 1926: administration, classrooms, studios, workshops, and accommodations for staff and students. Although Gropius often denied any such intention, the need for modem architecturea tangible expression of the spirit of the agemeant that the Dessau complex would be adopted as a model internationally. Architecture was introduced into the curriculum at Dessau. Just then, groups of European architects, mostly socialists, were searching for a pure form of architecture, liberated from the historical styles that they associated with a decadent aristocracy or worse in their eyes with the rising industrial bourgeoisie. The architects included English Arts and Crafts, Italian Futurists, Dutch De Srijl, and German Expressionists. Buildings inevitably became expressions of their beliefs, and their response to Europes widespread housing crisis of the 1920s was an austere form of workers housing with open floor plans, white interiors, and furniture thatworked, whatever that meant. For them, a building must have a flat roof and flat walls, devoid of all ornament and decoration. And because color was bourgeois, the exteriors of houses must be white, gray, or blackin fact, just like the Dessau Bauhaus. It is not surprising that by 1932 the Americans Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson recognized in all this what they inaccurately dubbed an International Style. It was soon imitated throughout the world, frequently with no heed to the underlying sociopolitical theory. Gropius resigned the Bauhaus directorship in April 1928, not only to concentrate upon his architectural practice but also in an attemptfutile, as it happenedto stem the growing National Socialist Nazi Partys propaganda attacks upon the school. He recommended the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer as successor. But because Meyer was overtly Communist, the mayor of Dessau dismissed him in 1930, appointing in his place a German architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Under mounting pressure to close altogether, Mies moved the Bauhaus to Berlin in 1932. A year later he disbanded it. Although its ideas were spread internationally by many publicationsnot least the Bauhausb .....
Bedouin tents
20. Middle East
There are only three essential structural systems in architecture: the post and beam trabeated, the arch and its extensions arcuated, and those that employ stretched filaments and membranes tensile. Because durable tensile materials like steel and reinforced concrete were not developed until after 1865, and synthetic membranes, like fiberglass-Teflon laminate and Kevlar, until more than a century later, tensile technology was limited to buildings not consideredproper architecture. But despite the denial of means, the method of creating them has been understood, refined, and applied from ancient times. Purest among such applications are the tents of the Bedouin. Their origins are lost, but they are indeed architectural feats for their structural economy, functionality, and environmental sustainability. The nomadic Arabs known as Bedouin badawi, fordesert dwellers inhabited Arabia from sometime in the second millennium b.c. With the expansion of Islam in the seventh century a.d., they spread into the Syrian and Egyptian deserts and invaded northern Africa, where their flocks, allowed to overgraze, soon turned much of the coastal pasture into semidesert. The Bedouin, who now comprise about 10 percent of the population of the Middle East, continue to herd camels, sheep, goats, and sometimes cattle. Their patterns of migration depend on availability of pasture: in winter, if there is rain, they move farther into the desert in summer, they locate near assured water supplies and build simple mud-and-stone temporary houses. While on the move, the Bedouin live in a beit al-shar house of hair. The dwelling, little changed for about 4,000 years, consists of short wooden posts supporting a framework of tightly stretched goat-hair ropes, over which a loosely woven goat-hair cloth membrane falaif is stretched to serve as walls and roof. The goat-hair yarn is spun on a drop spindle by the older women and woven into cloth strips on a horizontal loom. The breadth of the strips approximates the ancient cubit about 20 inches or 50 centimeters they vary in length from 23 to 65 feet 7 to 20 meters, depending on the size of the tent for which they are made. Because the women work only inspare time, even short strips of cloth may take several months to produce. The portable loom allows any unfinished work to be rolled up when the group moves on. The finished strips are sewn together with black goat-hair thread to make up a single roof membrane. That is a social occasion, with women working together. The goat hairs natural color, usually black, is retained, although sometimes the addition of sheeps wool yields a streaked cloth. The black fabric absorbs heat, but it also provides deep shade, so that temperatures inside can be considerably lower than outside. The coarse weave allows heat to disperse, and the covering provides good insulation in the cold desert night. When it rains, the loosely woven fabric swells, stopping most leaks. A tent cloth lasts an average of five years, and its maintenance and replacement depend upon a renewable resource, as they have for centuries. When the Bedouin make camp, the leader of the band directs the women in pitching the tent. Before the poles are raised, the roof is spread on the ground, with one of its long sides facing windward, and stretched by tightening lines attached to pegs. Once it has been lifted on the pole and rope frame, the goat-hair flaps that form the wallslong enough to enclose the entire tent at nightare hung and pegged down, with the entrance facing away from the prevailing wind. The low profile of the roof and very long guy ropes are designed to maximize wind resistance. Traditionally, brightly decorated curtains divide the interior. The mens area, always at the end toward Mecca, also incorporates the majlis, where guests are received around a hearth. The private family area mahram, or womens section, is much larger and barred to all men except the head of the family. The third space is the kitchen. Of necessity for a nomadic lifestyle, furnishings are sparse. Carpets and mattresses cover the desert floor pillows stacked around a camel saddle may provide seating for guests. The Tuaregs, descendants of the Berbers, whom the Arabs displaced from North African coastal regions, also live in tents. About 800,000 strong, the seven major Tuareg confederations inhabit an area from the western Sahara to western Sudan. Although some have permanent settlements, most prefer small nomadic groups. Believing thathouses are the graves of the living, they set up rectangular tents about 10 feet 3 meters long and 10 to 15 feet 3 to 4.6 meters wide, covered with up to forty tanned goatskins, dyed red and sewn together, or mats of palm fiber. In this matriarchal society, when a woman marries, her family makes a tent for her, and it remains her property. In about two hours, she can put her household on pack animals, ready to move on. Two other examples will demonstrate that not all transportable houses are tensile structures. The nomadic lifestyle of some Amerindian tribes was constrained by the migration of the great buffalo herds. Their houses needed to be strong enough to withstand the prairie winds while lending themselves to easy dismantling, carrying, and reerection. Possibly derived from the Inuits Arctic summer dwellings, the tepee was adopted about two hundred years ago as the year-round house of the Plains nations. A conical skeleton frame of up to thirty wooden poles was lashed together near the top and covered with a fitted membrane of tanned buffalo hides. Although it was transportable, it did not share all the tensile characteristics of the Bedouin tent. The same is true of the ger or yurt, the traditional house of Mongolian herdspeople, still in use all year-round. Its self-supporting framed structurea cylinder roofed with a domeapplies a dynamic arrangement, refined over centuries, of leather-lashed saplings, a roof ring, and tensioning bands. The covering, traditionally felt, is secured with ropes. The ger can be dismantled and carried by pack animals, although sometimes it is transported intact on a wagon. Many Middle Eastern governments are attempting to impose a permanent sedentary lifestyle on the Bedouin, Modernization, if not altogether desirable, is probably inevitable. Trucks are displacing camels as the principal means of transportation some camps have refrigerators and television sets powered by portable generators whose noise disturbs the quiet of the desert. Coffee is brewed for guests on gas stoves rather than the traditional hearth, andoff-the-hook canvas tents are appearing among thehouses of hair. .....
Beijing Hangzhou Canal
21. China
The Grand Canal Chinese, Da Yunhe in China is the worlds longest artificial waterway and the oldest canal still in existence. The 1,121-mile-long 1,794-kilometer series of linked channels extends from Hangzhou on the southeast coast to the capital, Beijing, in the north. As an engineering achievement of the ancient Chinese, the canal compares with the more familiar Great Wall. It passes through twenty-four sophisticated locks and is crossed by sixty bridges. Most of Chinas large rivers, including the Huai, the Huang Ho, the Wei, and the Yangtze flow from the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and the north-south Grand Canal provides a vital connector between their systems. That fact in itself presented a challenge to which the ancient builders were equal: the gradient of the canal was carefully designed and maintained by dredging to ensure that the seasonal flooding of the rivers did not inundate agricultural land along the artificial waterway. In places, dikes and levees provided further protection. The Grand Canalonce known as the Grand Imperial Canalhad a simple reason for being. Successive emperors wanted to secure communication between the heavily populated politico- military centers of North China and the rice-producing regions of the south. This meant constructing a link that enabled the rapid deployment of troops and provided a faster, safer corridor for transporting grain and freight, free from the threat of the pirates who preyed on coastal shipping. During the Song dynasty a.d. 960 1279, the annual grain traffic on the canal exceeded 3J 0,000 tons 3J 5,J J 0 tonnes, carried by fleets of up to forty barges, lashed together up to four abreast and towed by water buffalo. Suggested dates for the commencement of the canal vary from the fourth to the sixth century b.c. The 1J 0-mile 225-kilometer section traditionally known as the Shanyang Canal, from K ingjiang in northern Jiangsu to the Yangtze, probably was constructed sometime in that period and extended almost a thousand years later, during the Northern K i dynasty a.d. 550 576, when existing waterways were linked to form a single system. The second Sui emperor, Yang Di, launched an intensive building program between 605 and 610. He is said to have employed 6 million peasants constructing links between the Huang Ho and Yangtze Rivers. By thus joining the north and south of China, the canal allowed for the development of an integrated national economy and reestablished the power of the imperial civil service. Therefore, it is not surprising that it retained its importance during the Tang dynasty 618 907, when China was at the height of its power. The canal was a key to trade expansion under the Tang and Song, and around 800 the center of political and economic activity slowly began to move to the south. By the twelfth century, Jiangsu arid L hejiang Provinces had become the heart of China, and the Southern Song dynasty 1127 1279 established a capital at Hangzhou in 1138. In 1282, under the Mongols, another canal was built between the Huang Ho and the Ta-ching River in northern Shantung, but several attempts to join it to the sea proved unsuccessful. Eventually the Hui-tung Canal was built to join the Huang Ho and the Wei Rivers. The Ming dynasty 1368 16J J reigned from Yingtian until 1J 21, after which the capital was returned to Beijing. The whole Grand Canal, comprising six main sections, was dredged and repaired. Since then it has been widened repeatedly, the last changes being made at the beginning of the Ching dynasty in the middle of the seventeenth century. Early in the twentieth century the Grand Canal began to fall into disuse for reasons that included the frequent flooding of the Huang Ho the move to coastal shipping the construction of major north- south railroads and not least, general neglect as a result of political turmoil. However, the Communist regime started rehabilitation in 1958, and over the next eight years the canal was dredged, straightened, and widened, and a new J 0-mile 6J -kilometer section was built. But it was not until the late 1980s that plans were put in hand to dredge the entire Grand Canal, reinstating it as an important highway for local and medium-distance freight vessels, especially in the south. Shallow- draft vesselsmostly barges and tourist boatscan now navigate the stretch south of the Yangtze all year-round. The section north of the Yangtze is seasonably navigable, and major works are in progress to allow bulk carriers to reach M uzhou beyond that, the canal remains impassable. .....
Borobudur Temple
22. Indonesia
Borobudur Temple stands on the plain of Kedu, about 25 miles 40 kilometers northwest of the modern city of Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java. Its name is derived from Hhumtcambharabudara the mountain of the accumulation of virtue in the ten stages of Bodhisatva. Crowning a 150-foot 46-meter hill, this largest of all Buddhist buildings is a masterpiece of religious architecture. One of the worlds best-preserved ancient monuments, it was built about 300 years before many of the great Christian cathedrals of western Europe and the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia, some of whose temples are thought to have been influenced by it. Sometime before the fifth century a.d., Hinduism and Buddhism spread along maritime trade routes between the Asian mainland and Java, Sumatra, and Bali. By about the seventh century Mahayana teachings dominated Buddhist thought in East Asia, and Java eventually became an important center of monastic scholarship. Mahayana Buddhist precepts constrained the form of such edifices as Borobudur. Built from more than 1 million carved blocks of gray andesite lava quarried at nearby Mount Merapi, Borobudur was initiated as a Hindu precinct, probably a Siva temple, around a.d. 775. The lower two terraces had been completed when a shift in power to the Buddhist Sailendra dynasty brought the project to a halt. Naturally, the finished stages were unsuited to the liturgical needs of Buddhism on the other hand, such a huge structureits several levels are 17,800 square yards 15,000 square meters in total areawas a powerful evocation of Hinduism, so after about fifteen years work resumed to convert the building into the largest stupa ever built. The stupa as a building type is almost exclusive to Buddhism: in essence it is a square base surmounted by an inverted circular bowl and capped with a spire. It was almost complete in 832 when the Hindu Sanjaya dynasty set out to reunify central Java and took over all religious buildings. Because most of the population was Buddhist, Borobudur remained a focus of that religion. Influenced by the Gupta architecture of fourth-century India, the Borobudur Temple modeled the Buddhist concept of the cosmos, organized around the mythical Mount Meru, theAxis of the World, which rose from the Waters of Chaos. The whole precinct, standing on a 670-foot-square 200-meter platform, represented a lotus flower, sacred to Buddha. Its three stages represented the major divisions of the universe: the material world, the world of thought, and the world of cosmic order and balance. From the eastern gateway, 3 miles 5 kilometers of open galleries bore pilgrims through 10 levels of clockwise ascent to the topsymbolically, from the physical world to nirvana, the sought-after annihilation. Much of that processional way was lined with more than 24,000 square feet 2,500 square meters of relief panels. The lower five terracesthe world of desirewere square in plan, with 160 richly ornamented relief panels providing cautionary Buddhist tales, stories of Buddhas journey toward enlightenment, and a lively documentation of daily life in ninth-century Java. The next three terraces, circular in plan, had no wall reliefs, symbolizing the world of thought. A total of seventy-two bell-shaped, stone-latticework stupas was spaced evenly along them, each containing a statue of Buddha. The uppermost stage of the temple, originally rising to a height of 140 feel: 42 meters, was a large central stupa crowned with a spire. Representing nirvana, it was empty. Borobudur remained the spiritual center of Javanese Buddhism for about 150 years, until about 1,000 years ago, when it was suddenly abandoned. The reasons are probably complex. Its demise could have been due to natural disaster: soon after the building was finished. Mount Merapi erupted, depositing thick layers of ash over a large region and partially burying Borobudur. And at least in part, the departure from the site must be linked with the gradual transfer of power from central Java to the east, through the tenth and eleventh centuries. The jungle quickly reclaimed the great temple. In 1814, Thomas Stamford Raffles, British lieutenant-governor of Java, hearing reports of the ruins, sent the Dutch engineer H. C. Cornelius to investigate. Cornelius found Borobudur so long neglected that his large work team took six weeks to clear vegetation and dirt enough to uncover only its outline. Spasmodic recovery work continued until the 1870s, when the last reliefs were exposed. But once the protective layer of soil was removed, the stone face began to deteriorate rapidly. Dr. Theodore van Erp began serious restoration in 1907, but it was discontinued after only four years. The newly independent Indonesian government took responsibility for preservation in the late 1940s, and a few years later it asked UNESCO for assistance. Consequently a major rescue projectcosting U.S.$21 million and funded by the Indonesian government, UNESCO, private citizens, and foreign governments-was initiated in 1971. The restoration of the monument was completed by February 1983. .....
Braslia
23. Brazil
Braslia, the inland capital of Brazil, stands in a largely isolated region nearly 750 miles 1.200 kilometers northwest of Rio de Janeiro. The design and construction of the city in such a remote place, uninhabited before 1956, was a major logistical achievement in planning and urban design. Conceived on the scale and in the grand manner of LEnfants Washington, D.C., of 1789?1791, it followed in the tradition of such cities as New Delhi, India Lutyens and Baker, 1911?1931, and Canberra, Australia Walter arid Marion Griffin, 1913?1920. With its tall blocks in expansive landscaped parks, Bras?lia translated into reality for the first time the radical urban theories only envisioned in H. Th. Wijdevelds Amsterdam 2000 1919?1920 and a little later in Le Corbusiers O ille Radieuse. The plan to move Brazils capital from Rio de Janeiro to an inland site, secure from naval attack, had been mooted first around 1789, and it was continually revived for the next thirty turbulent years. In 1823, soon after independence from Portugal was proclaimed, Jose Bonif?cio presented the Constituent Assembly with a bill to fulfill the intention and to name the new city Bras?lia. Social and political upheavals dotted the rest of the century: burgeoning population rapid economic growth the spread of railroads revolts and insurrections civil and foreign war the rise and fall of the Brazilian Empire and, over thirty-five years, the abolition of slavery. The republic was proclaimed at the end of 1889, and the constitution of the United States of Brazil was adopted in February 1891. That document defined the general location of the future Federal District: somewhere within the state of Goias on the sparsely inhabited 3,609-foot-high 1,200-meter Central Plateau. The Exploring Commission of the Brazilian Central Upland was appointed, and it selected a 5,700-square-mile 14,400-square-kilometer areatheCruls Quadrilateral named for the commissions Belgian leader, Louis Cruls. In 1953 a 2,300-square-mile 5,800-square-kilometer section of it was chosen as the general site for the new capital. The announcement was expected to encourage a population movement westward into what was largely unused land, relieving urban congestion in Rio de Janeiro. In September 1956 President Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, promising Brazilians an economic development plan that he ambitiously calledFifty Years in Five, initiated the foundation of Bras?lia. A design competition for a Plano Piloto pilot plan attracted forty-one entries from twenty-six architects and urbanists, and in March 1957 that of the Brazilian L?cio Costa was announced as winner. His design was described by the president of the competition jury. British architect-planner William Holford, asa work of genius and one of the greatest contributions to contemporary urbanism. The importance of Costas plan has been largely eclipsed by the beautiful, even spectacular, public architecture of another Brazilian, Oscar Niemeyer, who had been his student at the Escola National de Belas Artes early in the 1930s. They had collaborated before, and Niemeyer had also worked on urban design commissions for Kubitschek, when the latter was mayor of Belo Horizonte. For Bras?lia, Niemeyer designed the Congress Building the law courts the cathedral the university the National Theater the Pal?cio do Planalto the Pal?cio dos Arcos and the presidents residence, Pal?cio da Alvorada Palace of the Dawn. It is interesting to note that construction of this presidential residence, and the airport, began in 1956, before Costas success became public. The internationally reputed Brazilian landscape designer Roberto Burle Marx, who had previously worked with both Costa and Niemeyer, planned the major landscaping elements, a critical aspect of the capital. Despite the general popularity of the vision, partly whipped up by the media, there was also strong dissension. But Kubitschek was determined to continue. Under the direction of Novacap, the corporation created to manage the project, the center of the city was built in the remarkably short period of three years. On 21 April 1960, Bras?lia was officially inaugurated as the capital. Soon after, Kubitschek was briefly replaced by J?nio da Silva Quadros, who solved national economic problems with draconian spending cuts, including projects at Bras?lia. That hiatus continued under the next president, reformer Jo?o Goulart. Then in March 1964 Goulart was overthrown in an army coup that brought military rule for the next twenty years. Although pressure would persist through most of the decade to return the seat of government to Rio, Bras?lia was confirmed as the national capital during the 1964?1966 presidency of General Humberto Castelo Branco. The public cost of building the city remains unknown some sources put it as high as U.S.$100 billion. The ways in which the money was raised and the efficiency with which it was spent are also under a cloud. It is claimed, for example, that the Banco do Brasil simply printed money for Novacap, almost on demand, and there were rumors that, at the start of the project, Brazilian air force transport airplanes carried equipment and building materials for the Pal?cio da. Alvorada. Soon, a massive road-building program was initiated and highways were constructed to S?o Paulo and Belo Horizonte in the south, Belem in the north, and eventually westward to the Mato Grosso. What of the urban form? In presenting his Plano Piloto, Costa explained that he intended to make a city that was monumental yet comfortable, efficient yet welcoming and intimate, spacious yet neat, rustic yet urban, and lyrical yet functional. The cruciform layoutsome critics have compared it to a swept-wing aircraft, an analogy accepted by the plannerhas its framework defined bytwo axes, two terraces, one platform, two broad highways running in one direction, one super highway in the other. The Monumental Axis runs east-west. At its eastern end, on the shores of Lake Parano? formed by damming the Paran? River, is the Plaza of the Three Powers. Around it are located the Supreme Court and the Congress Building with its twin twenty-eight-story towers and two striking hemispheres housing the Senate in a dome and the Chamber of Deputies in a bowl. The group is completed by the Pal?cio da Alvorada, surrounded by an inverted colonnade of white marble. The startling cathedral, redolent of a crown of thorns, and the university, are nearby. The lake wraps around the Plano Piloto, its shores dotted with embassies, private clubs, and sports facilities. From this grand focus, the broad Esplanade of the Ministries, flanked with buildings housing the bureaucracy, leads west to the central business district at the intersection of the main axes. Each arm of the sweeping north-south Residential Axis is surrounded by nine bands of subdivision flanking an elevated highway. Those closer to the city core accommodate 780-foot-square 240-meter residential superquadras superblocks, most of which contain between eight and sixteen rectangular concrete-and-glass apartment buildings, usually six but sometimes three stories high, set in traffic-free parks. Each group was designed as a self-contained, middle-class neighborhood unit for an average of 3,000 residents, with shops, churches, schools, and playgrounds. Other recreational facilities serve a number of adjacent superblocks. The taller apartment buildings are raised on pilotis, so that at ground level the parks are uninterrupted. Open green space makes up about 60 percent of Bras?lias total areaabout five times as much per capita as, say, S?o Paulo. As elsewhere in the world, the imposition of an international modernist ideal on house form has not been socially successful while doubtless well intentioned it is not well received because it denies the tradition of household organization developed over centuries. The extensive, more upmarket residential developments, mostly one-family houses, are on the peninsulas known as Lago Norte and Lago Sud, across the lake. Most of the people who work in support industriesdomestic servants and otherslive in one of the fifteen nearby satellite towns within the Federal District and commute by bus to the Plano Piloto. Some of the satellites are planned developments others have grown laissez-faire. They have very little open space, and some have social problems stemming from high unemployment. Of course, government is Bras?lias primary function, but it was inevitable that banking and commerce would flourish. Mainly because of the famous plan and architecture, tourism has also developed. Construction is an important part of the industrial infrastructure, but apart from that, only light industry is permitted. Originally designed for 500,000 people. Bras?lia has grown rapidly. The 1960 population was around 90,000, and by 1980 it had increased to more than 411,000. A 1996 census showed that it had reached just over 1.8 million, and it probably rose to 2 millionmostly civil servants and businesspeopleby the turn of the century. Since about 1990 traffic problems such as gridlock and inadequate parking space have arisen in Bras?lia. A Y-shaped, partly underground rail system was started in 1992. Linking the south wing of the Plano Piloto with five of the satellite towns and with a total length of 26 miles 42 kilometers, it was designed to cater to two-thirds of the population. Commercial operation has been promised several times, but it still had not begun by 2001. In 1987, Bras?lia was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List. According to some residents, that was a mixed blessing for a living city: while it certainly increased tourist revenue and helps preserve the quality of life for some, at the same time it inhibits the character of future expansion. .....
Bricks
24. The Indus valley
The humble brick literally shaped the face of world architecture. The Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, and Indus River valleys were the locations of what has been calledthe urban implosion, the sudden emergence of cities from the neolithic villages that lined the waterways. The alluvial expanses on whose agricultural produce the new urban centers burgeoned had little naturally occurring stone, so the city walls, the buildings within, and even the royal palaces were built of brick. Packed clay had been used for centuries, and as it does in parts of the Arab world today, it yielded soft, curvilinear free forms. The advantage of the brick was that it was a prefabricated modular building unit, made easy to handle by its size and weight. Its shape and standard sizefunctions of the manufacturing process inevitably generated a rectilinear architecture and affected the way people built by assembling units rather than allowing the building to grow as well as limiting such details as proportion and the subdivision of surfaces. Those causes and effects persist until this day. Sun-dried bricks were made from puddled clay, perhaps containing a little sand or gravel, reinforced with a fibrous material usually straw that minimized cracking as the bricks dried. The mixture was packed into wooden molds, without tops or bottoms, that were removed once initial hardening had occurred. The bricks were then stacked and left to dry in the sun, sometimes for as long as two years, before being used in buildings. They were usually set in beds of wet mud, although the ancient Egyptians are known to have used gypsum-based mortar. The Babylonians employed hot natural bitumen, imported from lakes at Id on the Iranian Plateau every several courses, the bed joints were reinforced with woven reeds. The dry climates of the river valleys presented few problems with weathering, but sometimes walls were plastered over with mud. The Indus valley culture employed kiln-fired bricks long before its contemporaries, in buildings, pavements, and drains. Fired bricks also appeared a little later in Mesopotamia, where they were employed only in such special situations as decorative facings with colored glazes of public buildings or copings on walls. Timber for building was in short enough supply, and it was unreasonable to use it unnecessarily to fuel kilns. In the land between the rivers, sophisticated brick technology was early applied to massive structures like King Ur-Nammus ziggurat at Ur ca. 2100 b.c.. It was mainly of sun-dried brick, with thick facings of fired brick. Sixteen centuries later the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II built his new city, with an 11-mile-long 17-kilometer outer wall and an inner wall wide enough to allow two chariots to be driven abreast on its top. Both of these huge structures were of sun-dried brick, and the northern Ishtar Gate was faced with blue glazed brick, ornamented with colored brick relief figures of bulls, dragons, and other beasts. Nebuchadnezzar also refaced the Marduk zigguratthought by some to be the Tower of Babelwith a 50-foot-thick 15-meter fired brick casing. Because the successive cultures that later dominated the region were builders in stone, the value of brick architecture was overlooked for centuries, to appear again in the Roman world. For the pragmatic Romans, brick construction was more economical than stone, so the material was widely used, Brick making became a major industry that eventually was nationalized. To maintain quality control, brick makers were obliged to stamp their products with the brick makers name and the place and date of manufacture. Flat Roman bricks, laid in thick beds of lime mortar, were used to build arches and principally aslost formwork in the ubiquitous concrete structures, in which they were covered with marble, mosaic, or stucco. Although it was maintained as a decorative material in the Byzantine Empire, with the decline of the Western Roman Empire, brick again went out of fashion. For several centuries after about a.d. 400, the only bricks used in western Europe were recycled from Roman buildings. It was only when those supplies were exhausted by about the beginning of the twelfth century that brick was again revived. As had been the case in the protohistoric river civilizations, necessity gave birth to invention, and brick architecture reappeared in the stone-poor Low Countries. Trade routes through Flanders were integral to the spreading use of bricks and clay roof tiles as building materials, and they moved as trade goods or as ballast in ships. Even toward the end of the Middle Ages, English architects and their clients regarded the brick as an exotic, luxurious, and somewhat suspicious building material. .....
Brihadisvara Temple
25. Thanjavur, India
The so-called Big Temple, the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur Tanjore in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was built between a.d. 1003 and 1010. It is the epitome of Dravidian temple architecture and a wonderful gallery of South Indian art and craft. Vijayalaya Cholan a.d. 846 871, founder of the Chola dynasty, chose the well-established settlement beside the River Kaveri as his capital, and for four centuries Chola influence on Indian religion, culture, art, and architecture spread from the royal city. Thanjavur is now a country town of about 200,000 people. Chola dominion was extended under Vijayalayas son Aditya I, the beginning of an empire that reached its apogee of power and prosperity under the greatest Chola ruler, Rajaraja Arunmozhivarma, soon after he became king in a.d. 985. By about 1005 he subjugated much of southern India, and the dynasty eventually controlled the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and parts of Sri Lanka. His conquests complete, until his death in 1014 Rajaraja turned his thoughts to religion and the arts, initiating many temples and replacing older brick shrines with ones of stone. Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur, India architects unknown, 1003 1010. Inner and outer eastern gatehouses. Although remarkably open-minded in religious matters, Rajaraja was a pious devotee of Siva, and the greatest of his cultural achievements was a masterpiece of South Indian art and architecture, the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur also known as Peruvudaiyar Koil. He named it Rajarajeswaram. The temple precinct occupies most of the Sivaganga Fort, which was enclosed within perimeter walls in the sixteenth century. The fort is now bounded on the east and west by moats, and on the south by the Grand Anaicut Channel, part of an extensive eleventh-century irrigation, system. To the north is the Sivaganga Garden, which also postdates the temple. The Brihadisvara Temple stands within two concentric rectangular spaces. The outer court, measuring 793 by 397 feet 238 by 119 meters, is entered at its eastern end through a magnificent towered gatehouse, flanked by shrines dedicated to Ganapathi and Mrurgan. Facing the outer gatehouse is a similar structure, 90 feet 27 meters high, that gives access to the carefully planned 500-by-250-foot 150-by-75-meter stone- and brick-paved inner courtyard, at whose western end stands the main shrine of Sri Brihadisvara. The temple proper, so to speak, is a complex suite of several elements. Although they are separate structures, they form an entity, the garbhagrihamthat is, the holy of holiessurrounded by a 1,500-foot 450-meter colonnaded cloister prakaram. The cloisters two levels, although, dimly lit, are decorated with brilliantly colored frescoes from the Chola period, depicting the lives of the sixty-four Nayanmars Saivite saints, the sacred bull nandi, and the ceremonial mount of Siva. There are also sculptured panels showing the Bharata Natyam dance postures karanas and the manifestations of Siva known as Sivalingams. Altogether, there are about 250 Sivalingams throughout the temple complex: the largest, 29 feet 8.7 meters high, is set in a two- story sanctum. The main shrine also includes a large hall with open aisles Maha-mandapam, intended for religious discourse another terraced hall enclosing the shrine of Sri Thyagarajar and various ancillary halls for storing religious trappings and housing musicians. Standing in an elaborately decorated open hall in the inner court is a massive monolithic nandi, 12 feet 3.6 meters high and nearly 20 feet 6 meters long. There are several subshrines in the complex, but only one seems to have been built at the same time as the main temple. The inner court is dominated by the 96-foot-square 29-meter granite base of the vimana, a tower that rises through fourteen diminishing stories to a height of almost 220 feet 66 meters. Its facades are encrusted with hundreds of stucco figures of the myriad Hindu gods, standing in niches between carefully wrought pilasters. The vimana is crowned with an octagonal dome sikaram resting on an 80-ton 7.3-tonne granite structure contrary to popular accounts, it is not a single block, enriched with nandis at each corner. Rising above the dome is a 12.5-foot 3.8-meter finial kalasam ending in a copper pot overlaid with gold plate, a gift of King Rajaraja. The generous endowments of the devout king and his sister Kundavai to the temple are recorded in inscriptions on the walls of the vimana. Everywhere, the surfaces of the building provide a vehicle for Chola art, making the Brihadisvara more than just an architectural masterpieceit is also a magnificent repository of the highest artistic and craft skills of a golden age. Someone has said that the Chola artists conceived like giants and finished like jewelers. The temple was added to UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1987. Beginning with Rajaraja the Great, the piety of the Chola dynasty is evidenced by more than seventy temples built in and near Thanjavur over the next two centuries. Noteworthy among them were Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple at Gangaikonda Cholapuram, whose vimana was a little shorter than that at Thanjavur the more diminutive Airavateswarar Temple at Darasuram, described by one critic asa sculptors dream re-lived in stone and the Kampahareswarar Temple at Tribhuvanam. In each of the four, the vimana was tallerusually much tallerthan the towers of the entrance gates after them, Chola architects returned to their traditional forms, in which the relative heights were reversed. .....
Brooklyn Bridge
26. New York City, New York
When it was opened on 24 May 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, joining the boroughs of urban Manhattan and semirural Brooklyn across New Yorks East River, was the longest suspension bridge in the worldtwice as long as any previously built. More significantly, it was the first structure of its kind to be supported by cables of galvanized steel wire instead of the usual iron. From the early seventeenth century through most of the nineteenth, the only transport link between Manhattan and Brooklyn was a ferry service, latterly the Fulton Street Ferry. As early as 1802 the New-York State Legislature had been petitioned to build a bridge between Long Island and Manhattan Island, but it was not until 1857a decade before the enabling legislation was passed that serious consideration was given to the project. The German-born engineer John Augustus Roebling had been thinking about an East River bridge since 1852. Supported by influential local politicians Abram Hewitt and William C. Murray, he proposed a suspension bridge, composed of two 800-foot 247-meter spans linked by a 500-foot 153-meter cantilever section over Blackwells Island now Roosevelt Island, close to the site of the present-day Queensboro Bridge. But the economic depression was followed in 1861 by civil war, two events that delayed the project until 1866. Then the New York civil engineer Julius W. Adams proposed a suspension bridge, also on a different site from the final structure. In April 1867, under the entrepreneurship of William C. Kingsley, the New York Bridge Company was founded to build Adamss version ofThe New York and Brooklyn Bridge. His design was superseded a month later by Roeblings scheme, prepared in collaboration with Wilhelm Hildenbrand. Their respective contributions are unknown, but most of the credit has gone to Roebling. The Bridge Company was a private corporation, but legislation provided that the city of New York might subscribe $1.5 million of the total capital, the city of Brooklyn $3 million, and private stockholders $500,000 in the event, more than 60 percent of the private funding came from Kingsley and his connections. The total length of Roeblings bridge, including approaches and land spans, was to be 5,989 feet 1,796 meters as built, it was some 800 feet 245 meters longer. The 1,595-foot-6-inch 479-meter span across the river would enter the tower arches 119 feet 36 meters above the shore. A clearance of 135 feet over 40 meters at midspan would allow even the tallest ships to sail under the graceful arch. Roebling proposed to ran extensions of the New York and Brooklyn elevated, railroad tracks down the center of the bridge they were to be flanked by vehicular carriageways. Above the railroad he designed an elevated pedestrian path. In June 1869 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved over the signature of Ulysses S. Grant the construction of Roeblings bridge. Surveying began without delay. Tragedy was just as immediate: while Roebling was locating the Brooklyn tower, a ferry collided with the Fulton slip on which he stood, crushing his foot. Within about a month, his masterpiece barely started, he died of tetanus poisoning. His son, Washington Augustus Roebling, was appointed chief engineer, and William Kingsley assumed superintendence of construction. In 1870, with the necessary surveying and dredging completed, the foundations of the tower arches were commenced. The two massive timber caissons were built at Webb & Bells Greenpoint shipyard and towed 4 miles 6.4 kilometers to the bridge site. As an indication of size, the smaller measured 168 by 102 feet 50 by 30 meters built of foot-square 300-by-300-millimeter flitches of yellow pine, its roof was 15 feet 4.5 meters and its walls 9 feet 2.7 meters thick. The hollow structures were sunk to the riverbed, piled with the granite blocks of the tower bases, as workers inside them removed the spoil, laboring in very uncomfortable and extremely dangerous conditions. After fourteen months digging, the Brooklyn caisson reached bedrock in March 1871, at just over 40 feet 13 meters under the riverbed. The caisson on the Manhattan side reached firm soil at almost twice that depth, although it was still thirty feet short of bedrock, by May 1872. The pressures experienced at such depths killed some workers, prompting Roeblings decision to go no deeper. Having spent a lot of time in the Manhattan caisson, he also sufferedcaisson disease commonly known as the bends. His whole body was crippled, and by the end of 1872 he was barely able to speak and beginning to go blind. With his wife, Emily Roebling, he sought treatment at a spa in Weisbaden, Germany, remaining for several months. Then they lived for three years in Trenton, New Jersey, the location of the Roebling wire works. In 1877 they returned to New York and took a house with a view of the bridge. From there, with Emilys help, Washington Roebling would supervise the remaining phases of construction. Meanwhile, work continued on the anchorages, towers, and cables. The anchorage at either end of the bridge comprises thousands of tons of masonry, into which are embedded four huge anchor plates, from which 152 anchor bars in each plate take up the enormous tensile loads imposed by the four huge cables that carry the bridges superstructure. The granite neo-Gothic towers, designed to resist the compressive loads exerted on them by the cables, took three years to build. The Brooklyn tower was finished in May 1875, and the Manhattan tower the following July. Rising over 276 feet 83 meters above the riverequivalent to about twenty-eight storiesthey were higher than any building in New York City except the spire of Trinity Church. In August 1876 the two anchorages were linked across the East River by a wire rope. The spinning of the four bridge cables in situtwo outer ones and two near the middle of the 85-foot-wide 25-meter bridgebegan in February 1877 and was completed on 5 October 1878. The process combined 278 galvanized steel wires into a strand, and nineteen strands were bound into an iron-wire-wrapped cable, almost 16 inches 40 centimeters in diameter each cable could support 11,200 tons 10,200 tonnes. Secured at the anchorages and passing over the towers, they hung in a natural curve, or catenary. At the bottom they were attached to the center of the main span of the bridge deck. From the cables, verticalsuspenders, about as thick as a mans wrist, supported the deck along its length, assisted by a system of heavy wire ropes radiating in both directions from the towers. Construction of the understructure, the stiffening trusses, and the roadway began in March 1879. The Brooklyn Bridge, also then known as the Great East River Bridge, was opened on 24 May 1883 when Hewitt formally presented it to the mayors of New York and Brooklyn. He boasted,The cities of New York and Brooklyn have constructed, and today rejoice in the possession of, the crowning glory of an age memorable for great industrial achievements. The New York Bridge Company had been wound up in 1874, when, the project was taken over by the cities of Brooklyn and New York. Instead of the promised three, the bridge took thirteen years to build. And, including a little under $4 million for land acquisition, it cost $15 millionat present values, around $1.5 billioninstead of the estimated $7 million. Until the marginally longer Williamsburg Bridge over the East River was completed in 1903, the Brooklyn Bridge remained the longest bridge in the world. Major reconstruction was undertaken in 1954, when the engineer David Steinman modified the inner and outer trusses and removed the railroad tracks to widen the roadways New approach ramps were built, and augmented in 1969. There has been a major rehabilitation of the main span and the approaches since 1979 and the latest renovation involved emergency redecking completed at a cost of $33.5 million in October 1999. The bridge was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Government in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1972. .....
Cahokia mounds
27. Illinois
At a time when settlements in the Americas rarely exceeded 400 or 500 inhabitants, the Native American center of Cahokia was as large as contemporary London, a size that no other city in the United States would attain until the nineteenth century. The well-organized aggregation of mounds and residential districts had a population estimated at 10,000 to 30,000some sources claim 40,000. Cahokias distinctive earth mounds there were 120 of them took three forms: conical,ridge top, and, most commonly, platforms, often crowned with ceremonial buildings or the houses of the powerful. At the heart of the city stood the huge ceremonial embankment now known as Monks Mound that was in itself a stupendous feat of planning and engineering. The indigenous American civilization known as Mississippianno one knows what they called themselvessprang up in the American Bottom, an extensive fertile floodplain near the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois, Kaskaskia, and Meramec Rivers. Between about a.d. 1000 and 1250, they lived near what is now central and East St. Louis and where the Illinois towns of Fairmont City, Dupo, Lebanon, and Mitchell now stand. This suburban concentration was eclipsed by their greatest achievement: Cahokia, dubbedAmericas lost metropolis. Cahokia was named for the branch of the Illinois people who occupied the region in the seventeenth century, long after the builders had departed. In terms of both agriculture and trade, Cahokia was perfectly located. The predictable annual flooding of farmland enabled planning and replenished the soil so that maize and other crops were sustainable for centuries. The river systems reaching out to much of North America facilitated trade, and there is evidence of commercial traffic over a network that extended from Minnesota in the north to Mississippi in the south Cahokian traders reached west as far as Kansas and east to Tennessee. Raw materials such as copper, seashells, and mica were imported and processed in Cahokia to be exported as copper ornaments and shell beadsindications of a sophisticated manufacturing industry. It was once believed that this productive economic environment led to population growth, as Cahokian civilization slowly flowered. Recently, archeologist Timothy Pauketat has questioned this conclusion, claiming that there is no evidence for it. Although not all his peers agree, he suggests that Cahokia experienced an urban implosion in little more than a decade early in the eleventh century a.d., growing from a village of only 1,000 into a city ten times that size. Based on studies of wider Native American beliefs, that event may have been due to the emergence of a charismatic chief whose arrival prompted villagers to abandon their settlements throughout eastern Missouri and southern Illinois and migrate to Cahokia. It is now widely accepted that the Middle Mississippian area of which Cahokia forms a large part was under some kind of chiefdom government. Each chiefa Brother of the Sunseems to have ruled a territory that depended upon a specific floodplain, and he managed food distribution between the central place and outlying settlements. Perhaps he had other roles, including matters of trade, administration of a civil service, and most probably religio-political duties. Little more is known. However it came into being, the fact of Cahokia is staggering. Its earthen mounds extended over 6 square miles 15 square kilometers. At the heart of the city, defended by a wooden stockade, was the 200-acre 81-hectare precinct of the ruling class, with the great ceremonial flat-topped mound at its center. The engineers and architects built to a master plan that was almost certainly based upon Mississippian cosmologya sort of model of the universe. Cahokians viewed their universe as Father Sky and Mother Earth, and the layout of streets and structures mirrored that. The northern half of the city represented Sky, the southern half, Earth. They were defined by a long east-west street another, running northeast, formed a cross symbolizing north, south, east, and west, its center point just in front of the central mound and at the end of a grand plaza. Archeologists have uncovered four circular solar calendars built of large, evenly spaced red cedar posts at the outer limits of the two streets. Thesewood-henges, so called because they had the same purpose as Stonehenge in England, were essential to the Cahokians agriculture-based economy, both in a practical and a ceremonial sense. From about 1100 the central precinct, containing 17 earth mounds, was protected by a 2-mile-long 3.2-kilometer stockade, constructed from some 15,000 20,000 1-foot-thick 30-centimeter oak and hickory logs. The wall was about 12 feet 3.6 meters high, with projecting bastions every 70 feet 21 meters along its length. Outside it, thousands of single-family houses clustered, organized in small groups around ceremonial poles. Although it may have served as a social barrier between the Cahokian elite and the general population, it is clear from its form and the evidence of some hastily built parts that the palisades main purpose was defense. It was rebuilt three times before 1300. The inner city of Cahokia was dominated by an enormous platform mound, identified as the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas. Surviving today, Monks Mound was named after a Trappist monastery in the vicinity. Its base, measuring 1,037 by 790 feet 291 by 236 meters, extends over 14 acres 5.25 hectares, and the structure rises through four sloping-sided rectangular terraces to a height of 100 feet 30.6 meters. It contains 820,000 cubic yards 692,000 cubic meters of earth, all of which was hand-excavated from largeborrow pits and carried in woven baskets to the site. Monks Mound was built in several stages over about 200 years, with carefully designed strata of sand and clay, and drains to deal with water saturation. Long ago, it was crowned with a 50-foot-high 15-meter thatched-roof building of timber-pole construction, 105 by 48 feet 31 by 14 meters. Some scholars identify it as a temple. It was certainly the chiefs residence, in which the political and religious observances were conducted that ensured the nations continuing prosperity. In effect, the mound was a means of lifting Mother Earth to Father Sky, bringing male and female together. That these ancient builders could set out their city with its streets aligned to the cardinal compass points and construct such a durable monument over generations, without having a written language or the wheel, makes their accomplishment the more marvelous. Around 1200, for reasons that may only be guessed, Cahokia began to decline. Perhaps growth had placed too much burden upon the agricultural hinterland or overloaded the urban infrastructure perhaps deforestation had changed the local ecology. Or perhaps there was civil war over dwindling resources. Other scholars attribute the demise of the city to a mud slide on the great mound, which may have been construed as an omen. No one really knows. And no one knows where the Cahokians went. By 1400 their remarkable metropolis was abandoned. Arriving much later in the area, the first Europeans mistook the mounds, overgrown by then, for natural hillocks. Monks Mound was not discovered until the beginning of the nineteenth century. Modern farming, expanding towns, highways, and pollution continue to threaten those smaller communities around Cahokia that have not already been destroyed. The 2,200-acre 890-hectare Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It was added to UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1982. Archeological investigation continues. Following major slumps on the east and west sides of Monks Mound in the mid-1980s, attempts were made to reduce internal waterlogging. In January 1998 construction workers, drilling horizontally into the west side, struck a deep layer of limestone or sandstone cobbles 40 feet 12 meters beneath the surface. Further tests were hampered by groundwater, but the find has excited scientists because stone does not naturally occur in the region. There is much more to be revealed at Cahokia. .....
Canal system
28. England
The creation of Englands inland water-transport network during the 1700s was among the most important contributors to the Industrial Revolution. In the second half of the century, manufacturing, already transformed by entrepreneurial labor management, was shifting from cottage industry to factories, where machines mass-produced goods. A cheap, efficient transport infrastructure was vital to gather raw materials and distribute products. Because Englands disjointed road network was inadequate, and because new industrial areas in the north were not always served by navigable rivers, the initiative and money of industrialists and merchants combined with engineering skill and a great deal of hard work to develop a national system capable of moving bulk goods. Englands so-called Canal Age opened the country to the Industrial Revolution as the itinerant canal buildersthey were known asnavigatorschanged the face of Britain. Between 1700 and 1835 some 4,000 miles 6,400 kilometers of waterways were added to the 1,000 miles 1,600 kilometers of navigable rivers. Englands first modern canal was the Sankey Brook Navigation, engineered by Henry Berry and Thomas Steers. Authorized by Parliament in 1755, two years later it was carrying coal to the industries of Liverpool on the River Mersey. In 1759 the third Duke of Bridgewater, Francis Egerton, impressed by a recent visit to Frances Canal du Midi 1667 1694, proposed building a 10-mile 16-kilometer waterway to link his Worsley coal mines with the River Irwell and thus with industrial Manchester. The millwright James Brindley 1716 1762 was employed to work on the project with the dukes land agent, John Gilbert. In the event, the Bridgewater Canal, which became operational by 1765, bypassed the Irwell, taking the coal directly to Manchester and Liverpool. It was more important than the Sankey Canal because it began a national network of waterways that would eventually join the manufacturing center of Birmingham to Britains major rivers: the Mersey, the Severn, the Trent, and the Thames. Over the next seventy years those rivers were connected by 2,000 miles 3,200 kilometers of canals, and industrial regions like the Staffordshire Potteries and the Midlands Black Country prospered because of their access to national and world markets. Many of the most successful canals were built between 1760 and 1770, the first authorized to be built similar in size to the river navigations. But the construction cost of canal locks constrained developers to reduce their size, and as trade increased the narrow waterways could no longer meet demand. In the early 1780s an economic depression practically halted canal building, but recovery a decade later led to what has been calledcanal mania, and there was a great deal of speculative promotion and ill-advised investment. Although final construction costs often exceeded estimates, most proposals were oversubscribed, often with ruinous results. Some schemes were profitable others were abandoned during construction. Few showed much profit. The construction of the canal system was an awesome enterprise. Some names appear often and they are generally interrelated. In many ways, James Brindley set the standards for those who followed. The success of the Bridgewater Canal gave him impetus for other canal projects: the Grand Trunk, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire, the Coventry, the Oxford, the old Birmingham, and the Chesterfieldaltogether, a 360-mile 580-kilometer networkwere designed and constructed by this self-educated engineer. Another self-styledcivil engineer, John Smeaton 1724 1792, built the Forth and Clyde Canal in Scotland and the Grand Canal in Ireland with William Jessup, whom he trained. Jessup 1745 1814 worked on several river navigations and canals, mostly in the Midlands and eastern England he was engineer on the Grand Junction, Ellesmere later the Llangollen, and Rochdale Canals. Under Jessup, the famous Thomas Telford 1757 1834 was an engineer on the Ellesmere Canal. He became chief engineer on the Liverpool and Birmingham Shropshire Union Canal where, unlike his predecessors who chose to follow land contours, he built embankments and made cuttings to follow a more direct route. He also made improvements to the Birmingham Canal systems. John Rennie 1761 1821 was a university-trained engineer who became surveyor and engineer on the Kennet and Avon Canal and on the Rochdale and Lancaster Canals. Around 1830, investors began to turn to the new railroads. For a while canals and railroads were complementary, the canals carrying bulk cargoes while the railroads conveyed passengers and light goods. But by the mid-nineteenth century a national network of standard-gauge railroads had developed, and canal tolls were forced down. Most could no longer compete economically. Some railroad companies bought up canals and closed or abandoned them. But that was not the only reason for decline the other was that, although they were interlinked and covered large areas of Britain, the canals were never conceived as an integrated system. The canals for the most part were built piecemeal for local traffic using traditional regional vessels that often varied in size. Because there was no standard canal lock, a fragmented, inefficient transport system resulted. They gradually went out of use as commercial thoroughfares. World War II witnessed a temporary revival. Following years of neglect and war damage, the canals were soon regarded as derelict. They were nationalized under the aegis of British Waterways in 1947 and over the next couple of decades their leisure and recreation value began to be recognized. The Inland Waterways Association was formed torescue them, and volunteer restoration projects continue. Millions of pounds are being spent on maintenance projects, and there are now more craft using British canals than at the height of their commercial success. .....
Cappadocia underground cities
29. Turkey
Cappadocia, a region of central Anatolia in Turkey, lies within the triangle of Nevsehir, Aksaray, and Kayseri. It is bounded by the now dormant Mount Erciyes in the east and Mount Hasandag in the south. Prehistoric eruptions of these volcanoes blanketed a wide area with a 1,500-foot 450-meter layer of ash and detritus. The hardening tufa was carved by nature into thousands of distinctive pyramidal rock formations known asfairy chimneys, within which generations of settlers have created astounding subterranean cities. Guesses at the total number vary from 30 to 200. Carved from the living rock to a depth of at least twenty stories, and each able to house tens of thousands of people, the underground cities result from 3,000 years of continual adaptation and extension. Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, described below, are only two of such architectural feats in the region. Who were these intrepid constructors, who built downward instead of upward, and whose houses were framed with shafts and corridors rather than columns and beams? Over millennia Cappadocia has been occupied in turn by invading Lycians, Phrygians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, and Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. The indigenous Hittites were probably first to build underground. In the fourteenth century b.c., retreating from Phrygian invaders, they made excavations, normally of no more than two levels. The next major wave of building was not until the fourth century a.d. Always strategically vital, fertile Cappadocia became a Roman province in a.d. 17, and its towns flourished under stable Roman rule. Within about 200 years it became a center of eastern Christianity and when the persecution reached its final peak around a.d. 305, the Christians withdrew to the mountain fastnesses, building secure subterranean places in which to live and worship. The peril passed with the Edict of Toleration a.d. 313 but reemerged for different reasons under the excesses of iconoclasm 726 843, as well as the incursions of Arabs. The Christian response to renewed threats was to build rock-cut churches and monasteries, often adapting and extending much older underground houses. The G .....
Central Artery Tunnel
30. Boston, Massachusetts
Toward the end of the twentieth century, Boston had traffic problems as severe as any city in the world. When the elevated six-lane Central Artery Highway, which ran through the downtown area, was opened in 1959, it quite easily coped with 75,000 vehicles a day by the early 1990s the traffic load had increased to 190,000effectively more cars per lane than any other urban interstate road in the United States. Movement was slowed to a snails pace for over ten hours each day, and the accident rate was four times the national average for similar thoroughfares. Moreover, the urban area was divided by the elevated road so that access between the north and south sectors was greatly restricted. Naturally, the same congestion characterized the two tunnels under Boston Harbor that joined downtown Boston with East Boston and Logan Airport the airport, only 1 mile 1.6 kilometers from the central business district, was an hour away by road! The $10.8 billion Central Artery/Tunnel Project CA/T, conceived in 1981 and under construction as of 2001 by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, deserves a place among the engineering marvels of the modern world. Referred to by Bostonians as theBig Dig, it is the largest, most complex highway project ever initiated in a U.S. cityindeed, the largest public works project of any kind in the United States. Scheduled for completion in 2004, the project faces all the challenges associated with building in the heart of a busy city: that is, to meet the continuing demands of traffic capacity, to make sure that life and business are not unduly disrupted over a construction period lasting thirteen years, and to satisfy environmental and esthetic standards. The spine of the multifaceted project is an eight-lane underground expressway directly under the existing road in places its roof is at ground level, and at its deepest point it is 120 feet 36 meters below ground, resting on bedrock. Tunneling was made especially difficult by the fact that there are four distinct soil types beneath Boston. Much of the downtown area is built on landfill placed at various times between the late eighteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. Under the fill is a layer of mixed silt, sand, and peat, and below that the marine clay known as Boston blue on the bedrock. The demolition of the old elevated road releases about 27 acres 10 hectares of open space for a linear park in the center of the downtown and for the construction of new city streets connecting North and South Stations and existing cross streets, cut off since 1959, will be reconnected. Other advantages spring from the project, including a predicted 12 percent reduction in carbon monoxide levels and the creation by using the spoil from excavations of 105 acres 42 hectares of open space at Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor and 40 acres 16 hectares of new parks on the riverbanks below two new bridges. The Central Artery rises to the surface at Causeway Street on the northern edge of Boston and crosses the Charles River on a 1,407-foot 42-meter, ten-lane, asymmetrical, cable-stayed bridge designed by the Swiss engineer Christian Menn. The bridge, constructed at a cost of $87 million, is the widest of its kind in the world. The Charles River Bridge links with National Route 1 and local access roads. The project also included a parallel, 830-foot 250-meter four-lane bridge, also for local traffic, which was opened in October 1999. The Massachusetts Turnpike has been extended to Bostons international airport via a new tunnel connected to the four-lane Ted Williams Tunnel under Boston Harbor the new tunnel was opened to commercial traffic in December 1996. Four highway interchanges will eventually connect the new roads with the regional system. The part of the program that caused most local concern was the crossing of the Charles River. A proposal in August 1989, after construction had started on the Central Artery North Area Project, included three bridges, with a large area of the north shore being occupied by connecting ramps. Marshaled by the press the Boston Globe dubbed the scheme agrotesque monstrosity, local residents, environmentalists, and even public servants opposed this designto the point of litigationon the grounds that it wouldoverwhelm their neighborhood with visual blight, shadows, noise and air pollution. A Bridge Design Review Committee BDRC, appointed in January 1991, next produced an alternative plan that was not finalized until September 1992. Although this proposal won an Urban Design Award from the American Institute of Architects, the state rejected it, doubtless under political pressure. Instead, it prepared its own new plan, with two bridges and an underground ramp on the south shore it was approved by state and federal environmental agencies in June 1994. Objections continued until 1997, when the U.S. District Court found that all necessary conservation measures had been taken. Construction began on the bridges in 1999. The project has been under construction since late 1991. The extension of Interstate 90 through South Boston to the Ted Williams Tunnel and the airport was scheduled to open in 2001. The northbound lanes of the underground highway through downtown Boston will follow in 2002, and the southbound lanes in the following year, allowing the demolition of the elevated highway and the creation of the landscaping to be carried out by 2004. The federal government will meet about 70 percent of the cost, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the remainder. The Central Artery/Tunnel Project is owned and managed by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. Design and construction management was provided by the Bechtel-Parsons Brinckerhoff consortium. .....
Chandigarh
31. Punjab, India
When India won independence from the British in 1947, Pakistan and India were partitioned. The Punjab was divided and its capital, Lahore, was lost to Pakistan. Soon, East Punjabs population was quickly doubled by the flood of refugees from Pakistan. In March 1948 the provincial government, in consultation with the Indian central government and the enthusiastic support of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru, approved a new 45-square-mile 114-square-kilometer capital site on a sloping plain near the Shivalik foothills. Designed by an international team under the leadership of Le Corbusierit was his only realized urban planning schemethe new city introduced India to a modern architectural and urbanistic idiom. Named for one of the two dozen existing villages in the area, Chandigarh, about 150 miles 240 kilometers north of New Delhi, has been calledone of the most significant urban planning experiments of the twentieth century and asymbol of planned urbanism. The Punjab government, on the crest of a wave of nationalism, probably would have preferred to commission Indian professionals, but none was suitably qualified. In December 1949 it approached the New York architect-planner Albert Mayer, who was then engaged on master plans for Greater Bombay and Kanpur. He accepted the Chandigarh brief: a master plan for a city of 500,000, detailed designs for selected buildings, and planning controls for adjacent areas. He assembled an expert consultancy team and involved Matthew Nowicki as codesigner. Their fan-shaped plan sat between two seasonal riverbeds that crossed the site. The seat of the state government was at its head, and the city center was located at its heart. Two linear parklands ran from the northeast head of the plan to its southwest tip, and a curving road network definedsuperblock neighborhood units like those of Bras .....
Channel Tunnel
32. England and France
The English Channel, known, to the French as la Manche the Sleeve, is a narrow strip of the Atlantic Ocean that separates England from the rest of Europe. It is at its narrowest at the hazardous Dover Strait, notorious for its strong tides, dense fogs, and frequent gale-force winds. The Channel Tunnel popularly calledthe Chunnelprovides a railroad connection between Britain and France under the Dover Strait and is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Europe, among the great engineering feats of the twentieth century. The complicated, visionary project was dogged by financial, logistical, and safety problems, exacerbated by two languages, two governments, two sets of legal requirements, ten contractors, and 220 financial backers in twenty-six countries. The idea of the fixed link has a long history, the earliest recorded proposal, by a French engineer named Nicolas Desmaret, dating from 1751. About fifty years later Albert Mathieu Favier suggested a horse-drawn railroad under the Channel his scheme included an artificial island that would serve as a staging post. Another French engineer, Aime Thome de Gamond, worked on several plans for almost forty years from 1830, making careful geological surveys of the seabed. In 1856 he proposed a railroad tunnel between Folkestone in the southern English county of Kent and Cap Gris-Nez on the French coast. A modified version was supported by the British engineers William Low and Sir John Clarke Hawkshaw in 1867, and a report was published the following year. For several reasons, largely political, the project went no further. In the meantime the development of a pneumatic boring machine revolutionized tunneling techniques. In the mid-1870s Channel Tunnel companies were formed in England and France. In 1881 the South Eastern Railway acquired land near Folkestone, and the Submarine Railway Company bored 2,100 yards 2,000 meters of pilot tunnel under the English Channel at Shakespeare Cliff. In France, 1,800 yards 1,600 meters were drilled at Sangatte, southwest of Calais. Work stopped in May 1882 when the security-conscious British Parliament, afraid of undersea invasion, opposed the project. It remained in abeyance until after the Great War. Work on a trial bore at Folkestone Warren in 1922 was aborted after only 140 yards 128 meters, again because of political antagonism in England. Despite support from eminent politicians, the Channel Tunnel was shelved until the Great Depression and another World War had passed. In 1948 the South Eastern Railway by then Southern Railways assigned its plans on to the nationalized British Railways, but it was not until 1956 that the French/British Channel Tunnel Study Group was formed to investigate the economic and engineering aspects of a fixed link. Four years later, it recommended a tunnelin fact, two single-track railway tunnels and a service tunnelbetween Folkestone and Sangatte. The two governments agreed to proceed with the project. Years of surveys and research yielded a scheme the cost of which would be divided equally between Britain and France, and work began on both sides of the Channel in 1974. Only a year later Britain withdrew from the project when the estimated cost was increased by 200 percent. A pilot tunnel at Shakespeare Cliff was abandoned, and the project again lapsed. In 1984 it was once more agreed to in principle at an Anglo-French summit, and applications were invited from the private sector to build the tunnel. The successful tenderer for the design, planning, and construction, announced in January 1986, was Transmanche Link TML, a consortium of British and French corporations. The British Channel Tunnel Group Balfour Beatty Construction, Costain UK, George Wimpey International, Taylor Woodrow Construction, Tarmac Construction, Midland Bank, and National Westminster Bank was to build the English terminal and 14 miles 22.3 kilometers of tunnels from Shakespeare Cliff. France-Manche, the French group Bouygues, Dumez, Societe Auxiliaire dEnterprises, Societe Generale dEnterprises Sainrapt et Brice, Spie Batignolles, Banque Nationale de Paris, Credit Lyonnais, and Banque Indosuez was responsible for the French terminal and the remainder of the tunnels from Sangatte. In order to finance the work, a private Anglo-French organization, Eurotunnel, was established and given a fifty-five year concession agreement to build and operate the link. Construction was under way, with three tunnel-boring machines at Shakespeare Cliff and three more at Sangatte by November 1987. The excavators met on 1 December 1990. The 31-mile-long 50-kilometer Channel Tunnel connects the terminals at Folkestone, England, and Coquelles, near Calais, France. The submarine section is nearly 24 miles 38 kilometers long. The two concrete-lined, single-track railroad tunnels, 25 feet 7.6 meters in diameter, are spaced 98 feet 30 meters apart, and a 16-foot-diameter 4.8-meter tunnel between them is used for maintenance and ventilation. Two huge crossover chambers allow trains to switch tunnels. Maintenance-access cross passages every 1,230 feet 375 meters link the central service tunnel and the rail tunnels. At 820-foot 250-meter intervals, piston ducts arch above the service tunnel to link the others and relieve the pressure created by speeding trains. The tunnels are drilled through the rock at an average of 150 feet 45 meters beneath the seabed. Electrical power for drainage pumps, lighting, and trains is fed from the national supply grids in England and France. The Chunnel was officially opened on 10 December 1993, and Eurotunnel commenced its commercial operations six months later. At the time of completion, the project had cost U.S.$13.5 billion. Four different services pass through the tunnel: Le Shuttle carries tourist vehicles: Le Shuttle Freight handles commercial vehicles such as vans, trucks, and semitrailers Eurostar transports pedestrian passengers and other freight trains travel between Britain and mainland Europe. The journey between Paris and London takes just three and a half hours the actual Channel crossing only thirty-five minutes. The Channel Tunnel is only one element of the European Communitys plan for a 12,500-mile 20,000-kilometer high-speed rail network linking cities across the continent. .....
Charlemagnes Palatine Chapel
33. Aachen, Germany
The city of Aachen stands 40 miles 64 kilometers southwest of Cologne on the River Wurm, a tributary of the Roer, in the German stare of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Romans knew the place as Aquisgranum, famous for its health spas since the first century a.d. The Merovingian kings, who ruled the Franks from a.d. 481 to 751, held court there, but the town enjoyed great eminence during the Carolingian dynasty, especially under Charlemagne reigned 768 814. His Palatine Chapel, now the central element of Aachen Cathedral, is the finest surviving example of Carolingian architecture. This architectural jewel copied the centrally planned Byzantine church of San Vitale at Ravenna, Italy 525 548, clearly demonstrating one way in which building ideas are transmitted between cultures. The ability of its northern builders to assimilate a southern European style was in itself a considerable achievement. Charlemagne succeeded his father, Pepin the Short, as king of the Franks in 768. The first strong secular ruler in Europe since the ancient Roman Empire, he was in theorybut only in theorysubordinate to the pope, a relationship symbolized by his coronation by Pope Leo III as Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day 800. Six years earlier he had established his residence and Court at Aachen, the town where he was born. In 792, he commissioned Bishop Odo of Metz to design and build the royal complex, 50 acres 20 hectares in area: the palace, law court, and, of course, the Palatine Chapel. Einhard who was also Charlemagnes biographer was appointed as works supervisor. Wanting to imitate the grandeur of the imperial Roman rulers, the king had looked for precedents. Historians have suggested that his palace was based on several models, Constantines palatine court ca. 310 in Trier, Germany, among them. Charlemagne also had been to Ravenna on Italys northern Adriatic coast, where he had been dazzled by the glorious Byzantine buildings. Kenneth Clark opines that, when the Frankish king saw the scintillating mosaics in San Vitale, herealized how magnificent an emperor could be. Returning to Aachen, Charlemagne gave instructions for a replica to be built as his private chapel. Constructed at the southern end of the palace complex on the site of an earlier church, the domed octagonal Palatine Chapel was built between 796 and 804. It was consecrated by Pope Leo III in 805 to serve as Charlemagnes chapel, a reliquarium for his collection, and a church for members of the royal court. It is 54 feet 16.5 meters in diameter and 124 feet 38 meters highat the time the largest dome north of the Alps. Of course, beautiful as it is, in the circumstances Odos building could never have been a perfect replica. Architectural ideas are transmitted by several means: traveling architects, craftsmen, or patrons images of buildings and published theories. None is ideal. Images cannot convey the spatial aspects of buildings, and a visit to a building, no matter how perceptive and prolonged, leaves the visitor with mere impressions only. For those reasons, San Vitale lost a good deal in the translation, so to speak, even if Charlemagne imported columns and marbles from Ravenna and Rome and Byzantine craftsmen to assist with the work. Moreover, the refinement of the Italian church had been achieved after years of experiment with indigenous structural and decorative systems. Nevertheless, the Palatine Chapel at Aachen is an extraordinary advance upon preceding Carolingian buildings. It is much sturdier than San Vitale, having an unmistakably Roman structure. Like early Roman churches, it was approached from the west through a huge symmetrical atrium said to have held 7,000 people, the well-defined entrance to the octagon flanked by towers with turret staircases leading to an upper level. Above the entrance was a place from which the emperor could appear to his people. None of the atrium survives. The octagonal central space of the original chapel is crowned with a lofty mosaic-faced dome constructed as a series of groin vaults: opposite the entrance, on both levels, was the sanctuary. The octagon is surrounded at the lower level by an ambulatory with a groin-vaulted dark sandstone ceiling. Those vaults, remarkable for the absence of transverse archesOdos own innovationare supported at the angles of the octagon on large piers that also carry a semicircular dividing arcade. The upper level of the ambulatory is roofed with an annular barrel vault and separated from the octagon by a screen of two pairs of superimposed marble, porphyry, and granite columns within wide arched openings. At right angles to the main axis of the chapel, and reached at both levels through the sanctuary, were once mirrored north and south annexes. On the decision of the members of the court, although he wished to be buried at St. Denis, Charlemagnes remains were interred in the Palatine Chapel in 814. Thereafter, until 1531, it became the imperial coronation church. From 1355, to accommodate the enormous traffic of pilgrims, the choir was rebuilt in the Gothic style, several chapels and a narthex were added, and the building became Aachen Cathedral. It was dedicated in 1414. The original mosaic on the interior of the dome was replaced by one Salviati, a Venetian, between 1870 and 1873. The cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. A restoration program began in 1995. .....
Chartres Cathedral Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady
34. France
Chartres, capital of Frances Department of Eure-et-Loir, stands on the Eure River, about 60 miles 100 kilometers southwest of Paris. An important center in pre-Roman Gaul, it was one of the sacred places of the Druids. Overrun by the Normans, the region later settled down, and late in the thirteenth century it became the appanage of Charles de Valois, who was briefly 1284 1290 king of Aragon and Sicily. Fran .....
Chek Lap Kok International Airport
35. Hong Kong
Hong Kongs new international airport at Chek Lap Kok is the product of what was at the time the worlds largest engineering and architectural projecta logistical marvel that developed designs in only twentyone months and managed a workforce of up to 21,000 to build the airport facilities as well as the island on which they stand and the extensive ground transport links, in only five years. In 1999, a convention of U.S. construction executives and editors named it one of the top ten architectural and engineering achievements of the twentieth century. Anyone who flew into Hong Kong before mid-1998 will always remember the unnerving experience of looking directly into apartment buildings that seemed almost to touch the wingtips as the plane descended to Kai Tak Airporta dubious thrill that is no longer part of a visit to the crowded island. Kai Tak airfield commenced operations around 1924, becoming a Royal Air Force base three years later. In 1935 it was upgraded to suit growing commercial traffic, and two more runways were added over the next twenty-five years. It was renamed Hong Kong International Airport in 1958 and underwent continual extensions and improvements as the number of flights increased at a dizzying rate. Shortly before it closed in 1998, Kai Tak was processing nearly 30 million international passengers and over 1.5 million tons 1.36 million tonnes of international cargo every year. There had been discussions about an out-of-town airport since the 1960s, within an international transport strategy that also included shipping a plan to construct a new airport was announced in October 1988. Although well down the governments list of preferred sites after Nim Wan, Lamma Island, and Clearwater Bay, Chek Lap Kok was chosen, but not unanimously. When it opened on 6 July 1998 the new airport had an annual capacity of 2.76 million tons 2.50 million tonnes of cargo and 35 million passengers, planned to rise to 87 million by the year 2040. The Provisional Airport Authority, charged with planning and realizing the facility, was established in April 1990. The contract, estimated at almost HK$50 billion then equivalent to U.S.$6.4 billion, was awarded to the Mott Consortium, comprising Mott. Connell, Ove Arup and Partners Fisher Marantz, Renfro Stone, OBrien Kreitzberg and Associates Wilbur Smith Associates and the architectural firm of Norman Foster and Partners, which undertook the design of the terminal building. The first construction stage project was the recreation of the site. In 1992 Chek Lap Kok was a 330-foot 100-meter hilltop rising from the sea by June 1995 dredging and reclamation had reshaped it into a 3.7-by-2.2-mile 6-by-3.5-kilometer flat platformabout four times its original area23 feet 7 meters above sea level. For the first year the airport operated with a single runway. Now known as the South Runway, it is used mostly for landings the North Runway, put into service late in August 1999, is used principally for departures. Handling an average of 450 flights a day, Chek Lap Kok has forty-eight frontal aircraft gates at the terminal, twenty-seven on the apron, and thirteen cargo gates. The 1,400-yard-long 1.27-kilometer, nine-level terminal building, under 45 acres 18 hectares of 120-foot-wide 36-meter steel barrel vaults, is the largest enclosed public space ever built. An indicator of the logistical achievement of the entire project, the superstructure of the vast Y-shaped building was completed in only three years. Its design was constrained by off-site fabrication of components that could be site-assembled, in much the same way as Joseph Paxtons Crystal Palace 150 years earlier. The air-cooled central terminal space, over 1,000 feet 300 meters wide, houses the usual airport functions. More than 1 mile 1.6 kilometers of moving walkways carry incoming passengers along the 2,400-foot 720-meter concourse, through the baggage hall, to 124 immigration desks and seventy-six custom positions. Departing passengers are served by 288 check-in desks. Dimensions are difficult to convey suffice it to say that the baggage hall alone is as big as New Yorks Yankee Stadium, and the fully automatic baggage-handling system can process 19,000 items an hour. There is also the inevitable shopping areatheHong Kong Sky Mallin five zones and comprising 154 specialist retail, food, and drink outlets. Nearby, the twelve-story Regal Airport Hotel, with 1,100 rooms and connected to the passenger terminal by a covered walkway, completes the facility. Internal shuttle trains run through a 20-foot-high 6-meter tunnel, 106 feet 32 meters wide, beneath the building. The design of Chek Lap Kok allows for expansion that will include an additional concourse and passenger terminal, as well as additional air cargo, catering, and maintenance facilities. Chek Lap Kok was complemented by a complex Airport Core Project involving several elements and costing HK$ 155.3 billion about U.S.$20 billion. The high-speed Airport Express Railway, part of Hong Kongs mass-transit rail link, and 21 miles 34 kilometers of 3-lane highway across the Tsing Ma Bridge the worlds longest road-rail suspension bridge provide alternative routes between the airport and Kowloon and further through the new Western Tunnel to Hong Kong Island and the central business district. The scheme also includes a new town for 150,000 people, because height restrictions, so necessary for Kai Tak Airport, have now been lifted. And, of course, the 2,350-acre 940-hectare Kai Tak site became free for redevelopment. Plans are in hand for mixed commercial and recreational uses among residential towers accommodating 300,000 people. Work should be completed by 2003. .....
Chin Shi Huangdis tomb
36. Xian, China
In 1974, peasants digging a well in a field about 25 miles 40 kilometers east of Xian unearthed pits containing thousands of life-size, carefully detailed terra-cotta warriors, horses, and chariots. The soldiers were poised to defend the tomb of Chin Shi Huangdi 259 210 b.c.. Among the greatest archeological finds of the twentieth century, the ceramic army is but a small part of the great funerary monumenta necropolis with huge underground rooms around a gigantic burial moundthat the despotic ruler commissioned for himself many years before his death. The imperial tomb itself has not yet been uncovered. In 246 b.c., when he was thirteen years old, Ying Zheng ascended the throne of Chin, the strongest of Chinas seven surviving territories. Unifying the divided states into a single nation, in 221 b.c., he took the title Chin Shi Huangdi literallyChin, the First Emperor. Great changes ensued in his short, tyrannical reign. The feudal system was abolished, and China was divided into about forty provinces, all controlled by a centralized bureaucracy. To ensure its efficiency over such a vast area, Chin Shi Huangdi commissioned the construction of over 6,000 miles 10,000 kilometers of roads and more than 1,000 miles 1,600 kilometers of canals, which also served for irrigation and flood mitigation. Southward, his empire extended to Vietnams Red River Delta, encompassing most of what are now Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan Provinces to the north, it reached as far as Lanzhou in Gansu Province and into parts of modern Korea. To defend his domain against nomad incursions, the first emperor commissioned the building of the Great Wall of China. He also initiated census taking, as well as the compulsory standardization of currency, weights and measures, writing, and even axle widths. As another means of control, in 213 b.c. he decreed that history and philosophy books, especially those contradicting Chin theories, should be burned. His despotism was resented by the common people. The foreign wars, the construction of the Wall, and other extravagant, self-indulgent public works including his tomb, supported by policies of military conscription, heavy taxation, and forced labor, had imposed a terrible financial and social cost. Toward the end of his life, fearing assassination, Chin Shi Huangdi became reclusive. He died in 210 b.c., and his empire collapsed. After eight years of widespread rebellions, Liu Pang founded the Han dynasty. The first-century-b.c. historian Sima Qian described Chin Shi Huangdis tomb as a microcosm of the universe. Ironically, the first emperors obsessive quest for an elixir of life had probably caused his madness and death he had ingested mercury as a means to immortality. Because it was intended to serve as Chin Shi Huangdis capital in the afterlife, the necropolis has many of the elements of a living city: encircling walls, parks and gardens, buildings for officials and the army, cemetery walls, and, of course, a palace. It was built mainly underground by according to historical records a labor force of 700,000 conscripts from all over China, over a period of thirty-six years. The 7,500-strong terra-cotta army stood guard in three vaults, about 0.75 mile 1.2 kilometers to the east. Their weapons were looted, possibly during the uprising after Chin Shi Huangdis death. The tomb complex proper, oriented perfectly to the cardinal points of the compass, was surrounded by a 65-foot-high 20-meter wall that enclosed the rectangular imperial tomb gardens, covering an area of about 1.3 by 0.6 miles 2.17 by 0.97 kilometers, In the center of the precinct stood the building in which funerary rituals were performed. Close to it on one side were three blocks housing the Residence of the Garden and Temple Officials on the other side were twenty-seven graves of Chin Shi Huangdis high-ranking counselors and bureaucrats, buried with him so they could continue to serve him. Nearly 100 other pits now containing the skeletons of horses and terra-cotta grooms were the emperors eternal stables. It is thought that other pits containing clay models of plants and birds were evocations of his parks and gardens The building known as the Main House, a sort of servery for Chin Shi Huangdis food, stood near the 164-foot 50-meter pyramidal grave mound, axially located at the southern end of the complex, within a second walled enclosure, measuring 749 by 632 yards 685 by 578 meters. There was a wide gate on each side. The burial chamber was lined with a waterproofing layer of bronze sheets. The tomb is believed to have been an opulent palace that accommodated all the emperors needs, based on his accustomed extravagant lifestyle. According to reports, it was rich withfine utensils, precious stones and rarities. There were scale models of palaces, towers, and official buildings, and a mechanically circulated system in which rivers of mercury represented the rivers of China and the Pacific Ocean, under a ceiling studded with pearls describing the constellations. Lamps burned whale oil to illuminate the space, and crossbow booby traps were installed to kill grave-robbers. An official account reads,Once the First Emperor was placed in the burial chamber and the treasures were sealed up, the middle and outer gates were shut to imprison all those who had worked on the tomb. No one came out. Trees and grass were then planted over the mausoleum to make if look like a hill cited in Cotterell 1981, 17. Archeological excavations continue at the site. Yuan Zhongyi, leader of the team of archeologists working on the grave site, believes that the burial ground extends over an area of about 20 square miles 50 square kilometers only a fifth of it has been uncovered. Work is funded by proceeds from the museum at the terra-cotta warriors site most of the money is used to maintain that site, but in 1997, Yuan Zhongyis annual budget was only U.S.$25,000, about a tenth of what is needed. Consequently, the dig at the tomb was temporarily suspended. The team also lacked the special conservation skills needed to handle the 2,000-year-old artifacts of silk and wood. Work resumed in 1999, and new discoveries continue. .....
CIAM International Congresses of Modern Architecture
37. Founded in 1928, the International Congresses of Modern Architecture in French, Congres Internationaux dArchitecture ModerneCIAM was the chief propagandist of avant-garde notions of architecture and urbanismthe voice of the Modern Movementfrom 1930 to 1934 and again from 1950 to 1955. CIAM contended that architecture was inextricably linked with politics and economics and encouraged architects to turn from purely artistic endeavors to engage in social-engineering experiments with new urban and architectural formsespecially in housing. It was a principal milestone in the evolution of Western architectural thought. The Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier unsuccessfully took part in a 1927 design competition for a new League of Nations center in Geneva and submitted a design that was not in a historical revivalist style. Rather, it responded to function and zeitgeistthe spirit of the age. Although his entry was rejected, ostensibly because it was not drawn in ink, it is most probable that conservative jury members conspired against the modernist proposal. The consequent scandal propelled Le Corbusier into the limelight, identifying him with avant-garde architecture. Some historians believe that an immediate outcome of the incident was the birth of CIAM. More positive impetus was given by the international acclaim for the Deutscher Werkbunds Weissenhofsiedlung 1927 in Stuttgart, Germany. In Europe, the second half of the 1920s witnessed an interchange of the radical notions of contemporary architecture, largely effected by the modernist control of journals. Through publications and conferences and by their contributions to Weissenhof, many German, Russian, Dutch, and French architects showed themselves eager to meet thedemands of industrialization as great changes occurred in social structure. Acting together, architects could apply unified pressure to bring about the urbanistic and housing reforms they all believed to be urgently necessary. In 1928 F. T. Gubler, secretary of the Swiss chapter of the Deutscher Werkbund, suggested to Madame Helene de Mandrot that she offer her chateau at La Sarraz, Switzerland, for a meeting of twenty-five of Europes leading architects. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland were represented. At a three-day gathering in June, facilitated by Le Corbusier and the Swiss critic Siegfried Giedion, CIAM was formed. The group was unanimous that rationalization and standardization must be priorities if the urbanistic and housing problems that each faced at home were to be humanely solved. The creation of CIAM, in an attempt to impose an international order on the varying aspects of thenew architecture, established Modernism as a unified movement, complete with a manifesto and statutes. It even had a committee and an official address in Zurichthat of Giedion, who was elected as the founding secretary. Another Swiss, the architect Karl Moser, was CIAMs first president. The La Sarraz meeting, really a clearinghouse for ideas, was dominated by Le Corbusier. But the Dutchman Mart Stam and the Swiss Hannes Meyer composed the closing declaration, simply restating thebest aspirations andfashionable fetishes of the day and railing against academic conservatism. The second congress at Frankfurt 1929 dealt with more substantial issues, and discussion centered around Giedions notion of existenzenminimumlow-cost residential units. As its deliberations were focused on urbanism and housing policies, CIAM was obliged to enter the political lists. Giedion argued that, in the same way that the individual living unit leads to the organization of construction methods, those methods lead to the organization of the entire citya materialistic doctrine that ignored the complex social interactions, especially of the industrial city. City planning was therefore simplyarchitecture writ large. CIAM formed the Committee for Resolving the Problems of Contemporary Architecture French acronym CIRPAC. At the Brussels congress of November 1930, the Dutch architect-planner Cornelis van Eesteren was elected president, an office he held until 1947. The appointment flagged CIAMs shift toward rationalist urban planning policies, and the theme for the 1933 congressthe first of a planned serieswasThe Functional City. After a conference planned for Moscow was canceled, members took aworking cruise between Marseilles and Athens aboard Patris II. The outcome was the provocative Athens Charter, published anonymously in 1943, which reviewed earlier discussions, restated the capitalistic barriers to acceptable urban renewal or design, and identified the new problems of regional planning and urban contextuality. The charter was the closest CIAM ever came to a definitive credo. But it offered no specific solutions except the familiar generic one: modern technology. It called for balance between individual and community requirements for dominance of the landscape over buildings, including generous urban green areas for due consideration of physical environmental factors for the conservation of historic buildings and for separation of the main urban functions living, working, recreation, and a carefully designed transport infrastructure. Moreover, housing should take priority among the urban planning. Legislation should ensure the provision of all these qualities. In it can be seen a legacy that persists in present land-use planning and zoning. The Italian historians Manfredo Tafuri and Francesco Dal Co offer the following criticism: To it probably belongs the credit for having founded a large measure of the predominant ideology of modern architecture, endowing architects with a model of action as flexible as it was already out of dale .....
Circus Maximus
38. Rome, Italy
The Circus Maximus stood in the Murcia Valley, between the Palatine and the Aventine Hills, the largest and oldest of the four chariot-racing tracks in ancient Rome. It was extended under various administrations until the time of Julius Caesar 100 44 b.c.. His alterations, and those ordered by his nephew, the emperor Augustus reigned 27 b.c. a.d. 14, created a building about 2,035 feet long by 460 wide 620 by 140 meters, with an arena measuring 1,850 by 280 feet 564 by 85 meters. On each side concrete vaults supported tiers of seats that accommodated at least 150,000 spectators: some sources put the number above 200,000, and others even more. For the purposes of comparison, the Houston Astrodome has a capacity of around 62,000, and Australias Melbourne Cricket Ground holds only 100,000 spectators. Like many Roman public edifices, the circus, while not entirely a new building type it was based on the Greek hippodrome, was built on a scale that the world had not seen before. Founded when the city was part of the Etruscan kingdom ca. 600 b.c., the Circus Maximus remained the major site of diversions for the Roman populace for over a thousand years. The brook that ran through the Murcia Valley was diverted to a culvert, over which the central barrier spina of the hairpin track was constructed. The original circus was built of wood, but it was rebuilt and enlarged several times. In 196 b.c., Lucius Stertinius built an arch facing the starting gate, and a year or so later the censors for the games ordered the seating changed so that senators were separated from the plebeians. About thirty years later a vast stage was built for musicians and dancers, and the starting gate was altered. Julius Caesar commissioned a major reconstruction and extension in the first century b.c., and Augustus constructed a shrine that also served as an imperial box from which he could watch the races. In 10 b.c. he erected an obelisk on the spina to commemorate his conquest of Egypt, bringing the Circus Maximus to its greatest glory. Dionysius of Halicarnassus described the Augustan arena asone of the most beautiful and admirable structures in Rome. Following disastrous fires in the wooden parts of the structure in a.d. 103, Trajan again restored the Circus. Each of the three stories of seats was divided by aisles. Marble seats in the first tier were reserved for senatorsand for the equestrian class behind them. Senators were also allowed to sit along the podium that defined the track. The plebeians occupied the rows above the select seats. Unlike in other places of public entertainment, the sexes were allowed to sit togethera degree of permissiveness that some Romans considered scandalous. Events other than chariot racinganimal hunts, gladiatorial games, athletic competitions, and processionswere held in the Circus Maximus. In order to display wild beasts, Julius Caesar had a water-filled moat 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep 3 by 3 meters made around the arena. About a century later it was filled in to gain more seating space for safety reasons animal fights were discontinued and eventually staged at the Colosseum. Although all kinds of entertainment were popular, chariot races remained the Romans favorite spectator sport, probably for the excitement and the vicarious danger of the reckless races. The crowds fanatically supported the various professional racing factions, named for the colors worn by the charioteers: the red, green, blue, and white. The chariotsusually drawn by four horses started from twelve gates leading from the Forum Boarium, near the starters position. At the far end, where the track entered its sharp 180-degree turn, stood the triumphal arch built in a.d. 80 through which processions entered the arena. The spina was adorned with gilded shrines, including one to Consus, a god of the harvest, and another to Murcia at either end were the turning posts. Run under very strict rules, races comprised thirteen turns around those posts, a distance of approximately 4 miles 6.4 kilometers. During the reign of Augustus, Rome gave no fewer than seventy-seven days a year to public spectacles seventeen of those were for chariot races. Usually, twelve races were run each day, although the infamous emperor Gaius Caligula had the number doubled. It is reported that Domitian once had 100 races in a day but was forced, simply for the sake of time, to reduce the thirteen laps to five. By the fourth century a.d. the annual number of race days had risen to sixty-six. Convinced, possibly with good reason, that the circus was the devils playground, the church fathers later condemned it. Nevertheless, events continued to be organized well into the Christian era, and the last race was recorded in a.d. 549, seventy-five years after Rome had fallen to the barbarians. Now, the only visible remains of the Circus Maximus are at the semicircular end. The vaulted brick-and-concrete substructures of the seats on the Palatine side were uncovered by archeologists in the 1930s, and those excavations were extended in 1976. A few years later, work began on the Aventine side of the same end. Every spring, and sometimes in the fall, the Roseto Comunale, Romes municipal rose garden on the lower slopes of the Aventine, is opened to the public. Located about halfway along the southwestern side of the Circus Maximus, it presents a spectacle of a less exciting kind. .....
Clifton Suspension Bridge
39. Bristol, England
The River Avon rises in the Cotswolds and falls about 500 feet 150 meters in its 75-mile 120-kilometer course to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth. Near Bristol it passes through a channel that was cut in the nineteenth century to give access to oceangoing vessels, and then through the steep Clifton Gorge, where it is daringly crossed by the Clifton Suspension Bridge, 245 feet 75 meters above the water. The iron structure, with a main span of 702 feet 214 meters, challenged conventional wisdom and pushed the new material and contemporary technology beyond the theoretical limits. Bristols port of Avonmouth was a well-established center for coastwise and international shipping. As the nineteenth century saw accelerating growth in trade and economic prosperity, Bristols wealthier citizens wished to secure a market share for their city, and the renown that went with it, in the face of intense competition from such rivals as Liverpool. Perhaps they envied the prestigious bridge at Conwy, Wales, and the Menai Suspension Bridge, both designed by the Scots engineer Thomas Telford. Funds were in hand to start the project: the Bristol wine merchant William Vick, who died in 1754, had bequeathed .....
Cluny Abbey Church III
40. France
The town of Cluny in eastern Frances Burgundy region was important because of the Benedictine abbey jointly founded in 910 by Abbot St. Berno of Burgundy and William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine. The third convent on the site, the great Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul known as Cluny III mainly 1088 1130, was the largest church, monastic or otherwise, in the world until St. Peters, Rome, was completed in the seventeenth century. Cluny III was the high point of Romanesque architecture in France, and, heralding the Gothic, it emphasized the continuity of architecture. Its form and detail repudiate the idea of a succession of discrete styles, each somehow frozen in time. The reformist Benedictine community that originally occupied a Gallo-Roman villa in Cluny eventually developed an innovative system of centralized ecclesiastical government: by the fourteenth century the abbey controlled over 1,450 Cluniac foundations or priories from England to Poland to Palestine, which together could boast a complement of over 10,000 monks. After the pope himself, Clunys abbots were the most powerful clerics in the Roman Catholic Church and were at the epicenter of religious influence in Europe. Two earlier abbey churchesthe first, dedicated in 927, was succeeded by a larger building in 955 981were replaced at the end of the eleventh century by Cluny III, which commenced soon after the other monastery buildings had been rebuilt 1077 1085. The new church was over 440 feet 136 meters long the narthex and towers added in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries brought the total length to 600 feet 180 meters. The barrel-vaulted ceiling, especially acoustically suited to the Cluniac uninterrupted sung liturgy, soared 98 feet 30 meters above the floor. There were double transepts and double aisles to both the nave and choir the chevet end had five chapels. The ceiling of the crossing under a central tower was 119 feet 36 meters high. Yet Cluny III was remarkable not just for its size. Its form, emerging over more than a century, demonstrated the perpetual development of Western religious architecture. Since about 1000, the itinerant mason-architects of Europe had addressed their ecclesiastical clients demands for stone-ceiling churches perhaps prompted by fear of fire, dealing with the major structural problems that entailed. The need to manage the huge loads and thrusts involved had led although not all at once to a number of architectural and engineering innovations. Cluny III, a mature expression of the new form, incorporated them all, masterfully blending liturgical and structural necessitiesthe two towers at the west end to provide longitudinal stiffening vaulted aisles to brace the walls of the nave against the thrust of the stone vaults massive side walls reinforced with even thicker buttresses, employed for a similar reason small windows, creating the appearance of what someone calledthe fortresses of God and a complex east end, where apsidal chapels with hemidomes completed the lucidly articulated building, which showed exactly how the vast weight of the superstructure was gently coaxed down to the supporting earth. At the same time, Cluny III had many features that foreshadowed what would be commonplace just a few decades later: piers disguised as clusters of narrow columns, elegantly tall proportions, pointed arches a lesson from Islam, and sophisticated vault construction. It also had beautifully carved decorations, giving a glimpse of the reemergence of naturalism. Some sources claim that here were to be found some of the first medieval sculptural allegories dating from 1095 and the prototype for many carved and painted west portals dating from 1109 to 1115. Cluny III influenced a few great buildings for example, Paray-le-Monial, La Charite-sur-Loire, and Autun Cathedral. But clergymen are notoriously conservative, and the impact of its avant-garde architecture was therefore limited. Indeed, the design was attacked in a Cistercian polemic even before the work was completed. Pope Urban II, who had been a novice and later prior at Cluny, consecrated the high altar of the unfinished church on 25 October 1095. He announced that its community had reachedso high a stage of honor and religion that without doubt Cluny surpassed all other monasteries, even the most ancient. The abbey and the town both suffered in the religious wars of the sixteenth century. Early in the French Revolution the abbey was suppressed and then closed in 1790. Most of the basilica was demolished a few years later, and only ruins of the main southern transept and bell tower hint at what was once the greatest church in Christendom. .....
CN Canadian National Tower
41. Toronto, Canada
The CN Tower, next to the city hall on Front Street, Toronto, stands on the shore of Lake Ontario. It transmits television and FM radio for more than twenty broadcasters, as well as serving various other communications purposes. Including the masts, it is the tallest freestanding structure in the world the top of the transmission antenna is over 1,815 feet 553 meters high. But at the beginning of the twenty-first century, as technically demanding as it is, height alone does not constitute an architectural feat. The twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, currently rank as the worlds tallest buildings, at 1,483 feet 454 meters. Others are proposed that will exceed that, including the 1,660-foot 508-meter Taipei Financial Center on Taiwan, to be completed in August 2002, and the 2,100-foot 642-meter Russia Tower in Moscow at 2,755 feet 843 meters, the Millennium Tower in Tokyo will dwarf them all. The CN Tower is remarkable architecture because of its construction technique. For about a year, concrete, mixed and tested on-site to ensure consistent quality, was poured around the clock into aslip form that gradually decreased in diameter, to create the elegantly tapered contour of the post tensioned hollow structure. Slip forming is a rapid construction technique based on extrusion. It employs a self-raising formwork that continually moves upward as the concrete is being placed, at a rate that gives the concrete time to set before being exposed as the formwork rises on a ring of hydraulic jacks, developing enough strength to support the work above. Continuous slip forming obviously speeds up the construction process while enabling excellent quality control, optimizing labor, and reducing the cost of building plant and scaffolding. It also results in monolithic, seamless structures. Developed in North America in the 1920sThe Granary at Logan Square in Philadelphia 1925 was one of the first examples in the United Statesit has been widely used to build grain silos, building service cores, and normally any tall structures with a consistent cross section. Early in the 1970s the number of multistory office blocks in downtown Toronto increased significantly, with a consequent interference with television and radio reception in large parts of the city. Toronto needed an antenna taller than any existing office block, indeed, of any that was anticipated, and the CN Tower was proposed to meet that need. The project was initiated in 1972 by the Canadian National Railway, which commissioned John Andrews Architects, working in collaboration with Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Architects of Toronto. The structural engineering consultant was Roger R. Nicolet of Montreal the mechanical and electrical engineers were Ellard-Wilson Associates Ltd. of Toronto and the manager-contractor was Foundation Building Construction. The original design proposed three concrete towers linked by structural bridges, but that was developed into a single tower with three hollowlegs. As well as serving as electrical and mechanical service ducts, the hollow columns provided the necessary degree of flexibility for such a tall structure. Construction started in February 1973, and in four months a Y-shaped, 22-foot-thick 6.7-meter reinforced concrete base was founded on the bedrock 50 feet 15 meters beneath the city. The continuous slip-form process then began. When the tower reached 1,100 feet 336 meters, a seven-storySkyPod, fabricated on the ground, was raised into position and anchored by twelve steel-and-timber brackets that were slowly pushed up the tower by forty-five hydraulic jacks. The concrete-walled SkyPod, reached by four high-speed, glass-fronted elevators, houses a 400-seat revolving restaurant, a nightclub, and indoor and outdoor observation decks. Later, a 2.5-inch-thick 6.4-centimeter glass floor was installed. Beneath the SkyPod, delicate microwave dishes and other broadcasting equipment are protected by an annular radome. The concrete tower continues to the Space Deck at 1,465 feet 447 metersan observation gallery that on a clear day provides a view with 100-mile 160-kilometer visibility. A Sikorsky Skycrane helicopter lifted the towers 335-foot 100-meter communications mast in forty sections, each of about 7 tons 6.4 tonnes, and they were bolted together in place. The mast, erected in three weeks, was covered by fiberglass-reinforced sheathing. The maximum sway experienced at the very top in 120-mph 190-kph winds with 200-mph 320-kph gusts is 3.5 feet 1.07 meters. The CN Tower was completed in June 1975 and officially opened on 1 October. It cost Can$57 million and took about 1,550 workers forty months to construct. It is nearly twice the height of the Eiffel Tower and more than three times as tall as the Washington Monument. Soaring above Toronto, it is struck by lightning about seventy-five times every year. In 1995 Canada National passed ownership to a public company, the Canada Lands Company. In June 1998, the CN Tower officially opened a 75,000-square-foot 7,100-square-meter expansion including an entertainment center, shopping facilities, and restaurants. .....
Colosseum Flavian Amphitheater
42. Rome
The Flavian Amphitheater, now in ruins, towers over the southeast end of the Roman Forum, between the Esquiline and Palatine Hills. Its popular name, the Colosseum, was derived from the nearby colossal 120-foot-high, or 37.2-meter bronze statue of Nero, long since vanished. The most ambitious example of a new building type associated with urbanization, the Colosseum was an architectural feat, even by Roman standards. Its size is awesome, but the logistics of moving crowds to and from their seats was also a major achievement. The earliest amphitheater on the site was built in timber for the pontifex maximus Gaius Scribonius Curio in 59 b.c. that was replaced about thirty years later by a stone-and-timber version for Augustus Octavian Caesar, the first emperor. The Colosseum was commissioned in a.d. 69 by Vespasian, whose son Titus dedicated it in a.d. 80. The highest part of that structure was also timber, and not rebuilt in stone until after a.d. 223. It seems that the first three ranges of seats were completed in Vespasians reign, that Titus added two more ranges, and that Domitian completed the building around 300. Although early sources claim that the Colosseum seated 87,000 spectators, modern scholarship puts the figure closer to 50,000. Other Italian amphitheaters at Capua, Verona, and Tarragona are of similar size. The vast Colosseum, elliptical in plan, measured 620 by 510 feet 189 by 156 meters, covering nearly 6 acres about 2.4 hectares. Its general height was 160 feet 49 meters. The structural skeleton of the Colosseum was made of travertine limestone, quarried at Tivoli in the hills near Rome and transported to the site along a specially built road. Travertine blocks, some of them 5 feet high and 10 feet long 1.5 by 3 meters, were fixed together with metal cramps to form concentric elliptical walls. These were linked with radiating tufa walls carrying complex rising vaults of brick-faced concrete, in which volcanic stone such as pumice was used to reduce the weight. The vaults carried the tiers of seats. The Colosseum was built to house extravagant spectacles that took place in an arena measuring 280 by 175 feet 86 by 54 meters. Apart from a number of minor entrances to the arena, there were four principal gates at the ends of the axes, directly joined by passages to the exterior. A 15-foot-high 4.5-meter walls probably faced with marble, defined the arena and provided a measure of protection for the spectators. The floor of the arena was made of heavy planks, strewn with sand for the purpose of soaking up the blood of gladiators, prisoners of war, and wild animals that died in their thousands. Such emperors as Caligula and Nero even ordered cinnabar and borax to replace the sand. A labyrinth of chambers beneath the floor possibly housed the participants in the games, and there were complicated machines and hoists to lift men, beasts, and theatrical sets into the arena, adding to the spectacle. Sometimes the entire floor was removed and the arena flooded by a system of pipes so that galleys could be pitted against each other in mock naval battles. The terrace on top of the surrounding wall was wide enough to contain two or three rows of movable seats. Undoubtedly the best in the house, they were reserved for senators, magistrates, the vestal virgins, and other important people. The emperor and his immediate retinue occupied an elevated cubiculum. Upon entering the Colosseum through numbered arches corresponding to their ticket numbers, other visitors climbed sloping ramps to the gradus bleachers, which were divided into stories and allocated according to gender and social class. The first fourteen rows of marble seats were covered with cushions and set aside for the equestrian order. Above them a horizontal space defined the second range, where a third class of spectators, the populus, was seated. Still further up were the wooden benches for the common people. The open gallery at the very top was the only part of the amphitheaters from which women were permitted to watch. There were exceptions, of course. When the games were over, the crowd could quickly disperse through no fewer than sixty-four strategically placed exits, aptly known as vomitoria. The external wall of the Colosseum was divided into four stories, reflecting the circulation corridors within. Its eighty arches, most of which provided access to the interior, were framed by superimposed orders of pilasters nonstructural columns: Tuscan on the ground floor, Ionic above them, and Corinthian at the top. The fourth story, also embellished with Corinthian pilasters, had stone brackets for the wooden masts from which an awning velarium was suspended across the interior to shield spectators from the sun while they watched the slaughter below. Many of the visible parts of the building were enriched with moldings, ornament, facings of marble or polished stone, and statuary. Fountains of scented water were provided for refreshment. The Flavian Amphitheater was damaged several times by lightning strikes and repaired as often, so that games continued spasmodically until the sixth century, despite the opposition of the church and some Christian emperors. The last recorded slaughter of wild beasts was in the reign of Theodoric a.d. 454 526, since when it has been used sometimes as a fortress and to its detriment as a quarry. Renaissance palaces in Rome, such as the Cancellaria and the Farnese, and churches including Saint Peters Basilica, were built with columns plundered from the ancient monument. Various popes made efforts to preserve it, and in 1750 Pope Benedict XIV consecrated it to the martyrs who died there. Surprisingly, and despite popular belief, it was not the main venue for the execution of Christians. In 1996 a U.S.$25 million restoration of the Colosseum was launched. After the cellars were drained, fallen masonry replaced, bushes and weeds cleared from the arena, and the structure repaired and cleaned, the greatest amphitheater was reopened in July 2000 with a season of Greek plays. .....
Colossus Bridge Schuylkill River
43. Pennsylvania
The Upper Ferry bridge built at Fairmount near Philadelphia in 1812 and tragically destroyed by fire in 1838 was the longest single-trussed wooden arch in the United States, spanning over 340 feet 102 meters. It caused a sensation in its day and was inevitably labeled a newwonder of the world,the Colossus at Philadelphia, andthe Colossus at Fairmount. This covered bridge, responding to new constraints, took timber engineering to its limits. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, driven by the need for agricultural growth, the population of the narrow coastal plain of the northeastern United States was spreading beyond thetidewater region. Before then, many short streams and estuaries had adequately met communication needs, but the inland farmers demanded roads, fords, and bridges. Water mills, increasing in number as farming increased, were of necessity sited where rivers could not be forded, and they also needed transportation routes. There were good supplies of building lumber in the region and the harsh climate was better suited to wooden construction than to masonry. The earliest bridges were merely logs carried on timber stringers their spans were limited to the available lengths. As bridge technology developed, longer spans were achieved by joining stringers and employing trusses and arches. Climate was an important factor and the covered bridge soon became not only popular but also necessary. The roof protected the structural timber from alternate wetting and drying, discouraging rot and extending the life of the bridge. There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, of a Virginia builder who observed that bridges were coveredfor the same reason that our belles [wear] hoop skirts and crinolines: to protect the structural beauty that is seldom seen, but nevertheless appreciateda delightful analogy. The first covered bridge in the United States replaced a pontoon across the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia and was therefore optimistically called the Permanent Bridge. A stone bridge was originally intended, but when the abutments and piers were completed in 1804, the decision was made to span the river with timber. The New England bridge architect Thomas Palmer designed a structure braced with three arches and multiple king posts, and it was constructed by Owen Biddle, a Philadelphia architect and builder. When it was opened to traffic in 1805 it had no cover, but on Palmers advice and the prompting of Permanent Bridge Company shareholders, a roof and clapboard siding were soon added. Palmer believed the covering would extend the life of the structure from twelve years to perhaps forty it was still sound when replaced forty-five years later. Within five years there was a demand for another bridge across the Schuylkill, to be built at Upper Ferry and connecting the area then known as Fairmont with the western bank. The design was put in the hands of Lewis Wernwag, an immigrant carpenter from W .....
Colossus of Rhodes
44. Greece
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the huge statue of the pre-Olympian sun god Helios stood at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes on the Aegean island of the same name. The work of the celebrated sculptor Chares of Lindos, the giant figure, shown in some representations to be shielding his eyes as he looked out across the sea, towered 110 feet 33 meters above the entrance to the Mandraki harbor. According to Greek mythology, Helios was the son of the Titans Hyperion and Thea, and brother of Selene, goddess of the moon, and Eos, goddess of the dawn. He was worshiped throughout the Peloponnese, and the people of Rhodes held annual gymnastic games in his honor. The cast-bronze shell of the Colossus, reinforced and stabilized with an iron-and-stone framework, stood on a white marble base. It has been suggested that, in order to attach the upper parts of the monument, earth ramps and mounds were built. Work commenced around 294 b.c.although some sources put the date at ten years earlierand the statue took twelve years to complete. Its size is hard to comprehend, but some idea can be gained from Pliny the Elder, who wrote,Few people can make their arms meet round the thumb. From medieval times, artists romanticized impressions have shown the Colossus straddling the entrance to Mandraki harbor, towering over the ships that sailed between his feet. Given its height, the width of the harbor mouth, and the technology available to the builders, that construct is most improbable. The fact is that no one knows exactly what the statue looked like, nor where it stood. Recent scholarship suggests that it stood on the eastern promontory of the Mandraki, or perhaps a little inland. Rhodes was an important island in the ancient civilization of the Aegean. The Dorians inhabited it in the second millennium b.c., and their city-states of Lindos, Camiros, and Ialysos were vigorous commercial centers with colonies throughout the region. In the fifth century b.c., it belonged to the Delian League, a confederacy of city-states led by Athens, ties they severed in 412 b.c. Just four years later their own confederation was celebrated in the completion of the new city of Rhodes, said to have been designed by Hippodamos of Miletus it seems more likely that it was laid out according to Hippodamean principles. In 332 b.c. Rhodes came under the control of Alexander the Great, but following his death nine years later its citizens revolted and expelled the Macedonians. Rhodess power and wealth reached a zenith in the second and third centuries b.c., and it became a famous cultural center. One badge of that political unity and artistic eminence was the Colossus, built to commemorate the raising of the Antigonid Macedonian Demetrios Poliorcetes long siege 305 304 b.c.. The metal for the statue was taken from the siege machines abandoned by the invaders when they withdrew. It is said that the dedicatory inscription read,To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom. A violent earthquake struck Rhodes about 225 b.c. The city was extensively damaged, and the Colossus, broken at the knee, crashed down. Ptolemy III of Egypt offered to meet the restoration costs, but when an oracle warned them against rebuilding, the Rhodians declined. It is ironic that the Colossus was actually lying in ruins when it was accorded a place among the wonders of the world. In a.d. 654 the Arabs invaded Rhodes, and two years later a Muslim dealersome sources say a Syrian Jewbought the fragments of the statue as scrap metal and carried them away to be melted down. Tradition has it that they were transported to Syria by a caravan of 900 camels. In December 1999 the Municipal Council of Rhodes announced an international design competition for a new Colossus. As the islands millennium project, the monument will encompassmodern artistic expression and technical construction that will surpass conventional standards [while borrowing] all the ancient symbolic values of the original. Expected to cost U.S.$2.8 million, it is, intended to be finished in time for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. .....
Confederation Bridge Prince Edward Island
45. Canada
The 8-mile-long 12.9-kilometer Confederation Bridge, which crosses the Northumberland Strait between Jourimain Island, New Brunswick, and Borden-Carleton on Prince Edward Island, is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world. Its daring conception, the quality of its engineering, and the logistics of its realization are among the factors that make it one of the great constructional feats of the twentieth century. The project is also environmentally, politically, and culturally significant. Prince Edward Island, on Canadas Atlantic coast, is the nations smallest province, with a population of around 130,000. It lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at an average of 15 miles 24 kilometers across the strait from mainland New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The strait freezes for up to three months every year, and links with the island historically were expensive, freight and passengers having to be moved by ferry. In 1912 the Canadian government decided to build a railcar ferry to run between Borden-Carleton and Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, and the Prince Edward Irland was commissioned in 1917. In the first year she made only 506 round-trips. In 1938, as a response to wider automobile ownership, a car deck was added, and the vessel continued to operate until 1969. The subsequent decades saw improvements to the service, and new ferries now make the seventy-five-minute crossing at hour-and-a-half intervals. Prince Edward Island has become a vacation resort and by the beginning of the 1990s tourism had joined commercial fishing and agriculture as a mainstay of its economy. Between 1982 and 1986 several consortia approached Public Works Canada PWC with proposals for a privately financed permanent link between the island and the mainland. Three were for bridges the first estimated at Can$640 million, one for a tunnel, and another for a combined causeway-tunnel-bridge link. In December 1986, the central government instructed PWC to commission feasibility studies of fixed-link alternatives. By June 1987 twelve expressions of interest were in hand, and the acceptance of Strait Crossings proposal was announced in December 1992. Strait Crossing Development SCD, a consortium of Janin Atlas, Ballast Nedam Canada, and Strait Crossing, was established to develop, finance, build, and operate the Confederation Bridge. The proposal, put before the island population in a plebiscite the following January, was generally supported, but lobster fishermen and conservationists raised concerns that led to protracted delays. Their conservation measures won for the contractors the Canadian Construction Associations 1994 Environmental Achievement Award. Working with the Canadian Wildlife Service, SCD provided nesting platforms for endangered osprey in Cape Jourimain National Wildlife Area. The consortium also initiated a Lobster Habitat Enhancement Program, using dredged material to establish new lobster grounds in three formerly nonproductive locations. Construction work commenced in mid-July 1995. The shore-to-shore Confederation Bridge consists of three parts. The 1,980-foot 0.6-kilometer east approach from Borden-Carleton and the 4,290-foot 1.3-kilometer west approach from Jourimain Island, New Brunswick, join the 6.9-mile 11-kilometer main bridge across the narrowest part of the Northumberland Strait. Its two-lane carriageway rises from 120 feet 40 meters to 180 feet 60 meters above the water at the central navigation span. The bridge takes about ten minutes to cross at the design speed of 50 mph 80 kph. Engineers designed for a 100-year life, taking into account the combined severe effects of wind, waves, and ice. In part, this was achieved by using concrete up to 60 percent stronger than normal in construction. The concrete employed in the 60-foot-diameter 20-meter ice shields, designed to break up the ice flow at the pier bases, was more than twice normal strength. Because climatic conditions limited on-site construction to six months of the year, the bridge was designed to be assembled in the summers from posttensioned concrete components precast during the winters. The parts of the approach bridges were cast at a staging facility in Bayfield, New Brunswick, transported by land or water to the site, and assembled by a twin launching truss with a traveling gantry crane. Another staging facility was set up in Borden-Carleton to precast the 175 main bridge components. Some weigh as much as 8,000 tons 8,128 tonnes the main box girders are 570 feet 190 meters long, yet designed to be joined with tolerances of less than 1 inch 2.54 centimeters. In August 1995 a purpose-built floating crane, the Svanen, began placing the components of the east approach bridge, completing it in November the west approach was built the following spring. The main bridge followed, and by August 1996 the navigation span was the last to be placed. On 19 November the structure was complete: sixty-five reinforced concrete piers, founded on bedrock, supported the 8-mile 12.9-kilometer superstructure which curves gracefully across Northumberland Strait. During the next six months, the finishing workthe polymer-modified asphalt cement road surface, traffic signals, emergency call boxes, weather monitoring equipment, closed-circuit television cameras, and toll boothswas carried out, and the bridge was opened on 31 May 1997. The estimated direct construction cost was Can$730 million. .....
Coop Himmelblau
46. Themaverick Viennese partnership Co .....
Crystal Palace
47. London, England
The Crystal Palace, a vast demountable building designed by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park, London, was in many ways crucial in the development of architecture: it was the pinnacle of innovative metal structure, it revealed the exciting potential of efficient prefabrication, and it was an early demonstration of the modern doctrine that beauty can exist in the clear expression of materials and function. Altogether, it was one of the most noteworthy buildings of the nineteenth century. The idea for a Great Exhibition came from the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, and was given impetus by Henry Cole, then an assistant keeper in the Public Records Office. His wide interests extended to the publication of The Journal of Design that encouraged artists to design for industrialized mass production and urged manufacturers to employ them. That, he believed, would raise the quality of everyday articles. Cole was elected to the societys council in 1846, and the following year, with others, he successfully solicited Queen Victorias consort, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to accept the role of its president. Under Royal Charter, and spurred by the success of French industrial expositions since 1844, the society held Exhibitions of Art Manufactures from 1847 through 1849 After visiting the exclusively French exhibition in Paris in 1849, Cole realized that an international show would inform British industry of progress and commercial competition elsewhere in the world. Prince Albert, convinced thatthat great end to which all history pointsthe realization of the unity of mankind was imminent, caught the vision. The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 was established to expedite a self-financinglarge [exhibition] embracing foreign productions. It was envisioned asa new starting-point from which all nations will be able to direct their further exertions, but it was at the same time an expression of British nationalism. Britain had led the world into the Industrial Revolution, and her outlook was smug, to say the least. The Great Exhibition would provide a vehicle to flaunt her industrial, military, and economic superiority and justify her colonialism. The show was to have a display area of 700,000 square feet 66,000 square meters, much bigger than anything the French had managed. That was too large even for the intended venue in the courtyard of Somerset House, so it was decided to locate it in Hyde Park. An open competition for the design of a building for theGreat Exhibition of the Works of All Nations attracted 245 entries from 233 architects, including 38 from abroad. The Commissioners Building Committee liked none of them besides, it was unlikely that any could have been completed on time. Having prepared its own plan for a large dome standing on a brick drum, the committee called for bids. The result was alarming: building materials alone would have devoured at least half of the available funds of .....
Curtain walls
48. Traditionally, the wall of a building served both structural and environmental purposes. That is, it carried to the ground the weight of the building and its contents and, while admitting air and light through openings, protected the interior from extremes of weather, noise, and other undesirable intrusions. The introduction of structures in which the loads are carried by beams and columns liberated the wall from load bearing, allowing it to function solely as an environmental filtera relatively thin, light curtain, so to speak. This was first seen in the later medieval cathedrals with their vast stained-glass windows, but it would not be widely developed until the nineteenth century, with the advent of metal-framed architecture and, subsequently, reinforced concrete. The metal-and-glass membrane supported by the building frame, known as the curtain wall, is principally associated with multistory office buildings after about 1880. Although the first skyscrapers, such as the Rookery 1885 1886 and Monadnock Building 1889 1891, both in Chicago and both designed by architects Burnham and Root, had thick conventional load-bearing walls, the twin economic necessities of getting buildings up quickly and optimizing the quantity and quality of interior space soon led to buildings whose outer walls consisted almost entirely of windows supported by perimeter columns and beams. This was a first step toward the development of a true curtain wall, that is, a continuous wall in front of the structural frame. The earliest example was Albert Kahns Packard Motor Car Forge Shop in Detroit 1905. A curtain of glass in steel frames allowed more space and light in the factory, just as it would in an office tower, and Kahn again employed it for the Brown-Lipe-Chapin gear factory 1908 and the T-model Ford assembly plant in Highland Park, Michigan 1908 1909. This rational industrial architecture drew the admiration of Europe and was emulated in Peter Behrenss A. E. G. Turbine Factory 1909 1910 in Berlin and Gropius and Meyers Fagus Works in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, of 1911. It is widely accepted that the first office block with a curtain wall was Willis Jefferson Polks eight-story Hallidie Building 1917 1918 in San Francisco. Although it was cluttered in places with florid cast-iron ornament, the street facade, suspended 3 feet 3 inches 1 meter in front of the structure by brackets fixed to cantilevered floor slabs, presented an unbroken skin of glass. Elsewhere, others dreamed of crystal prisms in which the buildings whole external membrane was glass: the serried towers of H. Th. Wijdevelds Amsterdam 2000 1919 1920 and Le Corbusiers Ville Contemporaine 1922 andprobably best knownthe skyscrapers Ludwig Mies van der Rohe projected between 1919 and 1923. But dreams and visions they remained, because the technology was not yet available to turn them to reality. One exception was the A. O. Smith Research Building in Milwaukee 1928 1930 by Holabird and Root, the first multistory structure with a full curtain wall rather than a single facade of large sheets of plate glass supported on aluminum frames. Spin-offs from defense technologies after World War II paved the way for tall curtain wall buildings. Important among them was cost reduction in the production of aluminum, whose corrosion resistance could be improved by a process known as anodizing. This lightweight metal could be extruded into the complicated profiles needed to frame the glass and strengthen the wall against wind loads. Reliable cold-setting synthetic rubber sealants had also become more widely available. These advances were combined with more efficient sheet glass manufacture, especially polished cast glass and, after 1952, the much flatter float glass. Wall elements could be fabricated off-site to exacting tolerances and then transported, assembled, fixed, and glazed with none of thewet processes that impede building contracts. Relevant engineering developments included reverse-cycle air-conditioningavailable since 1928and fluorescent lighting, first demonstrated at the 1938 Chicago Worlds Fair. All these technologies were exploited in Pietro Belluschis twelve-story Equitable Building in Portland, Oregon 1944 1948, described by one historian asan ethereal tower of sea green glass and aluminum. Another writer asserts that itset styles for hundreds that came after. The thirty-nine-story United Nations Secretariat Building in New York City followed in 1947 1952. The final design was developed from a proposal by Le Corbusier, and Wallace Harrison acted as executive architect in consultation with him. The curtain walls of the Secretariat Buildings east and west facades are all glass, cantilevered 27 inches 80 centimeters from the line of the perimeter columns black-painted glass spandrels hide the between-floor spaces. The blue-green tinted windows are ofThermopane, a special glass that absorbs radiant heat, preventing it from reaching the interior, thus reducing the load on the air-conditioning system. The only breaks in the sheer curtain wall are full-width air-conditioning intake grilles at four levels. Because of its innovation, and no doubt because of its associations, the U.N. Secretariat, together with Mies van der Rohes Lake Shore Drive Apartments 1951 in Chicago and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrills Lever House 1952 on Park Avenue, New York, contributed to the universal standard for high-rise buildings. The latter building, a twenty-four-story, green-tinted glass and stainless steel tower, designed by Gordon Bunshaft, marked a change of direction in American corporate architecture and in the way New Yorkers built. In keeping with the wishes of a client who made household cleaning products, Bunshaft produced an immaculate, clean-lined tower. The architectural critic Lewis Mumford called itan impeccable achievement. The top three floors are reserved for mechanical services. A mobile gantry carries a window cleaners platform that serves all faces of the building such devices became standard for the curtain wall office buildings that followed. Lever House was the first skyscraper to exploit the allowable plot ratios in city planning regulations. By occupying only a quarter of the site, it allowed much more natural light to enter the offices than conventional stepped-back skyscrapers that covered the whole allotment. Lever House is a New York historic landmark, and in November 1999 a $10.7 million contract was let to renovate its curtain walls, designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill under the supervision of the New York City Historical Society. That leads us to the inherent problems in curtain wall construction, for all of its advantages. In forty-five years, the pristine facades failed in a number of wayswater penetration and consequent damage, corrosion, and broken glass panels. Since their inception, curtain wall systems have been continually revised, most changes geared toward reducing weight while retaining strength. Stiffened sheet aluminum, enameled steel laminated with insulation, and later even thin sheets of stone were used for spandrel panels. The design of jointsproblem spots for leakswas improved and more durable sealants were invented. More recently, the availability of reliable adhesives has allowed architects to indulge in so-calledfish tank joints between glass panels, doing away with framing bars. Glass technology has also been refined. Double glazing, first manufactured in the 1940s, improves both the sound and thermal insulation of curtain walls. Heat-absorbing glass, already available in the 1950s, evolved in the following decade into reflective glass with thin metallic coatings, also used to reduce heat gain within buildings. In 1984 heat mirror glass was developed when combined with double glazing, its insulating value approaches that of masonry, but the esthetic effect seems to be a denial of the form of the building: all it does is reflect whats around it. Given that the two significant advantages of curtain wall construction are the reduction of weight and speed of erection, it might be concluded that it costs less than conventional work. That is not necessarily true, because its behavior as an environmental filter, especially in relation to heat flow, may result in higher air-conditioning costs. Often, the preciousness of the architects detailing increases costs, as evidenced by Mies van der Rohes bronze-and-brown-glass Seagram Building 1954 1958 in New York City. It cost $36 million, approximately twice as much as office towers normally did. The tall glass prism was the major contribution of the United States to the so-called International Style of modern architecture. But its glorious day passed with the rise of postmodernism, and the crystal towers that Frank Lloyd Wright dismissed asglass boxes on stilts were replaced with less anonymous designs. Even Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohes most ardent disciple, forsook the minimalist forms of curtain-wall architecture in favor of a more congenial architecture. .....
De Re Aedificatora
49. Leon Battista Albertis theoretical treatise on architecture, titled De Re Aedificatoria About Buildings, was dedicated in 1452 but not published until 1485. What qualifies it as an architectural feat? It changed the understanding and practice of architecture in much of Europe and continued to influence developments there and in the New World for about 400 years. Although he was gathering the ideas for the book, Alberti 1404 1472 was not an architect but a Catholic priest. Alberti was born in Genoa, the illegitimate child of Lorenzo, an exiled Florentine from a family of bankers. When he was about ten years old, Battista he addedLeon later entered a boarding school in Padua to receive a basic classical education. Several years of legal studies at the University of Bologna led to a doctorate in church law in 1428, after which he went to Florence. He soon began writing. His first published anthology of poems, Il cavallo The Horse of 1431, was quickly followed by Della famiglia About the Familythe first of many philosophical dialoguesand La tranquillit .....
De Stijl
50. Founded in Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1916, the group known as De Stijl was Europes most important theoretical movement in art and architecture until the mid-1920s, when leadership passed to Germany. In 1916 the architect J. J. P. Oud met the critic and painter Theo van Doesburg and soon introduced him to another young architect, Jan Wils. First forming De Sphinx artists club in Leiden, the three founded, with the railwayman-philosopher Anthony Kok and the painters Piet Mondrian, Bart van der Leck, and expatriate Hungarian Vilmos Husz .....
Deal Castle
51. Kent, England
Deal Castle, built in 1539 1540 to stand guard over the town of the same name on the Kent coast of southeast England, is a fine example of a new building type, created in response to major changes in politics and the technology of warfare. With others at Walmer and Sandown, it epitomized Henry VIIIs new forts by its assured and concentrated use of the design elements common to all. Deal is the largest, most impressive, and most complicated of the so-called Device forts. It probably looks just as was intended: crouching in wait low above the beach, stocky, powerful, and seemingly impregnable. In the turbulent years that followed Henry VIIIs accession in 1509 he twice made war on France, the second time as an ally of the Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V of Spain. When he realized that Frances defeat would give Spain too much power, Henry changed sides, joining France and the pope against the empire. England was financially ruined by the campaigns of 1527 1528, and six years later, Henrys divorce from Catherine of Aragon led to a break with the Catholic Church, isolating him from most of Europe. He tried to drive a diplomatic wedge between France and Spain, but in 1538 they signed a truce, arousing Henrys fear of a joint invasion. He urgently launched an ambitious defense program. Using funds plundered from the monasteries by his religiousreforms, in 1539 Henry initiated a chain of about thirty forts and batteries to defend Englands major ports and repel the expected invasion fleet. They included ten Device forts: Portland, Pendennis, and St. Mawes in southwest England Hurst, Calshott, and Sandgate around the Solent and Camber, Walmer, Sandown, and Deal on the southeast coast. The nature of warfare was changing, and the sophisticated defense systems of medieval castles had become obsolete. Built to resist mechanical artillery, they now had to withstand, missiles shot with gunpowder. The clumsy bombards of the fifteenth century could be fired only a few times an hour. But by the early sixteenth century cast-iron cannonballs had replaced stone powder quality had improved and ordnance was generally smaller, reliable, and accurate. In 1386, Bodiam Castle in Sussex was among the first to replace archers loopholes with cannon and gun ports. The decline of feudalism also had its effect: enemies were more likely to be foreign than envious neighbor barons. Finished late in 1540 Deal, Walmer, and Sandown completed the metamorphosis from medieval castle to modern artillery emplacement. Each of these squat, powerful-lookingcastles in the Downsthey were still called castlescomprised rounded bastions radiating from a circular keep. Their thick walls were curved to deflect cannonballs, and their many gun ports were widely splayed for easy traverse. There were three tiers of cannon for long-range offense and two tiers of defensive armaments. Built by an army of workmen at a total cost of .....
Deltaworks
52. The Netherlands
The Deltaworks comprises a series of audacious engineering projects that effectively shorten the coastline of the southwest Netherlands by about 440 miles 700 kilometers, seal outlets to the sea, and reinforce the countrys water defenses. Taking more than forty years to complete, the works involved the construction of huge primary dams totaling 20 miles 30 kilometers in length, in four sea inlets between the Western Scheldt and the New Waterway, Rotterdam. The Netherlands is located in the broad deltas of the Rhine, Maas, and Scheldt, and the small countrys history and geography have been greatly influenced by a continuous struggle against the rivers and the sea. Through the coincidence of several events in 1953, the southwestern provinces suffered huge floods in which nearly 2,000 people died and thousands of homes were destroyed. The central government quickly reacted, and the Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management set up the Delta Committee to devise measures to avert a future disaster. The plan informed the Delta Act of 1958, but its implementation, placed in the hands of a complex instrumentality known as Delta Service, took over four decades to complete. The major elements of the plan were achieved in the following order: the Hollandse IJssel storm flood barrier 1954 1958, the Zandkreekdam 1957 1960 the Veerse Gatdam 1958 1961 the Grevelingendam 1958 1965 the Volkerakdam 1955 1977 the Haringvlietdam 1956 1972 the Brouwersdam 1963 1972 and the Oosterschelde storm flood barrier 1967 1986. The vast scope of the Deltaworks cannot be fully described here, but it may be measured by a brief overview of the largest, most difficult, and most expensive phase: the Oosterschelde Eastern Scheldt storm, flood barrier, immodestly referred to by its builders asthe eighth world wonder. It was originally intended to close off the Oosterschelde with a permanent dam, and work started in 1967. By 1973 joining das between parts of the coast had closed 3 miles 4.8 kilometersmore than halfof the river mouth, and three sluices had been built. Then, in response to public protests, it was decided to construct a storm flood barrier instead of completely closing the estuary. Huge concrete pylons standing on the river bottom would support gates that could close to resist storm surges a concrete roadway would cross the structure. The government signed a contract with the consortium De Oosterschelde Stormvloedkering Bouwkombinatie in 1977. A 3,000-yard-long 2.78-kilometer access bridge was built to the 50-foot-deep 15-meter construction docks needed to fabricate the massive pylons. Commenced in April 1979, the first was finished early in 1983. In the meantime, work began on the sliding gates. Fifty-foot-deep foundations were prepared to support the pylons, and a special dredge was designed to secure the estuary floor against uneven scouring. By the end of 1982, the river bottom was secured by vast mats laid by purpose-designed vessels. All was ready for placing the pylons. The construction docks were flooded and the pylons, each weighing 21,600 tons 18,300 tonnes and between 100 and 135 feet 30 and 40 meters high, were floated into position, then sunk to the prepared floor. Sixty-five pylons formed the spine of the barrier: sixteen in the northern opening, seventeen in the central, and thirty-two in the southern. They were connected by prefabricated elements, and the sliding gates, each 150 feet 45 meters long and weighing 1,440 tons 1,220 tonnes, were then installed, a task that took a little under two years to complete. Then followed the fixing of each of the sixty-two 3,000-ton 2,270-tonne precast concrete elements that carried the roadway across the barrier. The Stormvloedkering Oosterschelde was officially opened on 4 October 1986. It cost about a sixth of the 11 billion guilder U.S.$5.5 billion total of the Deltaworks. The danger of overflowing rivers in the winter and early spring also threatens large parts of the Netherlands. Several inland engineering worksthe Philipsdam 1976 1987 the Oesterdam 1977 1988 the Markiezaatskade 1980 1983 and the Bathse Spuikanaal and Spuisluis 1980 1987were adjuncts to the primary dams of the Deltaworks. Hollands struggle against the water continues. Despite the pleas of regional and local water authorities for river dike reinforcement, the national government concentrated its funding for forty years upon the Deltaworks. Moreover, conservationists oppose any dike improvements that would spoil the landscape. The Boertien Commission was established early in the 1990s to address potential problems, and it produced the Great Rivers Delta Plan, which involved reinforcing nearly 190 miles 300 kilometers of river dikes and embankments. The first phase was completed by the end of 1996 the second, covering another 280 miles 450 kilometers, was finished by 2001. But that will not solve the problem if nothing else is done, the next generation of Hollanders will have to raise the dikes again. Climate changes, deforestation, urbanization, and drainage in their upper reaches mean that the river systems will carry increasingly large peak volumes. Cooperative policy and water management must be integrated internationally, from the sources to the deltas. .....
Ditherington Flax Mill
53. Shrewsbury, England
The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a new building type: the factory, where a managed workforce could operate machines that were driven by steam power. The advent of machines also created a demand for iron to be produced on a large scale in addition to being used to build machines, it soon became apparent that iron could be used to construct industrial buildings. The forerunner was the prefabricated cast-iron bridge at Coalbrookdale, England, of 1775 1779. But the factories, especially textile mills, involved problems other than the structural ones. Because they handled large quantities of cotton, flax, and wool, and because their wooden floors were quickly saturated with the oil used to lubricate the machines, they presented a fire hazard. The earliest textile mills had timber floor and roof framing and solid masonry external walls. Cast iron was non-combustible, and it was believed that it offered, as well as greater strength, a measure of fire resistance. Designed in 1795 and built the following year by the engineer Charles Bage of the milling firm of Bennion, Bage, and Marshall, the Ditherington Flax Mill, in the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury, was the worlds first iron-framed building, the predecessor of most modern factories and even office blocks. Ditherington was the largest flax mill of its day and one of the largest textile mills of any kind in Britain. The five-story building has conventional load-bearing masonry external walls with very large windows. Internally, it is divided into four bays by three rows of slender, cruciform-section, cast-iron columns, extending for eighteen bays on a north-south axis. Each bay measures about 10 feet 3 meters square, and the average ceiling height is about 11 feet 3.4 meters. The columns support cast-iron beams spanned by the brick vaults that form the floor above. The nearby warehouse and cross mill, also iron framed, were built soon after. In 1846 Professor Eaton Hodgkinson published Experimental Researches on the Strength .....
Dome of the Rock Qubbat As Sakhrah
54. Jerusalem, Israel
Jerusalem is a city holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. At its center, the rocky outcrop known as Mount Moriah was the site of three successive Jewish temples, then a sanctuary of the Roman god Jupiter, before it was capped by the Arabic Dome of the Rock, which was for a short while Islams most important sacred site. During the Crusades it was commandeered as a Christian shrine before returning to Islamic hands. Today it is at the very core of bitter dispute between Palestinians and Israelis. Although sometimes referred to as the Mosque of Omar, the Dome of the Rock is in fact not a mosque. Nevertheless, as the oldest extant Islamic monument, it served as a model for architecture and other artistic endeavors across three continents for a millennium. About 1000 b.c. King David of Israel captured the Jebusite town of Urusalim. He renamed it Jerusalem, established his capital there, and chose Mount Moriahalready held sacred as the place where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaacas the site of a future temple. Solomons Temple was completed in 957 b.c., only to be destroyed by the Babylonians in 586. The Second Temple was completed by 515 and enlarged and refurbished by Herod the Great reigned 37 34 b.c.. It was leveled by the Roman legions of Titus in a.d. 70 and has never been rebuilt. The Roman emperor Constantine reigned a.d. 306 337 decriminalized Christianity in 313. Soon afterward his mother Helena visited Jerusalem, where, according to mythology, she identified the locations associated with Christ, generating a tradition of Christian pilgrimages that continued until the invading Persians destroyed all the churches in 614. Twenty-four years later Jerusalem was captured by Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattab, who renamed it Al-Quds The Holy. Umar cleared the accumulated debris on top of Mount Moriah Haram al-Sharif and had a small wooden mosque built on the vast rectangular platform of the demolished Jewish temples. The Dome of the Rock was built between a.d. 688 and 692 for the tenth caliph, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. It is an elaborate canopy encircling the bare rock summit of the mount, the sakhra from which Mohammed was miraculously carried through the heavens into the very presence of Allah to receive the tenets of the faith. There is a tradition that, by building the dome, Abd al-Malik was attempting to transfer the Islamic hajj pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Mecca, where his rival, Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, had rebuilt the Kaaba in 684. It is also possible that Abd al-Malik wished to make some tangible statement about Islams superiority over Judaism and Christianity, a motive suggested by the form of his building. The Dome of the Rock is more Roman or Byzantine than Islamic, and the caliphs Byzantine Christian architects employed architectural language understood by Muslims and Christians alike. Because Islamic architecture had not yet established a tradition, they referred to the best Byzantine models, and the congruence in plan and decoration between the Dome of the Rock and the centrally planned church of San Vitale 525 548 at Ravenna, Italy, is not coincidental. The 60-foot-diameter 18-meter, timber-framed double dome, covered internally with colored and gilded stucco and originally roofed with lead covered in gold, rises 115 feet 35 meters over the holy rock. It is carried on a tall drum, originally faced with glass mosaics, that rests in turn upon a circular arcade of twelve Corinthian marble columns, set in threes between four large rectangular piers. At the top of the drum, sixteen colored glass windows light the central space. Surrounding the circle is an octagonal, marble-flagged, 30-foot-high 9-meter ambulatory of twenty-four piers and columns, reached from outside through four doorways with porticoes facing the cardinal directions. The ambulatory is screened from the sanctuary by half-height walls. The columns and most of the capitals were quarried from older buildings. The marble-faced outer walls of the building also describe an octagon each side is about 60 feet 18 meters long. Inside and outside, the Dome of the Rock was enriched with marble columns and facings and floral patterns of mosaic. The total effect must have been awesome:thousands of lights .....
Dover Castle
55. Kent, England
The science of medieval warfare and the design of castle architecture developed side by side until the latter reached its highest degree of sophistication in the almost impregnable concentric castle, exemplified in the royal castle at Dover, known as thekey of England, the first castle of its kind in western Europe. On a clear day the French coast, 21 miles 37 kilometers across the English Channel, can be seen from the ramparts above the famous white cliffs of Dover, Europes historical gateway to Britain. In 55 b.c. Julius Caesar landed his reconnaissance force nearby, and following a full-scale invasion in a.d. 43, the Romans built a walled town, Dubris from which Dover is derived. They built an 80-foot-high 25-meter flint pharos lighthouse on the nearby 375-foot 114-meter Castle Hill, the site of an Iron Age earthworks that had existed long before. It was inevitable that the commanding position would continue to be used for defense. In the fifth century the Angles and Saxons came in the wake of the Roman withdrawal and founded a fortified town on the hill, employing the ancient defenses. Once Christianized, they built the church of St. Mary-in-Castro St. Mary in the Fortress as a chapel for the castle garrison and adapted the Roman lighthouse as part of its bell tower. William I the Conqueror also recognized the strategic value of Dover. He instructed his half brother, Odo of Bayeux, should the Norman invasion succeed, to land there with building materials for a castle. It took just eight days in 1066 to construct the fortressprobably a motte and baileywithin the Anglo-Saxon earthworks. Nothing of it remains. The motte was an earth mound crowned with a wooden keep and guarded by a wooden palisade the bailey was a defensible area, also with a palisade and connected to the motte by a bridge. All was surrounded by a ditch. The earliest stone castles were organized in the same way. Castles multiplied in Britain after the Conquest, responding to the internal tensions created by the feudal system. Dover continued to be strategically important in an international context, aroyal castle that was not for a feudal baron but for the defense of the realm. Its evolution into a finely tuned concentric castle was a response to changes in medieval military technology and the science of war. Little is known of its earlier defensive works, but extensive rebuilding was undertaken after 1168. Most work was carried out in the 1180s under the supervision of King Henry IIs chief architect, a master mason known only as Maurice. Richard I the Lionhearted almost completed it in 1189 1190, and his brother John extended the outer curtain wall at the north side so that the outer bailey had been enlarged to include most of the hilltop. Thecompleted castle dates from about 1200. Repairs and extensions were necessary after a siege by rebel barons and their French allies in 1216, during which, despite the collapse of the east tower, it was successfully defended by a force of only 140 knights and men-at-arms. By 1256 Dover Castle reached its maximum strength and size, its outer walls then extending to the cliffs edge. Concentric castles comprised a carefully designed keep that was the last line of defense, surrounded by a curtain wall that enclosed a large bailey. Sometimes there was a second, slightly lower curtain wall as at Dover or even a third. Most functions were served by buildings in the bailey. Dovers daunting keepthe largest in Englandwas almost 100 feet 30 meters square and 95 feet 29 meters high in places its walls were 21 feet 6.5 meters thick. It was defended by an inner curtain wall with fourteen projectingmural towersthe first in Englandwhich allowed archers to shoot toward any point at the base. The outer curtain wall at Dover was nearly 1 mile 1.6 kilometers in circumference, with 20 similar towers. Each wall was interrupted only by fortified gatehouses with barbicans. When gunpowder was introduced into the country in the fourteenth century, cannon were developed that could shoot missiles 3 miles 5 kilometers. Given the thickness of its walls, that was of little consequence to Dover Castle. It has been involved in almost every conflict since the Middle Ages. Small wonder it has been called Englands greatest castle. Changes to artillery were not the main reason for the demise of castles rather, the feudal system gave place to centralized government and the power of the monarch. In Tudor times, the design of castles was to alter dramatically. As a royal castle, with an eye on the Spanish, Dover was heavily fortified with cannon in the reign of Elizabeth I. It continued to function well beyond that: it wasmodernized during the Napoleonic Wars. Caves were excavated to hide troops waiting in ambush should the French invade. The towers were truncatedsome say vandalizedto serve as gun platforms. The caves were again used as headquarters of the Dover Patrol in World War I and as bomb shelters and a hospital in World War II. The castle remained in the hands of the British army until 1958 five years later it was put in the custody of the Department of the Environment now English Heritage as a national monument. Conservation work continues. .....
Durham Cathedral
56. England
Durham Cathedral, built principally between 1093 and 1133 to house the relics of the Northumbrian evangelist St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne and the Venerable Bede, is the finest example of Early Norman architecture in England. Its significance in the development of Western architecture lies in the use of rib-and-panel vaulting, the pointed arch, and flying buttresses in the gallery roofsall prophetic of the elegant structural system that we now know as the Gothic. The cathedral stands in a hairpin bend of the River Wear in County Durham. William I the Conqueror selected the naturally defensive site, and by 1072 a castle was commenced on the neck of the steep-sided peninsula to defend the northern region of Norman Britain against the Scots. In 1091 an earlier Saxon church was demolished, and two years later work commenced upon the great building dedicated to Christ and the Virgin Mary. It was to form part of the Benedictine monastery that had been started about a decade before, and the whole precinct soon became the seat of the powerful feudal prince-bishops of Durham. Early in the twelfth century the peninsula was encircled by a wall, much of which survives. Serious attempts to buildin the Roman manner, with semicircular stone arches, vaults, and domesits architecture has been categorized as Romanesquedate from the second half of the eleventh century. The earliest examples saw barrel or wagon vaults used in such churches as Santiago de Compostela, Spain begun 1078, and St. Sernin, Toulouse begun 1080. These roofs exerted continuous sideways thrust on the side walls, creating the need to build those walls thicker to prevent overturning windows were small, in case they diminished the strength of the walls. Sometimes the walls were braced with arches above their piers. Experiments were also made with the Roman cross or groin vault, in which the church was divided into square bays, each of which was covered with a ceiling made by intersecting two barrel vaults at right angles. Although the groin vault transmitted the loads to the walls at equidistant points thus allowing for thinner side walls with more and larger openings, braced at intervals with massive piers, most of the stress in the vault itself was at its weakest part: the groin. The system can be seen in parts of Durham and in Speyer Cathedral, Germany originally 1030 1065. Instead of groin vaults, the nave and choir ca. 1104 of Durham Cathedral are covered using a revolutionary technique: the bays are framed by lateral, transverse, and diagonal beams orribsforerunner of the steel- or concrete-framed buildings of modern timeswith panels of stone spanning the much smaller areas between them. The most exciting innovation among several at Durham, these are the first known examples of pointed ribbed vaults. The ribs carry their own weight and that of the stone roof to collection points above the piers, and the complex dynamic nature of the loads is thus cleverly resolved. It seems that the northern Italian clerics behind the development of Norman Christianity knew something of ribbed-vault construction, which the invaders took to England. Some sources believe that Lombard experiments mayand only mayhave been as early as 1080, but there are certainly no examples on such a large scale as Durham, which therefore preempts by almost a century the key to the dramatic Gothic constructional system. The church consists of a western galilee, or Lady Chapel an aisled nave with two western towers transepts flanking a taller tower above the crossing and an aisled chancel which was reduced in length during the thirteenth century. The eight bays of the nave are divided by piers disguised as clusters of columns, alternating with massive circular columns. The same articulation can be found in the choir and transepts. On the face of each pier is a tall shaft rising from the floor that appears to carry the slightly pointed transverse arches that support the vault, nearly 80 feet 24 meters above. At the triforium second level, each arch of the arcade is subdivided into two, and on the clerestory the highest level, arches are supported by a pair of freestanding columns. The nave vault is laterally braced by quadrant archesheralding the flying buttress of Gothic architectureconcealed in the triforium galleries. The substructures of the 218-foot-high 65.4-meter central tower and much of the transepts were begun before 1096. The 155-foot-high 47-meter vault of the crossing, not completed until the fifteenth century, is carried by four huge arches. The original roof of the choir was replaced by the present vault around 1250. Like many medieval churches, Durham Cathedral has undergone alterations and additions and, on occasion, what passed for restoration through almost nine centuries. None has diminished the first impression of overwhelming power and stability experienced by the modern visitor when entering thisfortress of God at the frontier of the Normans domain. .....
Eames House
57. Pacific Palisades, California
The architect Charles Ormand Eames 1907 1978 and his designer wife Ray Kaiser Eames 1912 1988 moved to southern California in 1941 into a new apartment building designed by Richard Neutra. Between 1945 and 1949 they designed and built their family home at Pacific Palisades. Known simply as the Eames House, the unconventional residence can be considered an architectural feat in that it was economically constructed entirely fromoff-the-peg components, most of which were available at any building materials suppliers. In the difficult years immediately after World War II, the designers thus demonstrated to the United States that good design need not be expensive, a mission they continued to fulfill for the rest of their lives. The house was commissioned as part of the Case Study House Program, sponsored by John Entenzas West Coast journal Arts and Architecture. The periodical, setting out to promote good design, was seeking ideas for the creative application of the new technologies and materials developed during the war. Of course, as thousands of GIs were demobilized, one of the objectives of the program was to buildhomes fit for heroes. Each house had a hypothetical client, and the Eameses designed one that combined a living space and studio for their own family setup, a working couple with grown children. The first version was produced through a collaboration between Charles and the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, under whom he had studied at Cranbrook Academy, Michigan. They also worked together on Entenzas Bridge House for the lot next door. Then the Eameses together developed their own house, first proposing a single-story box on stilts, typical of theInternational Style brought to the United States by European emigres. Receiving permission to build, they had the structural steel delivered to the site. But concerned that the house would look too much like the minimalist houses being provided by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, they revised the design. By 1949 they had generated a proposal for two full-height pavilions, separating the living and studio functions by means of an open courtyard. They managed to enclose a much greater volume of space with the need for only one more steel beam. This design was eventually built. The standard 7.5-foot 2.25-meter bays of framing were assembled mostly from industrially made, black-painted steel window and door modules. They held clear panels of wired or translucent glass and other opaque ones of aluminum, timber, fiberglass, asbestos cement, or stucco, painted white, blue, red, or black. Some were even covered in gold leaf. There was a full-height living room at the south end, whose sliding windows opened to decks made of railroad ties. A spiral ships stair ordered from a marine catalog led to bedrooms on a mezzanine under the mezzanine was a small alcove with built-in seats and bookcases, and a kitchen. Charles and Ray Eames lived in theirhouse of parts for the rest of their lives.By precept and practice, and by the exploitation of technology, they made an invaluable social contribution by promoting the awareness of good design throughout the United States. Their design partnership encompassed many fields: architectural works from houses to exhibitions innovative plywood, aluminum, or fiberglass chairs graphics toy animals and even a carousel. They also produced more than 120 films. Recently, an international exhibition of their achievements was mounted at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Vitra was the European manufacturer of their furniture for more than thirty years. The show, The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention, traveled to Bilbao, Paris, Copenhagen, and London before beginning its American tour at the Library of Congress in May 1999, after which it moved to New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Seattle. .....
Eiffel Tower
58. Paris, France
The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch to the International Paris Exhibition, held to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. Conceived in 1882 by Gustave Eiffels chief research engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and constructed in collaboration with architect Stephan Suavestre, the tower is a graceful and imaginative puddled iron lattice pylon. It soars to 1,020 feet 312 meters, the first building in almost 5,000 years to surpass the height of the Great Pyramid Preliminary sketches were made in June 1884 and in September Eiffel, suddenly interested in the project, registered a patentfor a new configuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 meters. A careful and innovative assembly of over 18,000 small lightweight parts, the Eiffel Tower demonstrated to fullest advantage the structural possibilities of wrought iron. The worlds tallest structure until the Chrysler Building was constructed in 1929 in New York City, it became and still is a landmark synonymous with Paris. Intended as a temporary exhibit and scheduled for demolition in 1909, it was saved by its tourist potential and its usefulness as a communication antenna. A radio tower added in 1959 increased its height by 56 feet 20 meters. Eiffel had specialized in metal construction during his studies at the ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. Prior to the acceptance of his design for the tower, he had built in iron and steel, notably the Maria-Pia railway bridge over the Douro River in Oporto, Portugal the Truyere Bridge near Carabit, France locks on the Panama Canal and the internal frame for the Statue of Liberty. Whilst the Parisian tower drew on the outcomes of these projects, it was nonetheless a unique scientific and engineering challenge: its great height meant that wind loads had to be calculated in the design as well as the effects of gravity, Eiffel chose open lattice and splayed legs so that the wind would pass through the structure. In gale-force winds the movement of the tower is estimated to be a mere 4.5 inches 11 centimeters. Speedy and safe transportation of workers and materials and later of visitors was another challenge. Eiffel installed elevators that ran on inclined tracks within the towers legs the guide rails were used as tracks for climbing cranes during construction. The Eiffel Tower weighs over 13,200 tons 11,180 tonnes, more than 70 percent of which is metal. Its 412-foot-square 126-meter base is defined by the four huge masonry foundation piers set in bedrock each supports a leg, and the legs converge to form the shaft. Eiffel employed a team of 50 engineers to prepare 5,300 drawings to his specifications, 100 workers to fabricate the components in the Eiffel factory at Levallois-Perret on the outskirts of Paris, and between 150 and 300 site laborers. His calculations were so precise that no revisions were required during construction. Work began on 1 July 1887 and the project was finished in a little over twenty-six months. Eiffel was awarded the French Legion of Honor. On the towers completion, opposition to its erection was silenced. An earlier protest published in Le Temps had been signed by such illustrious Frenchmen as the writers Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas Jr. and the architect Charles Garnier. Others had described the proposal as atruly tragic street lamp and acarcass waiting to be fleshed out with freestone or brick, a funnel-shaped grill, a hole-riddled suppository. But it was an instantaneous popular success. In the last five months of 1889, over 1.9 million people visited it. Each paid an entrance fee to help defray the costa little under Fr 8 million about U.S.$1.5 million. Three viewing platformsat 186, 376, and 900 feet 57, 115, and 276 meterswere provided for visitors. At the first, where there were restaurants and a theater, arches linked the four legs applied after the construction of the legs and platform, they were purely ornamental. Visitors were taken to the first and second platforms in double-deck, glass-enclosed hydraulic elevators. Stairs led to the third platform, and an elevator gave access to the top of the tower, where Eiffel originally had his studio and office now restored. Each level offered a panoramic view of Paris and beyond for about 50 miles 80 kilometers. From the Eiffel Tower, people were afforded, for the first time, the unique opportunity of seeing the earth from far above. When the Societe de la Tour Eiffels original operating concession expired in 1980, the city of Paris assumed direct control of the tower through a company called Societe Nouvelle dExploitation de la Tour Eiffel. From 1980 to 1984 it undertook a restoration and renovation program. The tower was reinforced in places, 1,560 tons 1,320 tonnes of excrescences were removed, and the elevators were replaced. It requires regular maintenance, including painting every seven years. The Eiffel Tower continues to be a prime tourist attraction, with over 6 million visitors annually. Each of the viewing platforms is accessible and Eiffels office has been opened to tourists. The exclusive Le Jules Vernes restaurant occupies the second level. During the Paris millennium celebrations of 2000, the tower was covered with thousands of small lights that nightly illuminated the graciousiron lady of Paris .....
Empire State Building
59. New York City
For forty-one years from 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest tower in the world. That distinction has since been wrested and rewrested by a series of successors. The 102-story building, covering its 2-acre 0.8-hectare Park Avenue site and soaring to 1,252 feet 417 meters, was completed in the incredibly short time of 1 year and 45 days in fact, the time from the decision to build to the letting of office space was only 27 months. Because of the precise planning and exacting project management that achieved such efficiency, this most familiar of all skyscrapers is one of the great architectural feats of the twentieth century. The Empire State Company was formed in 1929 by John Jacob Raskob General Motors chief executive, the industrialist Pierre S. du Pont, the politician Coleman du Pont, Louis G. Kaufman, and Ellis P. Earl. Raskob invited Alfred A. Smith, the New York State governor until 1929, with whom he had political ties, to become president of the corporation. The two men became the prime movers of the project. The 35-year-old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street, was bought for about $16 million from the Bethlehem Engineering Corporation and demolished to make way for the new building. The architects Richmond H. Shreve, Arthur Loomis Harmon, and William Lamb who did much of the design work were initially commissioned to create a 50-story, 650-foot-high 195-meter office block. But the scheme would go through more than 15 revisions before emerging as an 86-story, 1,252-foot 375-meter tower. Last-minute revisions would further increase it to 102 floors and a height, including its mast, of 1,472 feet 450 meters. The structural engineers were H. G. Balcom and Associates. Shreve, Harmon, and Lamb produced a steel-framed, art deco tower whose marble-clad, five-story base covered the whole site. From a 60-foot 18-meter setback at the fifth floor, it rose uninterrupted to the 86th floor. The upper levels were faced with silver buff Indiana limestone and granite, and the verticality of the facade was emphasized by continuous mullions of chrome-nickel steel. The office floors were served by seventy-three elevators. The esthetics of the design were hardly remarkable, and the building was either ignored or criticized by the aficionados of the sterile European Modernismso-called international architecturethen being touted in North America. For the present purpose, the Empire States artistic qualities are inconsequential, because its significance lies in the fact that the architects made a design that, in the contractors words, wasmagnificently adapted to speed in construction. And speed was of the essence: the clients announced an 80-story building in August 1929 and forecast the completion date: 1 May 1931. The firm of Starrett Brothers and Eken won the contract, estimated at $50 million. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was demolished within a month, and site excavation began on 22 January 1930, digging 55 feet 16.7 meters below ground to the gray Manhattan bedrock. Construction started just under two months later, and through the meticulous construction scheduling of the chief engineer, Andrew Eken, it proceeded at record pace. Materials suppliers were asked to deliver goods as they were needed, so there was no need for on-site storage in the downtown area. When materials arrived on-siteat the busiest time, that meant almost 500 deliveries dailythey were immediately hoisted to the appropriate floor and transported by railways to their final location for fixing. The steel frame rose an average of four and a half floors a week, on a forest of 210 steel columns. One fourteen-story section was completed in a week! Altogether, 69,600 tons 58,930 tonnes of structural steel were placed in only six months. By the middle of November 1930 the buildings masonry skin was fixed. This unprecedented logistical feat was achieved by an average workforce of 2,500, which at times reached 4,000. Together, they worked 7 million carefully monitored man-hours, including Sundays and public holidays, to meet the deadline. In fact, the building was completed a few days ahead of its rigorous schedule. On 1 May 1931 President Herbert Hoover pressed the switch in Washington, D.C., that turned on the skyscrapers lights. The Empire State was one of the last gasps of New Yorks real-estate boom. From late in the 1800s more than 180 tall buildings, none under twenty stories, had been erected in Manhattan. As that phase was drawing to a close about thirty years later, New York City saw what might be described as a three-sidedskyscraper war. The antagonists were the Empire State, the Bank of Manhattan, and the Chrysler Building. Thecold and nondescript Bank of Manhattan, designed by H. Craig Severance and completed in April 1929, was, at 927 feet 278 meters, the worlds tallest buildingat least momentarily. The Chrysler Building, then being built for the automobile tycoon Walter P. Chrysler, was originally planned to be crowned with a dome, bringing it to within 2 feet 0.6 meter of the height of the bank. Its architect William van Alen obtained permission to add the spire that is now recognized as the buildings most distinctive feature. Its components were prefabricated inside the upper floors, and it was placed in just one and a half hours in November 1930, bringing the height of the Chrysler Building to 1,048 feet 314 meters. With the advantage of playing a little behind the game, Raskob and Smith had their architects add six stories to the 1000-foot 300-meter Empire State Building, originally intended to terminate in a flat observation deck. Above it all soared a 200-foot 60-meter tower, bringing its total height to 1,250 feet 375 meters. It was mooted that this tower would serve as a mooring mast for airships. The 86th floor would house passenger lounges, airline offices, and baggage rooms, and the vessels would be moored at the 106th level. One attempt to moor a dirigible succeeded for just three minutes, and a near disaster with a U.S. Navy blimp in September 1931 finally led to the abandonment of the schemea decision tragically validated by the fiery destruction of the Hindenberg at Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937. The two observation decks remained just that, and the mast later formed the base of a television tower. The Empire State Building cost $24.7 million. Optimistically conceived during a real-estate boom, the success of the venture was dashed by the Wall Street crash of 1929. When the building was opened its owners were hard-pressed to find tenants for the 2.1 million square feet 199,000 square meters of office space, and some witty New Yorker coined the nicknameEmpty State Building. Apart from the impact of the Great Depression, the 350 Fifth Avenue address was too far from the central business district. Eighteen months after opening, only a quarter of the space had been rented six months later, there were still fifty-six vacant floors and the problems continued throughout the 1930s. After World War II the commercial center of gravity of New York was the Rockefeller Center, the last of whose nine towers was completed in 1940. Although the Empire State achieved 85 percent occupancy by 1944, even now it has a vast number of tenants renting small areas. Over 15,000 people work in it, and up to 20,000 clients, shoppers, and tourists visit daily. Every year, over 3.8 million sightseers and tourists visit the observation levels. In 1955, the American Society of Civil Engineers named the Empire State Building one of theSeven Modern Wonders of the Western Hemisphere, and on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee in 1981 it was, not without reason, designated an official New York City landmark. .....
Engineering Building
60. Leicester University, England
The Scots architect James Frazer Stirling 1926 1992 formed a partnership with James Gowan b. 1923 in 1955 after winning a commission for a low-rise housing development in Ham Common, Middlesex 1955 1958. The design started a trend in England for broadly finished brick and exposed concrete. There followed a couple of domestic scale projects, and in July 1959 their more influential work: the Engineering Building at Leicester University completed 1963, which has been called thepinnacle of their mutual achievement. The seminal building, which juxtaposes a glazed office tower with red-tile facings on the massive cantilevered lecture theaters and a single-story workshop, was unlike any postwar architecture elsewhere and broke the hold of Le Corbusier upon British architects. The critic Reyner Banham coined the nameNew Brutalism to describe the new style, which exposed concrete, steel, and brick and rejected the polished and elegant finishes and geometric regularity of the International Modern Movement. The character of the Engineering Building was quickly and widely emulated in Britain its influence persisted even longer in Japan. Leicester University was founded as a university college in 1921 and granted its Royal Charter in 1957. The administration appointed the Cambridge engineer Edward Parkes to set up a new engineering faculty, to commence with 200 students. The university also commissioned Leslie Martin to produce a master plan for developing the 9-acre 3.6-hectare campus Stirling and Gowans building was its first major postwar facility. By the end of 1959 they had produced two alternative preliminary designs. The final scheme was approved in March 1960, although the two architects disagreed over the glazing of the tower block. In fact, their partnership was dissolved as soon as the building was completed. The building has two main elements: a complex, multistory main building that houses two lecture theaters, laboratories, and offices, and a lower level housing workshops. Two cantilevered reinforced concrete lecture theaters attributable to the structural engineers, their sloping seating expressed on the outside of the building, are set at right angles to each other and are joined by a diagonal ramp. Four stories of laboratories rise beside the smaller theater on tall concrete columns surfaces are faced with deep red Accrington brick and red Dutch tiles. Above the larger theateralso brick and tile cladis a six-story, fully glazed office tower, its narrow rectangular form modified by cut-off corners, crowned by a water tank. The spiral staircase that serves it penetrates the cantilevered block. The adjacent ground-level heavy-machinery workshops, covering over two-thirds of the site and designed mainly by Gowan, are clad in part with translucent glass and roofed with long, diagonal, north-facing glass trapezoidal prisms. One historian has commented thata mannerist taste for distortion and paradox permeates the building, and that thediversity of forms 1/4 is a pretext for the liveliest interplay of masses. Such a cynical view undervalues the work of one of Britainsthe worldsgreatest twentieth-century architects indeed, a winner of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize 1981 anda leader of the great transition from the Modern Movement to the architecture of the New. .....
English landscape gardens
61. Most of Englands apparently natural countryside is in fact contrived, the result of a revolutionary movement in garden design, the discipline first namedlandscape architecture by Humphry Repton 1752 1818. The English eighteenth-century landscape garden, which would be internationally imitated, was possibly Britains main contribution to European esthetics. Unlike traditional gardens, it was distinguished by asymmetry and informality. It incorporated artificial hills and free-form lakes redirected rivers sinuous pathways and drives strategically placed stands of trees in grassy fields and, of course, the great house, from which carefully composed and uninterrupted vistas opened to surrounding parkland. The movement was linked with the notorious Enclosure Acts, which allowed the English gentry to resume what formerly had been common land. Large landholdings brought profit as well as social and political power, displayed in the creation of expansive parks surrounding a country seat. In a 1713 essay the poet Alexander Pope 1688 1744 suggested that formal English gardens be replaced by theamiable simplicity of unadorned nature. He entreated,In all, let nature never be forgot.1/4 Consult the genius of the place. The challenge was taken up by three designers: William Kent, Lancelot Brown, and Repton, who within a century had banished geometry from the English countryside. Kent 1685 1748, calledfather of the English landscape garden, was trained as a sign painter and also worked as a coach builders apprentice. Although never a successful artist, for ten years he studied painting in Rome, earning his living as an art dealer. In Italy in 1715 he met Lord Burlington, who became his patron. Back to London in the 1720s, he worked with Burlington on Chiswick House before engaging in landscape design. The critic Horace Walpole declared that Kentleaped the fence and saw that all of nature was a garden. Inspired by the works of Lorraine, Poussin, and Rosa, and believing thatall gardening is a landscape painting, Kent regarded his gardens as classical pictures, replete with antique pavilions and composed to maximize the artistic impact of form, light, and color. In 1737 he was invited to Rousham in Oxfordshire to redesign the seventeenth-century house, as well as a garden laid out by the Royal Gardener, Charles Bridgeman d. 1738, in the 1720s. Kent added wings and a stable block to the house and made interior alterations, but the garden completed in 1741 is his best surviving work, thought by many to bethe jewel of the English landscape movement. It marks a transition between the great English Restoration gardens and Viscount Cobhams house, Stowe, in Buckinghamshire. At the end of the 1600s, Stowe had a modest Italian-inspired parterre garden. From about 1713 the surrounding park, designed by Bridgeman, was dotted with Baroque pavilions and monuments by the architect John Vanbrugh. Then, in the 1730s, Cobham appointed Kent and the Palladian architect James Gibbs to work with Bridgeman. Kent, convinced thatnature abhors a straight line, began to replace the geometrical gardens with winding, shaded paths and created a series of painterly views that unfolded on a walk through the landscape, the beginning of the most important early English landscape gardens. Bridgemans Octagonal Pond and the Eleven Acre Lake were given a free form. Other changes followed with the arrival of the greatest champion of thenatural landscape, Lancelot Brown. Brown 1715 1783 began his horticultural career as apprentice to Sir William Lorraine. After working for Sir Richard Grenville at Wotton, he moved to Buckinghamshire in 1739, and two years later he was an undergardener at Stowe. He remained for seven years as a disciple and eventually son-in-law of Kent and became immersed in the new English style of landscape gardening. Kent was still improving the garden, although he undertook other projects. Brown designed theGrecian Valley, a composition of landform and forest. Kent died in 1748 and Lord Cobham a year later. Brown left Stowe and in 1751 established a landscape practice based in London. He later became head gardener to the Duke of Grafton and in 1761 was appointed Master Gardener at Hampton Court Palace. During his time at Stowe, his employer had allowed him to accept commissions from a number of his friends, and Browns practice, thus established, grew rapidly. Because he would enthusiastically tell prospective clients of thegreat capabilities of their properties, he earned the nicknameCapability Brown His grand visions, realized in the gardens of about 170 of Englands stately rural houses, have been described as idealizations of the English countryside. They accentuated, readimproved the undulating natural landscape their asymmetrical compositions were enhanced with winding bands or clumps of trees and vast, rolling lawns, usually focused on a lake. At Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, often hailed as his magnum opus, he removed Henry Wises extensive parterre and brought the lawns right to the house, planting dark trees to frame the landscape beyond. He was later criticized for such wanton destruction of the works of earlier gardeners. A story underlines his enormous impact upon the English countryside: asked by an English lady to make a plan for her Irish estate, Brown is said to have replied,No, madam, I cant, I havent finished England yet. Humphry Repton, probably Englands greatest landscape theorist, was a minor landholder who had failed in business and at farming. In 1788 he took up landscape design when a family friend, the Duke of Portland, asked him to alter his garden. A key to his success was his skill as a watercolorist. He could produce attractive renderings of his schemesan important factor in his profession because clients needed to visualize what might not be realized for years. Repton freely admitted his debt to Brown and continued many of his practices. Because of the Napoleonic Wars, his opportunities were limited. He produced landscapes, seldom as extensive as Browns, throughout England, among them many for terraces or smaller gardens close to houses. After about 1790 Repton created a transition between houses and their grounds by means of steps, terraces, and balustrades, through anatural park to a distant composed view. His idealsutility, proportion, and unitywere best expressed at Woburn Abbey, where he augmented an existing landscape garden with a private garden, a flower garden, and what he called anAmerican garden. In some senses, he began the transition from the informal landscape garden to the formality of the Victorian era. In 1795 he published Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening. The esthetic mood in England was changing. From about 1770 Brown came under critical attack for, of all things, hisexcessive formalism and lack of .....
Erechtheion
62. Athens, Greece
The Erechtheion, built on the site of ancient sanctuaries on the Athenian Acropolis, is so unlike every other Greek temple that some have dismissed it as an aberration. Rather, it is the result of its architect, probably Mnesikles, applying inventive skill to accommodate a complex web of religious relationships. The Erechtheion provides evidence that the craft tradition of architecture, hobbled by convention, was giving place to a new creative approach to design. That was a great step forward. The city-states of Athens and Sparta and their respective allies fought the Peloponnesian Wars between 431 and 404 b.c., interrupted by the six-year Peace of Nikias, from 421. Although their popular strategos elected general Perikles had died in an epidemic in 429 b.c., the Athenians took occasion of the cessation of hostilities to complete his fifty-year plan to restore the glory of the Acropolis. The last phase of the work was the Erechtheion, commenced in 421 b.c. and finished around 406 b.c. The building was a brilliant response to both spiritual and practical problems.First, the building, unlike other temples, was to be dedicated to more than one deity, and its precise location, because it was connected with several other important spiritual themes, was especially significant to Athenians. The temples primary purpose was to provide shrines for both Athena Polias and Poseidon. The sanctuary was also to include the graves of Erechtheos a mythical king of Athens with the sacred snake, and of Kekrops, another fabled Athenian ancestor. Moreover, there was the place where Poseidons trident or Zeuss thunderboltthe mythology was ambiguoushad struck the ground, theErechtheis Sea. and the thalassa, a saltwater spring. The altars of Poseidon, Erechtheos, Zeus Hypatos, Hephaistos, the Boutes, Zeus Thyechoos, and a reliquary for an ancient wooden statue of Hermes were to stand within its temenos sacred courtyard. Besides all that, the building had to accommodate a sacred olive tree in the precinct of Pandrosos, which also included the altar of Zeus Herkeios. The difficulty of laying out the Erechtheion was compounded by the irregular terrain. Eventually, the north and west walls would stand about 9 feet 2.7 meters below the south and east. The architect satisfied all these conditions, combining great imagination with pious deference to tradition to produce a spatially ingenious temple that must have at once bemused and delighted his clients. The plan of the Erechtheion was very complicated in comparison with the simple rectangular forms of all earlier Greek temples. It consisted of three almost independent sections the rather traditional main temple, the north porch, and the famous caryatid portico, each with its separate roof. Because of the steep slope across the site, it was built at four different levels. The naos was separatedonce again, a major departure from conventioninto two main parts, the east cella devoted to Athena Polias and another, whose roof is divided by a huge beam, to Poseidon-Erechtheos. Underground rooms housed the statue of Hermes and Erechtheoss tomb. Ionic orders employing three different proportional systems were incorporated, and graceful statues of korai draped female figures supported the entablature of the caryatid portico. The building was extravagantly decorated. Although it never seems to have had pedimental sculptures, relief carvings filled the frieze of Eleusinian stone. Fragments survive, but the general theme is not known. The ceiling coffers of the caryatid portico are almost entirely intact. Some scholars think all the portico ceilings were paneled and painted dark blue with gold stars, others that they were inset with colored glass panels. The unique temple was converted into a church during the Middle Ages, and later it was used as a harem for the ruler of Athens during the Turkish occupation. In 1801 the British ambassador, Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin, took a caryatid which he later sold to the British Museum, replacing it with a plaster cast. The Erechtheion was partly rebuilt by the American School of Classical Studies. Now it again suffers depredations, this time from atmospheric pollution and the increasing pressure of tourism. .....
Erie Canal
63. New York State
The 363-mile 585-kilometer Erie Canal between Lake Erie and the Hudson River, New York, was opened in 1825. Compared with earlier U.S. canal projects, common since about 1785 none was over 30 miles long, it was a colossal enterprise, incontrovertibly the greatest public works project in the young republic. Despite criticism at its inception, when complete it was acclaimed as the worlds greatest engineering marvel. But great engineering achievement that it was, the social significance of the Erie Canal outstripped that feat by far. Before its creation the Allegheny Mountains were the Western frontier. Beyond them, virtually inaccessible to the European settlers, lay the resource-rich Northwest Territorieslater to become Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The canal made westward migration possible, and within fifteen years of its opening it turned New York, formerly the fifth-largest harbor in the nation, into the busiest seaport and greatest commercial center in the United States. In that same period the value of the citys real estate quadrupled, and mercantile activities multiplied five times. As early as 1724, a surveyor named Cadwallader Colden speculated on the potential value of a direct water link between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. Sixty years and the War of Independence later, a bill proposing improvements to the navigability of the Mohawk and Onondaga Rivers, with an eventual link, to Lake Erie, was put before the New York State legislature. It was defeated, but the idea was revived in 1791. Legislation was passed, feasibility studies undertaken, and two companies established toopen a navigable waterway from Albany to Lakes Seneca and Ontario andimprove navigation between the Hudson and Lake Champlain, respectively. Little came of it. Between October 1807 and April 1808 a miller named Jesse Hawley published several essays in the Genesee Messenger that advocated the construction of a 100-foot-wide 30-meter, 10-foot-deep 3-meter canal from Buffalo, at the southern end of Lake Erie, to Utica, where it would join the Mohawk River to Schenectady, allowing cargoes to be taken over portage to Albany. His idea was widely derided, even labeledthe effusions of a maniac, but New York Citys mayor De Witt Clinton publicly agreed with him. The proposed canal was promptly dubbedClintons Folly. Others sided with Clinton. State legislator Joshua Forman successfully moved in 1808 that the best route be surveyed. The report was made in 1810 and the issue was kept alive until a law supporting the project was passed the following year. Public pressure to start the canal continued until Clinton became state governor in 1817. When President Thomas Jefferson, believing a national waterway to belittle short of madness, vetoed the proposal, the estimated construction cost of $7 million became New York States responsibility. Clinton persuaded the legislature to authorize the expenditure, to be funded with bond issues. Much of it was raised from the savings of new immigrants wealthy, more conservative investors took no risks until the first section of the canal was completed. The builders of theGreat Western Canal struck out westward from Rome, New York, on 4 July 1817. Untrained gangs ofcanawlers, many of them Irish immigrants from New York City, were paid fifty cents a day and worked under the general superintendence of the chief engineer, Benjamin Wright. Existing streams and lakes were not joined by the canal, which followed an independent course. The 80-mile 128-kilometer middle section was cut in light soil across level terrainwhere locks or aqueducts were not neededbetween Rome and Utica, built by Wrights assistant engineer, David Stanhope Bates. It opened in October 1819. Separate contracts were let for various parts of the huge undertaking. A month later the 63-mile 100-kilometer Champlain branch canal was opened, joining Troy with Whitehall, at the southern end of Lake Champlain. In July 1822 the section from the Genesee River to Pittsford was navigable, although several miles of overland connection were necessary until the Irondequoit Valley embankment was completed in October, also under Batess direction. In the same month a 180-mile 290-kilometer stretch was opened between Rochester and Little Falls. The eastern section through the Mohawk River valley was finished a year later, allowing uninterrupted navigation from the Genesee River to Albany and Lake Champlain. The last leg, between Brockport and Albany, was completed in April 1824. On 26 October 1825 Clinton set out down the Erie Canal from Buffalo in the Seneca Chief with his wife and a party ofdistinguished citizens two other canal boats accompanied them, carrying products from the Midwest, and even a bear and two eagles. Traveling at an average of 3 mph 5 kph, they arrived in New York Harbor nine days later to a boisterous welcome. Clinton poured two barrels of Lake Erie water into the sea, ceremonially marking themarriage of the waters. The great waterway, disrespectfully rechristenedClintons Big Ditch, was 40 feet 12 meters wide and only 4 feet 1.2 meters deep and carried vessels of 90 tons 76.2 tonnes displacement. It had cost $700,000 over budget, but the outlay of almost $8 million was recouped from tolls within ten years. Only the human cost was not recoverable. Neither was it recorded: many died from malaria, others from smallpox others were maimed by accidents. Inland shipping now found its way across eighteen aqueducts and through eighty-three locks, falling 570 feet 174 meters between Tonawanda and Buffalo, on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, and Troy, on the Hudson. There were ninety-three continuance bridges, where draft animals crossed the water. Travel time between the Great Lakes and the East Coast was halved, and freight costs fell from $100 to $10 a ton. Wheat tonnage carried on the canal increased a staggering 140-fold between 1829 and 1837, and by 1841 the figure had doubled again. Two more important branch canals were later built: the 24-mile 38-kilometer Oswego 1828, connecting the Erie with Lake Ontario and the 27-mile 43-kilometer Cayuga and Seneca 1829, linking the Erie, west of Syracuse, with Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. The entire system was enlarged in 1835 and again in 1862 and 1895 to cater for heavier traffic. Another modification was undertaken in 1904,canalizing the Mohawk, Oswego, Seneca, Oneida, and Clyde Rivers and Oneida Lake and abandoning large sections of the original canal. When the 525-mile-long 845-kilometer, 12-foot-deep 3.7-meter new system, renamed the New York State Barge Canal, was opened in 1918, it comprised the Erie and all the former branch canals. The Barge Canal can carry 2,400-ton 2,032-tonne vessels. After about 1850, burgeoning railroads competed with canal transportation, but the Barge Canal was not made redundant until the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway a century later. Within a decade or so, mercantile traffic had dwindled to the point of insignificance. However, recreational traffic was growing, and in November 1991 the people of New York rallied to save the canals. In 1996 the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants totaling $131 million for the Canal Corridor Initiative, a program to rehabilitate the Erie Canal and its branches as arecreationway. .....
Fallingwater
64. Pennsylvania
The architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater 1934 1937 for the Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann and his wife Liliane, on Bear Run, Pennsylvania, in the mountains southeast of Pittsburgh. The spectacular house cantilevers over a 20-foot 6-meter waterfall amidst a wilderness. Widely admired for over sixty years, Fallingwater has been calledthe most famous residence ever built in 1991 the American Institute of Architects hailed it asthe best all-time work of American architecture. It is probably the most beautiful house of the twentieth century, some say of any century. Bear Run Nature Reserve, the 5,000-acre 2,000-hectare area surrounding Fallingwater, and the house itself are now owned, maintained, and protected by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Throughout the 1920s and well into the next decade, Wright had little work. He publicized himself through writing and a traveling exhibition he called itThe Show in the United States and Europe, but despite the efforts of his friends, his poor financial management put him deeply in debt. In 1932 he established the Taliesin Fellowship in Wisconsin, a residential apprentice system in which aspiring artists and architects paid for the privilege of working for him. Among them was Edgar J. Kaufmann Jr. Impressed with what he saw during a 1934 visit to Wrights Wisconsin home, Taliesin, and by his sons enthusiasm, Kaufmann Sr. commissioned Wright, who was then sixty-five years old, to design a mountain retreat for his family. The waterfall on Bear Run was a favorite spot of the Kaufmanns, and they wanted to build nearby. There is a tradition that Wright made the final design after only one visit to the site: the surprising idea, accepted by his clients, was that the house should sit over rather than face the waterfall. Fallingwaters four levels are progressively set back to lie low against the forested hillside their terraces, apparently suspended in space, echo the form of the waterfall. Wright built the house around a core containing a kitchen on the lowest level and bedrooms on the others it also housed the service ducts. The houses horizontalityWright called it the line of domesticityis juxtaposed against a four-story sand-stone chimney. The lowest floor, a huge living room, is carried on four stub walls and provides the widest views of the site one of its cantilevered terraces faces upstream the other projects over the great boulders framing the waterfall. From the living room, a short flight of stairs leads to a platform just above the creek. It serves little practical purpose, but in summer air from the running water cools the space above. The bedrooms on the second level each have a narrower terrace, and the roomsanother bedroom and a studyon the third level also open to a terrace. Wright used the stairs, terraces, and windows full height on three sides of the living room to integrate exterior and interior, house and site. Architectural historian Spiro Kostof comments that Wrightsends out free-floating platforms audaciously over a small waterfall and anchors them in the natural rock. Something of the prairie house is here still .....
Fera Thera
65. Santorini, Greece
Feraa town where no town should beis an architectural feat for just that reason. It has been achieved largely without architects, and its builders have developed a remarkable symbiosis with their dangerous host, an active and restless volcano. Fera, a comparatively modern town of about 2,000, picturesquely clusters at the edge of a 900-foot 275-meter cliff above its harbor. It is the capital of Santorini, the 28-square-mile 73-square-kilometer main island of the southernmost group of the Cyclades. The other islands in the volcanic group are Therasia, Aspronisi, Paea Kameni, and Nea Kameni. The latter two were created by eruptions since 197 b.c., and the others are fragments of Stronghyle literally, the round one after a cataclysm in the middle of the second millennium b.c. It is estimated that this so-called Minoan eruption spewed about 42 billion tons 35.5 billion tonnes of volcanic material 23 miles 36 kilometers into the air, blanketing the remaining islands in pumice and ash to a depth of 100 feet 30 meters. The consequent earthquakes and tidal waves destroyed buildings on the south coast of Crete, 100 miles 160 kilometers away. Santorini has been inhabited since about 3200 b.c. In 1967 the archeologist Spiros Marinatos excavated the city of Akrotiri from the volcanic ash its culture bore many similarities to the Minoan, and its seafaring people evidently traded throughout the Mediterranean. About 1000 b.c., the island was colonized by migrating Dorians, who built the first Fera and from there founded the colony of Cyrene, Libya, in 634 b.c. Santorini was taken by Athens in 426 b.c. and subsequently by Egypt, Rome, and Byzantium. The island fell in a.d. 1207 to the Venetians, who named it St. Irini, from which Santorini is derived. From 1537 Santorini was occupied by Turks liberated in 1821, it became part of modern Greece. During the Minoan eruption, the removal of so much magma caused the volcano to collapse, producing a caldera 32 square miles 83 square kilometers in area. In places its sheer walls soar to nearly 1,200 feet 350 meters above the sea and plunge nearly 1,300 feet 400 meters beneath its surface. Despite a recent history of eruptions1866 1870, 1925 1928, 1938 1941, 1950, and 1956the town of Fera has been continually rebuilt on its precarious perch, the very rim of an active volcano. Most of the housesthe world-famous white-and-blue architecture is a medley of Cycladic and Venetian styles standing cheek by jowlwere built in the nineteenth century after the old Venetian capital of Skaros, immediately to the north, was devastated by earthquakes. Much of Fera was destroyed in the 1956 earthquake, but phoenixlike, it rose again, quite literally from the ashes. Once, the inaccessible location on the calderas lip offered security from seaward attack. And the ancient volcanic deposits have provided a rich source of building material and a richer opportunity to improvise. Feras indigenous architecture, in houses and public buildings alike, responds to the multiple constraints of volcano, earthquake, shortage of timber, and the heat and glare of summer. The abundant volcanic material is used in the lightweight vaults and domes so common in the town. The gleaming white walls reflect the summer sun, generations of layered lime wash making the lines of the structures fluid. Most of the cliff-clutching houses have cool, lofty, vaulted inner rooms carved from Santorinis soft rock mantle only the sala front room is built up. This inexpensive way to enlarge a house gave rise to an architecture and an urban design in which one houses courtyard is the roof of the house below it. More importantly, this widespread building technique has created a town of sweet integration: no collection of competing buildings, this, but a place with an overwhelming sense of community. .....
Firth of Forth Railway Bridge
66. Scotland
Nine miles west of Edinburgh, Scotland, the mouth of the River Forth is spanned by Europes first all-steel, long-span bridge. Completed in 1890 it was then the longest bridge in the world. Until 1917 it was also the largest metal cantilever, and at the beginning of the twenty-first century it remains the second largest ever built. It was a major accomplishment of Victorian engineering. The extension of the railroad along Scotlands east coast, to complete the direct route between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, was hampered for most of the nineteenth century by two broad inlets of the North Sea: the Firth mouth of Tay and the Firth of Forth. The River Forth rises near Aberfoyle and widens into its firth about 50 miles 80 kilometers from the ocean. Vessels up to about 300 tons 270 tonnes could navigate as far as Alloa, about 16 miles 26 kilometers inland those up to about 100 tons 91 tonnes could reach Stirling, a little further on. After earlier aborted proposalsa tunnel in 1806 and a bridge in 1818for crossing the firth, little more was attempted for fifty years. In 1865 an act of Parliament sanctioned a bridge across the Queens-ferry Narrows, where the river passes between steep banks at the neck of the firth. Four railroad companiesNorth British, North Eastern, Midland, and Great Northernformed a consortium in 1873 and commissioned Thomas Bouch, engineer for North British, to design the bridge. He proposed a suspension structure with twin spans of 1,600 feet 480 meters. The project was delayed for five years because of lack of funds by spring 1879 only one pier had been started. When the much-vaunted Tay Railway Bridge, also designed by Bouch and less than two years old, collapsed in a gale on 28 December 1879 with the loss of seventy-five lives, work on the Forth bridge was immediately suspended by another act of Parliament. In January 1881 a British Board of Trade inquiry found that the Tay disaster was caused by inadequate design and poor supervision. Bouchs Firth of Forth scheme was abandoned. Within months the engineer died, a broken man. The engineers of the Forth consortiums member railways, Thomas Harrison, William Barlow, John Fowler, and Benjamin Baker, had to develop a new design. In May 1881 Fowler and Baker submitted a plan for a continuous girder, or balanced cantilever, structure. In July 1882 yet another act authorized construction. The Tay bridge affair had so undermined public confidence in railroads that the legislation insisted that the Forth bridge shouldenjoy a reputation of being not only the biggest and strongest, but also the stiffest bridge in the world. There was to be no vibration, even as trains passed over it. Consequently, it was greatly over-engineered. Before 1877 steel bridges had been banned by the Board of Trade because the Bessemer conversion process produced steel of unpredictable strength. The Siemens-Martin open-hearth process, developed by 1875, bad changed that, yielding material of consistent quality. That kind of steel was used in the Forth bridge, heralding the transition from cast and wrought iron in such structures. A smaller steel cantilever bridge had been built in Germany, but the Scottish project was on a larger scale than had been seen before. There is little doubt that its designers owed much to a U.S. model of several years earlier. Between 1869 and 1874 James B. Eads had designed and built the worlds first steel bridge, over the Mississippi at St. Louis, Missouri. Its three-arch superstructure, with a center span of 520 feet 156 meters and side spans of 502 feet 150 meters, supported by four massive limestone piers, carried a railroad and a road for other traffic on two levels. Other pioneering features of Eadss bridge were adopted by the British: the use of pneumatic caissons large diving bells fed with compressed air to excavate the foundation, tubular steel structural members, and a balanced cantilever design that allowed construction to proceed without temporary supports that would have obstructed the waterway. In December 1882 the contract for the Forth bridge was awarded to a consortium led by Tancred Arrol, an experienced and respected company headed by William Arrol, which already had contracts for the Caledonian Railway Bridge over the Clyde and the replacement Tay bridge. At the height of building activity, there would be 4,600 Britons, Italians, Germans, and Austrians working shifts around the clock. The construction of the foundations and piers took until the end of 1885. Each of the bridges three cantilever towers stands on four 70-foot-diameter 21-meter granite piers, founded on the bedrock. Eight of the piers are in water, and their foundations were excavated by men working in wrought-iron pneumatic caissons, sunk up to 90 feet 27 meters below the river surface. The massive cylinders were prefabricated in Glasgow, then dismantled and taken to Queensferry, where they were reassembled. Once excavation was complete, the air shafts and the working spaces were filled with concrete, and the granite piers rose above them. Work on the superstructure began in 1886 using 64,800 tons 54,860 tonnes of steel from two steelworks in Scotland and another in Wales, fixed with rivets from a Glasgow foundry. All the structural members were fabricated in on-site workshops, pre-drilled, test-assembledexact dimensions were needed in a riveted structureand then dismantled to be painted and carried to the site for erection. Each of the 331-foot-high 99.3-meter cantilevers consists of two inward-sloping trusses fabricated from huge, internally stiffened tubular members up to 12 feet 3.6 meters in diameter. They support 680-foot-long 204-meter cantilever arms that are linked midspan by suspended girders of about half that length, making the distances between the towers about 1,700 feet 540 meters. The length of the bridge between the end piers is about 5,300 feet 1,600 meters. Together with the approach viaducts and arches at each end, the bridge carries the double-track railroad for 2,765 yards 2,490 meters, 150 feet 45 meters above the surface of the Firth of Forth. The central gap was closed on 14 November 1889, and the Prince of Wales ceremonially opened the bridge on 4 March 1890. .....
Florence Cathedral dome
67. Florence, Italy
The dome of the cathedral church of Santa Maria del Fiore St. Mary of the Flowers in Florence, Italy, was designed and built by Filippo Brunelleschi 1377 1446 in the beginning of the fifteenth century. Towering over the immediately surrounding buildings and still visible, almost 600 years later, from any part of the city, it is one of Europes greatest architectural and engineering achievementsa masterpiece of structural ingenuity. Brunelleschis dome completed the building, which had been started in September 1296 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio. Arnolfos original design, which included a much lower cupola, went through many changes, although it is probable that his general plan was retained. Work ceased when he died in 1310, and did not resume until 1331, when the powerful Wool Merchants Guild assumed responsibility for construction. In 1334, simply because he wasa very great man, the painter Giotto di Bondone was appointed capomaestro to Florence Cathedral, and he designed the freestanding 278-foot 85-meter bell tower near the southwestern corner of the church. Not finished until two years after his death in 1337, the characteristically Florentine building is facedas is the church itselfwith geometric patterns of red Siena, green Prato, and white Carrara marbles. It was later enriched with relief panels by Luca della Robbia and Andrea Pisano. The cathedral was beleaguered by further delays caused by political intrigue, a capricious economy, and not least, in 1348, an outbreak of plague that halved the citys population. The following year Francesco Talenti was appointed to oversee the work. Apart from completing the bell tower, he continually revised the design, working in conjunction with Giovanni di Lapo. Talentisfinal scheme evolved by 1366 1367: the nave, flanked by single aisles, was articulated in four square bays leading to an octagonal sanctuary, from which four chapels radiated. Construction work was well in hand by 1370 the nave vaults were finished in 1378 and the aisles a year later. Important in Talentis design was a huge octagonal dome over the sanctuary, and construction of its drum had been commenced. In 1417 a committee, the Opera del Duomo, was charged with the monumental task of building the dome. In 1418 Brunelleschi, who had been recently engaged in bridge building in Pisa, was commissioned to act as adviser. But soon after that the project again lapsed. The dome presented a seemingly impossible problem for the builders because not only did it have to span 135 feet 41.5 meters, but it also had to begin nearly 180 feet 55 meters above the floor. Nothing of the kind or size had been built since the Roman Pantheon about 1,300 years earlier. A competition was announced, and at a March 1419 meeting, solutions were offered by invited master masons from Italy, France, Germany, and England. None was satisfactory. It was impossible to construct scaffolding to support traditional centering at such a height. Supporting permanent masonry piers were out of the question because they would clutter the sanctuary, blocking the view to the high altar and defeating the purpose of the cathedral. Someone even suggested that the sanctuary should be filled with a mixture of earth and coins to enable the erection of scaffolding then, when the dome was complete, the citizens of Florence could remove the soil as they dug for the buried treasure. Brunelleschi asserted that he could build the dome without confronting any of these problems. At first, the committee was skeptical, and when he excitedly defended his position, he was forcibly removed from their meeting. Given another chance to present his proposal, he was reluctant to reveal details. His biographer Giorgio Vasari recounts a delightful anecdote: producing an egg and a thin marble slab, Brunelleschi challenged anyone there to balance the egg on the slab. No one could, and the items were returned to Filippo. He cracked the egg, and stood it upright. To the protestWe could have done that! he replied,Thats what you will say if I tell you how I will build the dome! He was given the commission. What qualified this sculptor, who trained as a goldsmith, studied science and mathematics, and dabbled in clock making, engineering, and architecture, to confidently undertake such a daunting project? It has been suggested that, because his father was closely connected with the management of the cathedral, Filippo had known of the problem of the dome since 1402, making his first designs as early as 1409. In the intervening years he had studied classical architecture in Rome, developing his own theory of architecture from about 1410. When his model of the dome was accepted in 1418, Brunelleschi returned to Rome to investigate ancient structures, including the Pantheon. Back in Florence a year later, he built a smaller version of the dome in the Ridolfi chapel in San Jacopo sopr Arno since destroyed, perhaps to convince his doubters, perhaps himself. He would repeat the process six years later in a chapel built for Bartolommeo Barbardori in the church of Santa Felicita. Also in 1419, Filippo reluctantly accepted the appointment of his old rival, the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, as coarchitect of the dome. Work began in 1420, and the project occupied Filippo for the rest of his life. Ghibertis incompetence was soon exposed not without Brunelleschis connivance, and in 1423 Filippo was given complete charge. Besides his genius for design, his success was ensured by his management of the construction site. He personally undertook the quality control of materials he designed the plant needed to efficiently raise those materialsall 27,000 tons 24,500 tonnesto the dome he resolved industrial unrest by convincing the workers of his own capabilities he communicated with the masons by modeling details in clay, wood, wax, and even carved turnips he ensured good working relationships and he increased productivity by providingvendors of wine and bread and cooks in the heights of the dome. Strictly speaking, Filippos dome is no dome at all, but a double-shell cupola formed by completely self-supporting rings of diminished diameter, built ofherringbone brickwork originally stone was intended but was soon abandoned because of the weight, and stiffened by a frame of eight steeply pointed arches built on centering supported from the drum. Between these ribs, Brunelleschi and his eight assistantsthe masters of the trowelconstructed a double vault, on which a movable light shuttering supported the brickwork during construction. The finished structure was light, strong, and extremely stable. To ensure against spreading, Brunelleschi tied the bottom of the cupola with a massive chain of ironbound oak. Several reasons may be suggested for its hybridized structure. First, Brunelleschi was, quite naturally, unable to divorce himself from medieval precedent second, while he showed great inventiveness, he did not fully understand the structural issues involved and therefore, third, he took measures to ensure the stability of the dome. Fourth, he may have included the ribs simply to convince his clients that it was stable.Shrewd is how Vasari described him. The dome was not a Renaissance building. It did not even herald the Renaissance. It drew upon Brunelleschis study of ancient techniques from both East and West, principally upon the engineering practice of the Middle Ages. In ingenuity it surpassed them all. The cupola was completed in 1434. Two years later the huge lantern was placed, and the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436. The four hemidomed tribunes were completed in 1438. The decorations to the lantern were finished by 1446, when Brunelleschi was dying, and the great copper sphere crowned it all in 1474. .....
Foundling Hospital
68. Florence, Italy
The Foundling Hospital known in Italian as the Ospedale degli Innocenti stands in the Piazza SS. Annunziata, Florence. As its name indicates, it was a refuge for abandoned or orphaned children. Around 1419, over a century after the foundation of the institution, the powerful Guild of Silk Merchants and Goldsmiths Arte della Lana funded a new building to house refectories, dormitories, infirmaries, and nurseries, all joined with cloisters and porticoes. Designed by the ubiquitous artist Filippo Brunelleschi 1377 1446, the new ospedale was a seminal achievement, representing a change not only in how architecture looked but also in the way in which the building industry was structured. Some scholars hail it as the first Renaissance building and its author as the sole instigator of those changes, the pioneer of a new phase in western European architecture. The humanism of the Renaissance should never be confused with humanitarianism. Neither should accounts of urbane courtly life be thought of as accurately reflecting the entire social structure. On the contrary, the Renaissance was socially divisive at many levels, even within the family, regardless of class. Children, especially, were victims of a value system that often counted them as chattels whose sole reason for being was to perpetuate a particular dynasty or expand social and political power by strategic marriages. If they could not be put to such use, they were at best ignored at worst, they were literally abandoned. Although little was done to overturn the attitudes that created this problem, many institutions were set up to care for foundlings. But in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, throughout Italy and most of Europe the orphanages could hardly provide for the number of rejected children. The Foundling Hospital was one such refuge that took them in, raised them, and taught them a trade. Although he was trained as a goldsmith, a series of events in his native Florence early in the fifteenth century caused Brunelleschi to decide to go to Rome, where for about three years he made a detailed archeological study of ancient monuments. After dabbling in clock making and civil engineering, he turned toward the art of architecture. Untrained in the building profession like the contemporary mason-architect, who was the inheritor of medieval traditions and who to some degree physically built what he designed, Brunelleschi was an artist-architect, independent of long-standing trade and craft conventions. He was therefore able to devise, largely through his own intuition, different ways to build. Moreover, producing his oeuvre several decades before the formal architectural theories of the Renaissance had developed, he was also independent of the unbendingcorrectness of later philosopher-architects. In the right place at the right timethe fertile intellectual seedbed of quattrocento Florencehe was free to create a beautiful amalgam, a culturally appropriate new architecture, by reinterpreting classical elements within the graceful tradition of Tuscan Romanesque. Given the Florentines admiration for anything of classical Rome, it is hardly surprising that the Foundling Hospital is replete with classical motifs. The loggia, doubtless the most familiar aspect of the building, is drawn from the porticoes that surrounded the Roman forum like most Roman temples, it stands on a platform above the general level of the piazza. Slender columns, with Brunelleschis version of Corinthian capitals, support a light, cross-vaulted arcade incidentally, constructed without scaffolding. Classical moldings abound, and there is an entablature of shallow classical profile. The rectangular upper-story windows have triangular pediments, and the facade is crowned with a classical cornice. The elements of the loggiaindeed, most of the buildings exteriorare defined with the beautiful gray-green stone known as pietra serena. The round-arched loggia was a familiar element in fourteenth-century Florentine buildings, including hospitals, and Tuscan architecture had long been characterized by the emphasis of structure through the use of darker bands of stone: for example, in the Pisa Cathedral group or San Miniato al Monte in Florence itself. The interior spatial articulation of the Foundling Hospital is based upon a porticoed courtyard. It is Roman-like, its larger apartments and service rooms symmetrically disposed about an axis. The outer loggia unites it all as well as tying the whole building to the piazza. In the spandrels between arches, Andrea della Robbia 1435 1525 later added colored faience medallions portraying babies in swaddling clothes. Although he used a Roman architectural vocabulary, Brunelleschis syntax to continue the analogy was decidedly un-Roman. The rigor of archeologically correct classical grammar would emerge in the so-called High Renaissance, whose architects would never carry for example an arch on a column, because that had not been the Roman way. In fact, the delicately proportioned esthetic of the Foundling Hospital owes as much to medieval precedent as to classical models. Brunelleschi may have confused his chronology, because his contemporaries had a skewed view of history. The architecture of ancient Rome was not republican as the Florentines wanted to believe but imperial, and Romanesque was certainly not Roman. .....
Frederick C Robie House
69. Chicago, Illinois
When it was completed in June 1910, one neighbor described the Frederick C. Robie House as abattleship another said it was adisgrace. But in 1957 its architect Frank Lloyd Wright, never known for his modesty, accurately claimed it to be thecornerstone of modern architecture. Many critics agree, and the building has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of Wrights major architectural contributions to the United States. In 1963 it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and a Chicago Landmark in 1971. The Robie House is the fullest expression of the dwellings known as Prairie houses. It is no exaggeration to say that, as a decisive, even shocking, contrast to traditional contemporary houses, it revolutionized domestic architecture throughout the world. Wright and others developed the Prairie stylenamed for WrightsHome in a Prairie Town published in the Ladies Home Journal in February 1901mainly in the Chicago area, asa modern architecture for a democratic American society. The Prairie house was designed to blend in with the flat, expansive midwestern landscape. What characterized it? Wrightsorganic architecture philosophy is difficult to define in few words, but simply, it was this: the house was a single living space, and everything about it grew from a plan that expressed the owners individuality that is, the house fits the family, not vice versa. The openness was achieved by exploiting technology: central heating defied the harsh prairie winters. Through sensitive use of materials, the spaces became a whole whose external masses, expressing what was within, existed in harmony with each other and the earth itselfthe building grew out of the site, so to speak. In 1908 Frederick Carlton Robie, a bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer, decided to build a house for himself and his wife, Lora. He purchased a city lot at the corner of East 58th Street and Woodlawn Avenue in Chicagos Hyde Park because Lora wanted to live near her alma mater. Robie knew exactly what he wanted: a house with large eaves, broad vistas, andall the light [he] could get avoidingcurvatures and doodads, it would be a house whose rooms werewithout interruption. A number of architects advised him to consult Wright, who then had a mostly domestic practice in the suburb of Oak Park. Because of the affinity between client and architect, the design was soon resolved, and construction started in March 1909. The Robies moved in just fifteen months later. Wright designed the building as two abutting elongated cuboids, separating the living areas from the service areas. The smaller was at the back, and its lower level contained a three-car garage and the main first-floor entrance above it were the servants quarters, a kitchen, and a guest room. The front part, with stairs ascending through it, had a broad central chimney. A semibasement housed a billiard room and childrens playroom, opening to a long, narrow courtyard. Wrighteliminat[ed] the room as a box by making the living and dining areas into a single space partially divided by the chimney the living room gave on to a terrace, defined by low walls. The bedrooms were above, in the center of the house. In a 1918 critique, the Dutch architect J. J. P. Oud praised the functional planning the plan-generated, three-dimensional form and the way in which Wright exploited modern materials and technology in the spirit of the age. He pronounced the design asource of esthetic pleasure for the practised critic. The Robie Houses low-pitched overhanging roof-at the ends it extended 20 feet 6 meters beyond the walls, supported by steel cantileversand the long wall of flat Roman bricks with flush finished joints combined with balconies lined with planter boxes and continuous limestone copings to emphasize horizontality, what Wright called the line of domesticity, the line of repose. The overhang also created a micro-climate, in summer shading the glass-walled southern exposure of the house and in winter protecting the windows from rain and snow. Besides that, it provided a sense of shelter and privacy for those within. Almost 180 patterned lead-light glass windows, screens, and doors add to the fluidity of the inner spaces and serve to coalesce the interior of the house and its surroundings. Wright designed more than a househe created an environment. He designed rich interiors, glowing with natural oak finishes, patterned glass, furnishing textiles, loose and built-in furniture also of oak, and carpets. He also carefully integrated the mechanical and electrical services with the over-all design. Sadly, the Robies were soon obliged to sell their wonderful house because of financial difficulties. It remained a residence until 1926, when the Chicago Theological Seminary bought it and used it for a dormitory. When it was slated for demolition in 1957, Wright himself then ninety years old led the campaign, to save it. The development firm of Webb and Knapp purchased it and six years later donated it to the University of Chicago. Neglect and vandalism including alterations took their toll. In 1992 the university began negotiations with the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation now renamed the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust about jointly undertaking a restoration program. In January 1997 the two institutions entered an agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation under which the foundation became responsible for the house. Currently, it is planned to spend more than $7 million on a ten-year conservation project. The house has been nominated for inclusion on UNESCOs World Heritage List. .....
Galerie des Machines Gallery of Machines
70. Paris, France
The Galerie des Machines was designed for the 1889 Paris International ExhibitionLExposition Tricoloreeby architect Ferdinand Dutert 1845 1906 in collaboration with engineer Victor Contamin 1840 1893. It was remarkable for its vast exhibition hall, made possible by exploiting a new structural innovation, the three-pin hinged or portal arch. Although used previously in bridge construction, this was the first application of the arch on such a large scale. The concept of exhibiting to the world a nations resources and achievements in art, science, and industry has its origins in ancient times. According to the Bible, the fifth-century-b.c. Persian king Xerxes I showed the riches of his kingdom for five months. More recently, fine art exhibitions were mounted, but such shows gradually added inventions. Following the Industrial Revolution and the consequent rise of mechanization, expositions demonstrating industrial progress were held regularly. Before 1900, no fewer than thirteen were organized in the manufacturing centers and capitals of Europe. They were popular events and buildings were purpose-built for them perhaps the most renowned was Joseph Paxtons revolutionary Crystal Palace, built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1851. In turn, many of those structures became showpieces of structural and technological advances. Following the celebrated success of the Great Exhibition and Britains abandonment of such shows after 1862, the French seized the opportunity to take center stage, so to speak. Between 1855 and 1900 five international exhibitions were presented in Paris, boasting of the progress of French industry and the countrys rapid transition from a predominantly agrarian to an industrial economy. By 1889 when LExposition Tricoloree commemorated the centenary of the French Revolution, the size and variety of machines and other items offered for display were so great that a range of special exhibition spaces was needed. A formal entrance structure was builtthe famed Eiffel Towerand two long galleries were dedicated to the fine and liberal arts and a third to clothing and furniture exhibits. Beyond them and behind the Dome Central that terminated the long axis of the showground rose the vast and impressive Galerie des Machines. Built principally of iron and glass, the structure employed a three-hinged or portal arch spanning a phenomenal 375 feet 114 meters the widest previously achieved was 242 feet 74 meters in the train shed of St. Pancras Station, London, about 25 years earlier. The display hall was 1,270 feet 380 meters long, and its colossal proportions provided the largest unobstructed floor area of any building in historyan ideal setting in which to show the world the massive engines, transformers, dynamos, and other wonders of the age. The 20 prefabricated wrought-iron trusses of the main span comprised two half-arches, hinged at their meeting point 143 feet 45 meters above the floor. They curved and tapered to a slender wedgelike base, where their loads were distributed to the ground through a hinged joint. The apparent lightness with which they touched the ground defied the conventional, rational notion that the base was the principal load-bearing component of any structure here that role was seemingly reversed. The hinges allowed small movements between the foot of the frames and the foundation but made the arches statically determinate. Thus, stresses and reactions at the supports could be calculated beforehand and were only slightly influenced by movements of the supports or thermally induced dimensional variations. The iron frame of the galerie was exposed at each end in a frank display of its construction system. The walls were generally glazed, in part with colored glass. Paintings, mosaic, and ceramic bricks also formed part of the cladding. Elevated tracks on each side of the long axis carried mobile walkways above the exhibition space, allowing visitors to travel in carriages and to look down on the machines. The interior was lit by electric lights, invented only some seven years earlier. The galerie was more than just a place for displaying machinery it was in itself, as one historian has observed, anexhibiting machine. It was enlarged for the 1900 Paris Exposition but demolished in 1910, because so the reason was given it spoiled the view of the church of Les Invalides. By then, the three-hinged arch was in wide use. .....
Garden city idea
71. The garden city idea was conceived in late-nineteenth-century Britain by London-born stenographer and inventor Ebenezer Howard 1850 1928. A garden city movement emerged, inspired by his seminal text Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform 1898, revised as Garden Cities of Tomorrow 1902, and by the example of on-the-ground models. The movement supported Howards objectives of improved residential environments and social opportunity. It made an enduring contribution to international planning thought by fostering the growth of planned residential communities and shaping ideas about the form and size of cities and towns. The process of industrialization placed immense pressure on the physical resources of cities while at the same time depleting the agrarian workforce. Manufacturing processes and products took precedence over workers needs. Employees toiled long hours and lived in overcrowded, often degraded, accommodations close to their workplace. Parks and gardensgreen spaceswere rare, so there was little escape from industrial din and pollution. Social communication waned crime and immorality increased. For much of the nineteenth century, the social condition and the issue of land reform occupied reformers, economists, and intellectuals in Britain and elsewhere. In an earnest attempt to find a way forward, societies, organizations, and ameliorative action groups were formed meetings and debates held publications released and theories and schemes advanced. Industrialists made practical efforts to improve employees working and living conditions. Well-known ventures in England included Lever Brothers soap factory at Port Sunlight, Liverpool 1888, and the Cadbury chocolate-making enterprise at Bournville, Birmingham 1879. Elsewhere there was Agneta Park near Delft, Holland, and industrial villages outside Noisiel, France, Essen, Germany, and in the United States at Lowell, Massachusetts. Ebenezer Howard drew from a full larder of antecedents in devising his unique solution to urban disorder and misery. The answer wasGarden City, a town located in a rural setting but presenting all urban functions and services, thus combining the advantages of both town and country life. His scheme affirmed the role of the individual and the home in the urban landscape and the importance of satisfaction with home and place in the building of community. It would provide decent housing, ample opportunity for social interaction, and contact with nature to help keep mind and body healthy. Garden City was envisioned as a preplanned, self-contained community of about 32,000 people. Its notional circular layout was enveloped and restricted by a greenbelt that offered clean air and space for agricultural and recreational pursuits. The city was divided into six equal segments or wards, separated by boulevards with a public park at the center and designated sites for municipal buildings, dwellings, churches, schools, and playgrounds. Shops were housed in a glass arcade encircling the central park. Facilities were within easy walking distance of all the houses. The industrial sector was placed at the perimeter and segregated from the residential to isolate noise and pollution. The garden citys self-governing community was to own and administer the land on which it was built revenue would be derived from ground rents and profits returned for the communal benefit. Howard envisaged that once the population reached its limit, a new garden city would be established nearby, eventually creating a cluster of satellite communitiesSocial Cityinterconnected by a rapid-transit system. The Garden City Association 1899 and its successor, the Garden Cities and Town Planning Association 1909, supported Howards idea and promoted the construction of a model. The first was Letchworth Garden City, begun in 1904 in Hertfordshire, England, to a design by British architect-planner Raymond Unwin 1863 1940 and architect Barry Parker 1867 1941. A second garden city was built at Welwyn 1921. As its chief practitioner, Unwin played a vital role in disseminating the goals and principles of garden city planning. Letchworth demonstrated that Howards holistic vision was difficult to implement, but it was lauded nonetheless for its exposition of the physical, environmental aspects of the idea rather than its economic, political, and social themes. It featured low-density development land-use zoning separate industrial and residential areas existing natural features variation in road width harmony in building scale, form, colors, and materials public open space private and public gardens and tree-lined streets. These components became popularly accepted as standard for planningon garden city lines and informed the design of residential offspring of the garden citygarden suburbs, towns, and villages. The most renowned of these, Unwins Hampstead Garden Suburb 1907, northwest of London, was the model for subsequent and numerous developments in England, continental Europe, the United States, Australasia, Asia, and Africa. In accord with garden city wisdom, each was adapted to suit local topographical, social, economic, and cultural conditions. However, the theory underpinning the form was the same. At the metropolitan level, Howards argument for forward-looking, comprehensive planning and his vision of decentralized satellite cities surrounded by greenbelts offered a new planning approach and paradigm. It demonstrated how the city could be kept in touch with nature and introduced the concept of the master plan for metropolitan and regional development that was taken up as the century progressed. The garden city idea endured and came to the fore in the post World War II new towns program developed in England to accommodate population overflow in London Mark I towns and later in provincial cities like Liverpool Mark II. Stevenage 1946 in Hertfordshire was the first of the twenty-eight new towns established in Britain. New towns became an international phenomenon, and present-day planning movements such as New Urbanism acknowledge their debt to the garden city idea. Letchworth, Welwyn, Hampstead Garden Suburb, and many of their international offspring survive. Some have been designated as heritage conservation areas. These now mature examples of planningon garden city lines continue to be attractive and desirable residential environments, proving the soundness of the philosophy that underpinned their plan. .....
Gateway Arch
72. St. Louis Missouri
The 630-foot-high 192-meter stainless-steel Gateway Arch rises from a wooded park within what became the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park on the bank of the Mississippi in St. Louis, Missouri. Taller than the Washington Monument in the national capital and twice as high as the Statue of Liberty, the sleek and seamless Gateway Arch now known as the St. Louis Arch is a major achievement of twentieth-century architecture and structural engineering. A decision was taken in 1935 to establish a national monument in St. Louis, Missouri, to commemorate the nineteenth-century westward expansion that pursued Thomas Jeffersons dream of a continental United States. A large tract of riverfront land in the older part of the city was acquired and cleared, but the project was interrupted by the countrys involvement in World War II. With the return to peace, in 1947 1948 the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association sponsored a design competition for an appropriate monument. The Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen was awarded first prize. Work on design development began in 1961, the year of the architects death, the project being managed by his firm, Eero Saarinen Associates. Fred Severud of the structural engineering practice Severud, Elstad, Krueger and Associates undertook a feasibility study about the buildability of the daring concept, and Dr. Hannskarl Bandel generated exacting calculations for the weighted catenary an inverted version of the curve of a suspended chain that forms the basis of the structure. Bruce Detmers and other architects converted the mathematics into working drawings. The main contractor was MacDonald Construction, and the steel was fabricated and erected by Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel. The first concrete pour for the massive 60-foot-deep 18-meter foundations took place late in June 1962 and construction of the arch itself began eight months later. The span of the arch is the same as its height, and the composite structure consists of 142 welded, stainless-steel-faced sections of equilateral triangular cross sections. The length of their side at the base is 54 feet 16.5 meters, and the sections are 12 feet 3.6 meters high at the top, they have a side length of 17 feet 5.4 meters and are 8 feet 2.4 meters high. The legs have double walls with an inner skin of 0.375-inch-thick about 10-millimeter carbon steel and an outer skin of stainless steel, set 3 feet 90 centimeters apart at the 400-foot 120-meter level, the gap between the skins reduces to less than 8 inches 20 centimeters. For the first 300 feet the space between the walls is filled with concrete above that, to the crown of the arch, the structure is braced with steel stiffeners. It is clear that the engineering design is highly complicated, but all that can be seen from the outside is the sheer skin of polished stainless steel. The wall components were fabricated and bolted together in Pennsylvania and transported to St. Louis by rail. On-site, the triangular sections were welded by highly skilled tradesmen. In July 1998 their specialized work was recognized by the American Welding Societys Historical Welded Structure Award. The completed 50-ton 45.5-tonne double-walled sections were transported to the site on a specially designed railroad car and lifted into place. For the first 72 feet 21.6 meters, conventional cranes on the ground were used above that, purpose-made creeper cranes handled the sections. In effect, each leg of the arch was a vertical cantilever and therefore had no need of scaffolding. But when the 530-foot 162-meter level was reached, a steel stabilizing truss was lifted into place and fixed to brace the two legs while the remaining twenty-one sections and the centralkeystone were located. The arch was completed on 28 October 1965. As the creeper cranes moved back to the ground, their tracks were dismantled and bolt holes in the stainless-steel surface were made good. In 1967 1968 passenger trams were constructed in the hollow core of the arch, to carry visitorsthere were 4 million in 1999to a 140-person observation platform at the top, where tiny plate-glass windows give access to views up to 30 miles 50 kilometers eastward and westward. The total cost of the arch, including $2 million for the internal transportation system, was $13 million. The building received the American Institute of Architects 25 Year Award in 1990. .....
Geodesic domes
73. A geodesic dome is a fractional part of a geodesic sphere, composed of a complex network of triangles. The archetypal geodesic sphere is made up of twenty curved triangles, each corresponding to one facet of the icosahedron, a twenty-faceted solid geometrical figure. The more complex the network that is, the smaller the triangles, the more closely the form approximates a true sphere. Using triangles of varying size, a sphere can be symmetrically divided by thirty-one great circles the largest that can be traced on the surface of a sphere. The triangles form a self-bracing framework that develops structural strength with a minimum amount of material. Thus, the geodesic dome combines the sphere the most efficient container of volume per unit of surface area with the polyhedron, which has the greatest strength per unit of mass. Developed in the first half of the twentieth century, it provided a completely new way of building light, transportable structures with efficient thermal and wind-resisting properties. For example, the aluminum-and-Teflon geodesicPillow Dome designed by Jay Baldwin is a permanent insulated structure that can resist 135-mph 216-kph winds and carry tons of snow it weighs only 0.5 pound per square foot 2.43 kilograms per square meter. The worlds first geodesic dome was assembled on the roof of the Carl Zeiss Optical Works in Jena, Germany, in 1922. The 52-foot-diameter 16-meter structure, designed by Zeisss chief designer, Dr. Walter Bauersfeld, was necessary to test what he no doubt regarded as his more important invention, the planetarium projector. He built a complex skeleton of 3,480 light iron rods, accurate in length to 0.002 inch 0.05 millimeter to form a highly subdivided icosahedron. Twenty-five years later, the American genius Richard Buckminster Fuller 1895 1983 independently derived his geodesic dome patented 29 June 1954 from general principles, and he is generally credited with the invention of the form. Fuller was deeply interested in the issues of shelter and housing, and by the end of World War II he had developed industrialized prototypes of the now-famous Dymaxion Houses, which he built for the Beech Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. He then moved his attention to the construction of domes, because he believed that they reflectednatures coordinate system and therefore provided the optimally efficient way to enclose space. Through much of the 1940s he worked on small models of spheres or part-spheres made up of intersecting great circles, just as Bauersfeld had done. Fuller coined the namegeodesic dome because the arcs of great circles are known as geodesics Greek,earth dividing. In 1948 he seized the chance to take part in the summer school of Black Mountain College in North Carolina, taking with him the material needed to build a large-scale geodesic dome. Applying engineering strategy that he dubbedtensegrity a contraction oftensional integrityFuller loved to invent words, toohe devised a system that depended on a continuous tension element rather thandiscontinuous local compression members. He soon built a number of geodesic domes. In 1953, Fuller built his first commercial dome, for the Ford Motor Company, and it was followed in 1954 by a 42-foot-diameter 12.8-meter cardboard shelter in his exhibit at the Milan Triennale in Italy it was awarded the Grand Prize. A few large-scale applications included the Union Tank Car dome 1958. In I960 Fuller proposed a 2-mile-wide 3.2-kilometer, 200-foot-high 60-meter, temperature-controlled geodesic dome to enclose part of New Yorks Manhattan Island, claiming that the savings of snow-removal costs would amortize the cost within 10 years. On a more practical level, his domes covered military projects including sensitive radar installations radomes, emergency shelters, and mobile housing. They were and are also used for weather stations, industrial workshops, and greenhouses. One was even proposed for a cinema, in collaboration with the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Fullers magnum opus is the former United States Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada, designed with Shoji Sadao. The huge, lacy dome, framed with steel pipes enclosing 1,900 molded acrylic panels, has a diameter of 250 feet 76.5 meters and stands 200 feet 60 meters high,weightless against the sky. It has been adapted by Environment Canada and the city of Montreal and is now known as the Biosphere, an environmental water-monitoring center on the St. Lawrence River. .....
German Pavilion
74. Barcelona, Spain
The German Pavilion at the Barcelona Universal Exhibition of 1929, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is the first built expression of what he calledthe architecture of almost nothing. About a decade earlier he had designed projects for multistory tower blocks, crystal prisms whose uninterrupted glass skins enveloped slender steel frames. They were just ideas, but the Barcelona Pavilion, as it is popularly known, set a standardsome would say, generated a fashionfor the austere minimalist architecture that would be dubbed the International Style at an exhibition in New Yorks Museum of Modern Art just three years later. Esthetically, it was a major development in modern architecture. The temporary single-story building, constructed in 1928 1929 and opened in May 1929, exhibited nothing but itself, a pristine, new kind of architectural space. The only purpose it had to serve was brief: to house a reception for the king and queen of Spain when they attended the official opening. For them, Mies designed the now-famous Barcelona chair, handcrafted from stainless steel and covered in white pigskin. The commanding location of the pavilion took advantage of the flow of visitors between the other display halls and the rest of the exhibition. It stood on a low travertine platform that gave a good view of the grounds and beyond to the city. The northern half of the podium was covered by a flat roof, carried on two rows of equally spaced, cruciform steel columns and an asymmetrical series of discontinuous walls of marble, glass, and onyx, parallel or perpendicular to each other. None of the rectilinear spaces thus formed was fully definedthat is, they formed an open planand the interior and the exterior of the pavilion were treated in the same way. This was the kind of spatial organization that Mies had observed in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright twenty years earlier. The attention to reductive detail and fine finish was the Germans own. His most often quoted axioms wereLess is more andGod is in the details. A minimalist approach probably was justifiable for the Barcelona Pavilion because the building had no set functional program. It was in essence architecture as sculpture, an end in itself. But Mies also applied the philosophy to more functionally complex buildings. An almost contemporary example was the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czechoslovakia commissioned in 1927, it was completed in 1930. Then in 1945 he designed a small weekend house in 9 acres 3.6 hectares of woodland and fields on the bank of the Fox River south of Plano, Illinois, for his mistress, the Chicago physician Edith Farnswortha single room partitioned by a core that includes a kitchen, a fireplace, bathrooms, and a service area. The house is a mechanically perfect cuboid carried on a skeleton frame of sandblasted steel channels and defined by 9-foot 2.7-meter glass walls and concrete floor and roof slabs. Interior finishes include a travertine floor, natural timber fittings, and a stainless-steel counter in the kitchen. Such obsession with refinement, causing Mies to take his architecture of almost nothing almost to the limit, did little to create a comfortable living space. It may have been admirable architecture it was hardly congenial. It is emphasized that the issue was unimportant in the case of the German Pavilion at Barcelona, which was built simply to be seen and admiredas someone called it,a place for contemplative lingering. When the Barcelona Universal Exhibition closed, the German government tried to sell the pavilion to the municipality, without success. It was taken down in January 1930. It was not until 1983 that the Mies van der Rohe Foundation was established to reconstruct the building in Montju .....
Golden Gate Bridge
75. San Francisco, California
When it opened to traffic in May 1937, San Franciscos Golden Gate Bridge boasted the longest single clear span in the world, a claim held true for twenty-seven years. The center span, at 4,200 feet 1,285 meters, was three times longer than the Brooklyn Bridge and 700 feet 214 meters longer than the recently completed George Washington Bridge in New York. Including the two side spans of 1,125 feet 344 meters and the 90-foot-wide 27.5-meter road approaches, its total length was 8,981 feet 2,746 meters. Its towers were the tallest, its main cables the thickest and longest, its submarine foundations the largest ever built. Moreover, the foundation piers of the Golden Gate Bridge were built in the surging currents of the sea and its superstructure was erected across a canyon through which the wind howled at speeds up to 60 mph 96 kph. And all this was achieved without government funding in the midst of a deep economic depression. Against all the odds, the Golden Gate Bridge was a brilliant answer to a whole cluster ofinsoluble problems. On 5 August 1775 Lieutenant Don Juan Manuel Ayala of the Spanish navy sailed the San Carlos from the Pacific Ocean into San Francisco Bay through the 3-mile-long by 1-mile-wide 4.8-by-1.6-kilometer strait now known as the Golden Gate one Captain John Fremont of the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers named it some 60 years later after Turkeys Golden Horn. There is a compelling myth that the San Francisco eccentric Joshua Norton, self-styledNorton the First, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, decreed in 1869 that a bridge be built across the Golden Gate. The story may have become confused with his pronouncement of March 1872 ordering a bridge across the Bay between Oakland Point and Goat Island, an idea he probably gleaned from well-publicized current transportation debates. In fact, the possibility of spanning the Golden Gate was first raised in 1872 by the railroad owner Charles Crocker, who naturally wanted to build a railroad bridge. But little more was heard of the matter until July 1916. James Wilkins, editor of the San Francisco Call Bulletin, began a campaign that provoked City Engineer Michael OShaughnessy to seek, nationwide, the opinion of engineers on the project. Most said a bridge could not be built the objections raised included the width of the strait, persistent foggy conditions, high winds and ocean currents, and not least, the high cost: some forecast $100 million. However, the experienced Chicago bridge builder Joseph Baermann Strauss 1870 1938 believed that a bridge was feasible and that it could be built for under $30 million. In June 1921 he proffered a preliminary design for a railroad trestle with a cost estimated at $27 million. Then he energetically tried to convince local politicians that he was right. Although urban growth and traffic congestion led to an urgent need to cross the Golden Gate, all available state and federal finance had then been diverted to other projects. In 1922 OShaughnessy, Strauss, and Edward Rainey, secretary to San Franciscos mayor James Rolph Jr., proposed the formation of a special bridge district comprising the twenty-one affected counties to oversee financing, design, and construction of the bridge. The California State legislature passed the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District Act in May 1923. In December 1924 the War Department authorized San Francisco and Marin Counties to construct a bridge. Despite opposition from vested interests, the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District was immediately formed to realize the project. Eleven engineering firms submitted proposals, and Strauss, assisted by Clifford Paine, was selected as chief engineer in August 1929. Consulting engineers Othmar Amman and Leon Moisseiff, both of New York, and Professor Charles Derleth Jr. of the University of California were appointed. The consulting architects were the husband-wife team of Irving and Gertrude Morrow. Strauss, who had never designed a suspension bridge, first proposed an inelegant cantilever-cum-suspension structure, but Moisseiff, convinced that a simple suspension bridge was possible although such a span had never been attempted, helped refine the design that was eventually built. The architects did their part, too, designing handrails and light poles, tapering the tower portals, and designing lighting, all to emphasize the bridges simple beauty. And, setting aside the conventional paint colors used on bridges, they selected the distinctiveinternational airways orange for which the Golden Gate Bridge is famous. That, Irving Morrow believed, would look better in the spectacular landscape and would be more visible in the sea mists for which the Bay Area is noted. In August 1930 the War Department approved a 4,200-foot 1,285-meter main span, 220 feet 67 meters above the sea. Although the United States was sunk in the Great Depression, a $35 million bond issue to finance the bridge received overwhelming popular support. Contracts worth $23.8 million were let in November 1932, and construction started the following January. Over the next four years it proceeded in the face of many natural problemsrapid sea currents, frequent fogs, and high windsand technical ones, especially the construction of earthquake-resistant piers in 100 feet of open water. The latter was solved by building elliptical concrete fenders, 300 feet long and 155 wide 92 by 48 meters, within which the 148,000-ton 134,500-tonne concrete piers could be poured rising 15 feet 4.6 meters above high-water mark, the fenders also protect the piers from the onslaught of the sea. The piers and the approach trestles were completed by December 1934 and the 121-foot-wide 37-meter, 750-foot-high 230-meter towers were standing a little over six months later. The steel sections for the towers, fabricated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, were sent via East Coast seaports through the Panama Canal to McClintic-Marshalls yards in Alameda. Then they were carried by lighters to the site, lifted by cranes, and erected by teams of riggers. Catwalks spanned the Golden Gate by July 1935, and John A. Roebling and Sons of New Jersey began spinning the two main cables from the San Francisco and Marin anchorages four months later. Each galvanized steel cable is 36.375 inches 920 millimeters in diameter, comprising 61 strands of 452 wires. They were completed by March 1936, and the roadway steel was placed from June through November, allowing construction of the flexible in situ concrete road deck, finished by April 1937. The bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic on 27 May 1937 and to vehicles at noon the following day. It had been achieved ahead of schedule and under budget. An estimated 200,000 people walked over it on the first day, and a weeklong Golden Gate Bridge Fiesta celebrated the event with fireworks, parades, and other entertainment. .....
Grand Buddha
76. Leshan, China
Dafo Grand Buddha, the worlds largest figure of Buddha, provides tacit testimony to the engineering skills of medieval Chinese civilization. It is carved from the Xiluo Peak of Mount Lingyun, facing the town of Leshan in the Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China. Work began on the 229-foot-high 71-meter seated figure in a.d. 713 and took 90 years to complete.Comparisons may give an idea of the ambitious scope of the project. Seated, the Grand Buddha is about 80 feet 25 meters taller than the figure of the Statue of Liberty were he standing, he would be over twice her height. His shoulders are 92 feet 28 meters wide and his head 48 feet 14.7 meters high the Washington head on Mount Rushmore is 60 feet 18.3 meters. The Buddhas big toe is 27 feet 8.3 meters long, and 100 people can easily stand together on his instep. The practice of creating large statues of the Buddha probably began in India and spread throughout Asia. Standing and seated figures and others in the lotus position can be found in Bilingsi, China Wat Thatorn, Thailand and Kamakura, Japan. But the only ones that approached the size of the Leshan Buddha were in the Bamian valley of Afghanistan. Tragically, the two third-century-a.d. sandstone carvings, 182 feet 55 meters and 125 feet 38 meters high, respectively, were wantonly destroyed by the fanatical Taliban in March 2001. The Leshan Buddha is in a serene region known asBuddhist Paradise andCelestial World on Earth, long associated with the religion in China. Nearby, the 10,000-foot 3,060-meter Mount Emei, one of four sacred Buddhist mountains, rises steeply above the Dadu River. Once there were perhaps 100 pilgrimage sitestemples and monasteriesthroughout its abundant forests. Many of them were originally Taoist foundations established during the Eastern Han dynasty under Emperor Ming a.d. 58 75 others were added during the Ming and Qing dynasties 1368 1911. Not all have survived. In the eighth century, Leshan, then known as Jiazhou, was a prosperous inland port and trading center. Silk and textiles from Chengdu, 105 miles 168 kilometers to the northeast, and the agricultural bounty of the Chuanxi Plains were shipped down the Minjiang River to join the Qingyi Jiang and the Dadu, waterways that opened trade routes to much of China. The confluence of these fast-flowing streams created dangerous turbulence above a deep hollow, and boats often capsized. There is a tradition that a monk named Hai Tong, from the nearby Lingyun Monastery, initiated the carving of the Grand Buddha to quieten the waters. Ironically, because of the magnitude of the undertaking, involving a large workforce for almost a century, he did not live to see the figure completed. It may be difficult for the modern mind to grasp the singleness of purpose, on the part of Hai Tong and the builders alike, necessary to sustain such a project for so long. Romantic tales are attached to the statue and the determined man who conceived it: he is said to have gouged out his eyes in some ruse to keep funding for the statue, and spent the remainder of his life in an abandoned cave tomb. As to the river, there is a tradition that it was calmed, perhaps because countless tons of discarded rock were thrown into the pool that caused the problem, perhaps by the watchful presence of D .....
Grand Coulee Dam
77. Washington State
Commenced during the Great Depression, Washington States Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River about 88 miles 142 kilometers west of Spokane, is a monument to engineering prowess and to the resolve of those people who for 23 years fought for its creation. The key to the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, it provides the region with electric power, irrigation, and flood control and contributes to wildlife conservation. The Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concrete structure ever built in the United States and the nations largest hydroelectric facility. Its 550-foot-high 168-meter gravity-type concrete wall, 500 feet 152 meters thick at the base, spans a little under 1 mile 1,592 meters and raises the water surface 350 feet above the former riverbed. Nearly 12 million cubic yards over 9 million cubic meters of concrete were needed to build it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Lake often simply called Roosevelt Lake, created by the dam, has a 600-mile 960-kilometer shoreline and extends 150 miles 240 kilometers to the Canadian border. After several ruinous years of drought in the Northwest early in the twentieth century, the U.S. Reclamation Service Bureau now the Bureau of Reclamation considered pumping water from the Columbia River to irrigate agricultural land in eastern Washington, a region then served by artesian wells. In 1917 an Ephrata attorney named William Clapp proposed an alternative: build a high-level dam on the Columbia and raise water to the Grand Coulee, the 50-mile-long 80-kilometer natural channel of the old riverbed, thereby opening up more than 1 million acres 403,230 hectares of irrigated farmland. Rufus Woods, editor of the Wenatchee Daily World, publicized the notion a few months later. In 1919 the Michigan lawyer James OSullivan became interested enough to put it before the Reclamation Service, which directed Washington States Columbia Basin Survey Commission to include it in a current feasibility study focused on irrigating the basin by gravity canals from the Pend Oreille River. In the teeth of opposition from vested interests connected with the latter scheme, the dams protagonists managed to enthuse, among others, A. P. Davis, director of the Reclamation Service. At OSullivans prompting, Davis suggested that the state commission an objective report from Seattle engineer Willis Batchelor, who in 1921 recommended a dam on the Columbia, 220 feet 67 meters above river level. Several years of argument followed. In 1923 George Goethals of Panama Canal fameapparently a paid prophetendorsed the canal system, and two years later the federal Columbia Basin Survey Board of Engineers supported his view. But OSullivan, Woods, Clapp, and others unflaggingly kept the dam project alive, and in 1927 the U.S. Senate authorized the Army Corps of Engineers, under Major John Butler, to look for possible sites during a 1929 survey of the upper Columbia River. In June the Columbia River Development League was formed with Woods as president and OSullivan as secretary. The Wenatchee Daily World became its mouthpiece. Late in 1931 Butler told Congress that a dam was more economical than a gravity canal: besides providing irrigation and flood control, it would raise revenue from electrical energy. OSullivan lobbied for authorization, and the Bureau of Reclamation soon recommended development of the project, almost in the form in which it was eventually realized. In 1933 the Columbia Basin Commission was established, and the state of Washington committed $377,000 to the Grand Coulee Dam. Recently elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt allocated $63 million under the Public Works Administrationa New Deal program. Through the Great Depression men and women from all over the United States would find work at the dam site: averaging 3,000, the labor force peaked at 6,000. Excavation began in December 1933, and seven months later a $29.34 million contract for the foundation work was awarded to MWAK, a consortium formed by Silas Mason Company of New York City Walsh Construction Company of Davenport, Iowa and the Atkinson-Kier Company of San Francisco. Such a large undertaking called for a complex infrastructure: high-tension power lines were set up, the Columbia River was bridged, and over 30 miles nearly 50 kilometers of railroad and 60 miles of sealed roads were constructed. A contractors town, Mason City, and Coulee Dam, a government town, were built at the site. Four years later, a consortium formed by linking MWAK and the Six CompaniesKaiser Construction of Seattle Morrison Knudsen of Boise, Idaho Utah Construction J. F. Shea Pacific Bridge and McDonald and Kahn all of San Francisco and General Construction Company of Seattlewon the $34.4 million contract for the completion of the dam. Their bid was 80 percent of the only other tender. The proposed height of the dam had been determined by the rather parochial notion that the impounded water should not back up beyond the Canadian border. Then the projects main reason for being was irrigationthere were more droughts in the early 1930sand flood control, rather than power generation. The Pacific Northwest had plenty of electricity and there was little prospect of industrial expansion. Therefore the original designs included a 350-foot 107-meterlow dam about 3,500 feet 1,070 meters long, which would bring the water surface to only 150 feet 46 meters above the river level. Should the demand for power increase, it was intended to later raise the wall. That was flawed thinking. Achieving a tight joint between the two parts of the wall would have been difficult, even dangerous later changes to the turbines would be costly and it was more expedient to construct the concrete foundation of a high dam at the start of the project. So, with the approval of Congress, the contracts were redrawn in June 1935 to build the high dam to plans by John Lucian, chief designer of BuRec engineers. The main dam was completed by 1941 and work commenced on the pumping plant and powerhouses. The entry of the United States into World War II meant dramatic changes in priorities for the dam. Power generation was given first place because the regions aluminum industry, a large consumer of electricity, was critical to the defense effort. Six generators were commissioned at the Grand Coulee, and two more were borrowed from the incomplete Shasta Dam project in northern California. Soon after the war, construction resumed on the pumping plant and in 1951 the irrigation system was inaugurated. Six huge pumps lifted water through 280 feet 85.6 meters from Roosevelt Lake to Banks Lake equalizing reservoir in the Grand Coulee. In 1973 two more reversible pump-generator units were installed, followed by another four late in 1983. Feeding more than 300 miles 480 kilometers of associated canals, and nearly 5,500 miles 8,800 kilometers of laterals, siphons, and drains, the pumps can fully supply almost 1.1 million acres about 440,000 hectares of formerly dry land. They are not yet being used at their full capacity. The reversible pump-generators installed could of course be used for power generation, augmenting the already remarkable output of the Grand Coulee Dam, whose power production facilities are by far the largest in North America. Two plants, with a total of eighteen generators, were operational by 1951. A third, coming on line in 1975, increased capacity to about 7,200 megawatts. By 1978 the three were producing over 6,000 megawatts, and subsequently additional generatorsthe total number is now 33have achieved an output of over 6,800 megawatts. In the 1950s the American Society of Civil Engineers included the Grand Coulee Dam and the Columbia Basin Project among the seven civil-engineering wonders of the United States. The project has also been popularly and superlatively dubbedthe Eighth Wonder of the World,the Greatest Structure in the World,the Worlds Greatest Engineering Wonder, andthe Biggest Thing on Earth. .....
La Grande Arche
78. Paris, France
La Grande Arche is the paramount landmark, the crowning monument of Pariss Place de la Defense. It is the eastern terminus of the monumental Voie Triomphale Triumphal Way, extending from the Cour Carree of the Louvre through the Tuileries Gardens and down the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe the axis then continues for almost 4 miles 6 kilometers along the Avenue de la Grande Armee and through La place de la Concorde to cross the Pont de Neuilly and enter La Defense. La Defense is dominated by ultramodern geometric office or apartment towers, 30 stories high and more, apparently randomly arranged over a large, paved plane. It also boasts conference centers, an exhibition hall, gardens, and a massive public pedestrian open space, beneath which is Pariss largest shopping complex, restaurants, and a cinema. It was conceived in 1931, when a competition was held to extend the Louvre Champs Elysees axis. None of the thirty-five classical revival or modernist entries from French architects was realized. The aim had been to continue the French tradition of innovative architecture but for various reasons, no doubt including the 1930s Depression and World War II, little of the kind was built. In 1951, La Defense was zoned for commercial use, and seven years later a specifically appointed agency produced a thirty-year master plan revised in 1964, it provided for twenty towers, each of twenty-five stories. Developers and the public disagreed over taller buildings, but the mediocre developmentsomeone has described them asall of the postmodernist .....
Great Pyramid of Cheops
79. Giza, Egypt
In the western suburbs of modern Cairo, 130 feet above the Nile, stands a 1-mile 1.6-kilometer square artificial rocky plateau called Giza El-Jizah by the Arabs. It is the site of three Fourth Dynasty pyramid tombsCheops, Chephrens, and Mycerinussnamed by the ancients among the seven wonders of the world. The largest of them, built at the command of Cheops, has been called aunique monument because of its internal disposition. While it is clearly part of an evolving architectural type, there is little doubt that in terms of engineering and logistics, this so-called Great Pyramid was a superlative achievement. Cheops, also known as Khufu Khnum-Khufwy,Protected by Khnum, was the second king of the Fourth Dynasty and reigned from 2589 to 2566 b.c. Although little is known of him, he is believed by some scholars to have been a tyrannical and cruel ruler. Whatever the case, clearly he was able to lead and coordinate, because the building of his tomb involved sophisticated social planning to harness an immense team of workers, both on and off the site, together with all the backup resources needed for such a daunting task. The fifth-century-b.c. Greek historian Herodotus calculated that 100,000 slaves would have taken 30 years to build the Great Pyramid. But it was not constructed by slave labor rather, Egypts peasant farmers, displaced from July through November when their fields were inundated by the annual flooding of the Nile, were deployed on the project, as well as on other public works. The cost of their food and shelter there were workers villages built nearby was met from their own surplus production, levied as taxes. Modern scholarship suggests that only 20,000 men could have completed Cheops tomb in only 20 years. The base of the Great Pyramid Akhet Cheops, the Horizon of Cheops, oriented within 0.3 minute of accuracy to the cardinal compass points, is 756 feet 230.5 meters square, covering 13 acres 5.2 hectares. The extensive base means that the tremendous weight of the tall 479-foot 146-meter building, amounting to an estimated 6.99 million tons 6.35 million tonnes, does not overload the foundation it is also very stable because its center of gravity is very low. Although of simple design, such an engineering feat challenges even the modern imagination. The pyramid is estimated to contain 2.5 million limestone blocks, each weighing anything from 3 to 17.7 tons 2.5 to 15 tonnes, rising in 200 steps to the height of a 40-story office block. The joints between the blocks are about 0.02 inch 0.5 millimeter. As originally designed, the pyramid was encased in a 16-foot-thick 5-meter layer of polished white limestone won from the quarries at Tura, east of the Nile. Most of it was plundered in the sixteenth century and used to build mosques in Cairo. At the pinnacle of the Great Pyramid there was a solid capstone of polished Aswan granite, standing on a 33-foot 10-meter square platform. All this, from quarrying to setting the stones, was achieved with copper and stone tools. Barges were used to transport blocks from a quarry on the far side of the Nile. How were they raised as the pyramid progressed? It is thought that ramped causeways, lubricated with water, were used to haul the sleds these may have been built at different levels on each side of the pyramid, or a single ramp may have wound around the whole structure as it rose. While oxen were used to move stone blocks in the quarry, the accuracy demanded on-site required wooden sleds hauled by men, and fewer than ten were needed to maneuver a block into place using wooden rockers. For all the looming size of the Great Pyramid, its interior spaces are relatively tiny. An entrance passagenot the originalconnects with a narrow, 345-foot-long 105-meter descending passage that leads to a 46-by-27-foot 14-by-8.3-meter subterranean room, a little over 11 feet 3.5 meters high. It has been suggested that this was the first location chosen for Cheops burial chamber that was quickly abandoned, probably on theological grounds. From the junction of the two passages, a 129-foot-long 39-meter ascending passage leads to the outer end of thegreat gallery. From that point, a horizontal corridor gives access to the so-called Queens Chamber, vaulted with inclined blocks a second alternative burial chamber, it was never completed and never used. The 154-foot-long, 28-foot-high 47-by-8.5-meter great gallery, with a finely crafted corbel vaulted ceiling, leads upward to the final location of the Kings Chamber, built of pink Aswan granite. The chamber still contains the huge red granite sarcophagus that must have been put in place while the pyramid was being built. Above it a series of five relieving chambers distributes the weight of the structure above away from the chamber. There are two shafts sealed at the extremities, through which the kings ka spirit could come and go from the underworld. Several ancillary buildings were associated with Cheops pyramid. Members of the royal family were buried in mastaba tombs, and three small pyramids to the east were probably for his sister-wife, Merites, and perhaps other queens. Nobles and courtiers were interred in the royal cemetery to the west of the Great Pyramid, where there were also funerary temples and processional ramps. All that remains of Cheops Mortuary Temple is some of the basalt paving. Since the early 1990s, there have been serious attempts to preserve the fabric of the Great Pyramid. It was restored in 1992. Recurring salt deposits, cracking, spalling of the limestone, and the appearance of black spots, all resulting from increases in humidity and carbon dioxide caused by large numbers of tourists, necessitated further action. Early in 1998 the building was closed to the public while a more efficient mechanical ventilation system was installed. It changes the air every 45 minutes, employing the original ka shafts from the Kings Chamber as exhaust ducts and drawing fresh air through the access passage. The number of daily visitors has been severely limited and airlines have been warned of ano-fly zone above the site. .....
Great Wall of China
80. The largest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall once stretched more than 4,500 miles 7,300 kilometers from the Jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west to the mouth of the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east. The ravages of time and vandalism have reduced it to 1,500 miles 2,400 kilometers. It has been called anengineering marvel of stone, earth and brick. From 475 to 221 b.c., there were seven warring states in Chou dynasty, ChinaQi, Chu, Han, Wei, Qin, Yan, and Zhao. The borders of the latter three were frequently plundered by the nomadic Xiongnu Huns and Donghu tribes, so they built high earth walls as a defense against them. For their part, the remaining states took similar action, fearing attacks from their capricious neighbors. Soon after he had unified China in 221 b.c., the first emperor, the despotic Chin Shi Huangdi, set about reinforcing his defenses against the Xiongnu by joining four earlier fragmentary walls and building new sections to extend them to 3,100 miles 5,000 kilometers. In 214 b.c. he sent General Meng Tien, with an army of 300,000 conscripted workers and countless prisoners, to the northern frontiers of his empire to begin the building the Great Wall. Garrisons of soldiers along the wall served a double purpose: they stood guard over the workers and defended the northern boundaries. Much of the Chin wall was constructed with dry-laid local stone, but in remote places, where stone was unavailable, the builders used earth, compacted in 4-inch-thick 10-centimeter layers. Watch-towers were spaced two bow shots apart. Chin Shi Huangdis policies of heavy taxation and forced labor to pay for foreign wars, the Wall, and other extravagant public works inevitably created social unrest. When he died in 210 b.c., his empire collapsed. Following years of chaos, the Han dynasty 206 b.c.-a.d. 220 was founded. Under Wu-Di reigned 140 87 b.c., the Han expanded into southern China, Vietnam, and Korea and opened trade routes through the wilderness of central Asia to India, Persia, and the Western world. Wu-Di controlled the Xiongnu incursions by invading their lands south of the Gobi Desert and colonizing the region with his own people. That strategy, incidentally, forced the Huns to move westward, part of a chain reaction that eventually brought about the demise of the Roman Empire. To protect what he had gained, Wu-Di inaugurated the third major phase of the Great Wall. He restored the Chin wallneglected for years, the earthen parts had begun to collapseand extended it 300 miles 280 kilometers across the Gobi Desert. Han builders corrected the problem of the sandy soil by reinforcing the compacted earth with willow reeds. They also built beacon towers at 15- to 30-mile 25- to 50-kilometer intervals and used smoke signals to warn of attack. All trade routes passed through the Wall. The final construction phase, which gave the Wall its present form, was undertaken early in the Ming dynasty 1368 1644. Having finally expelled the harassing Xiongnu and their Mongol rulers, the Ming emperors set about securing their empire. They repaired and enlarged the Wall, constructing extensions of tamped earth between kiln-fired brick facings across some of Chinas most mountainous terrain. The Ming wall averaged 25 feet 7.6 meters in height it was 15 to 30 feet 4.5 to 9 meters thick at the base, sloping to 12 feet 3.7 meters at the top. The watchtowers were redesigned and cannon, bought from the Portuguese, were strategically deployed. For all its size and splendor, the Great Wall seems to have been a functional failure, with little military value. Only when China was weakened internally were northern invadersthe Mongols Yuan dynasty in 1271 and the Manchurians Qing dynasty in 1644able to seize power without engaging in an attenuated war. Since the seventeenth century parts of the Great Wall have been quarried for their brick or stone others have simply crumbled, while those in marshy areas have been buried by silt. Two stretchesthe Badaling and Mutianyu sectionsnorth of Beijing have been reconstructed and opened as a tourist attraction. In 1979, the Chinese government declared it a National Monument, establishing a commission to oversee its preservation in 1987 it was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List. .....
Great Zimbabwe
81. Republic of Zimbabwe, Africa
The ruins of Great Zimbabwe Bantu forstone house stand about 17 miles 30 kilometers southeast of the modern provincial capital, Masvingo, and east of the Kalahari Desert between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. They cover about 200 acres 80 hectares. The largest of about 300 such sites in the region, Great Zimbabwe was once the greatest city in sub-Saharan Africa. Misguided and racist Victoriansand others sincethought Africans incapable of such sophistication, and they therefore incorrectly concluded that ancient Phoenicians, Romans, or Hebrews created the amazing structures. The British archeologists David Randall-MacIver 1905 and Gertrude Caton-Thompson 1929 carried out excavations and discovered that the place was indeed indigenous African in origin. Their conclusions were confirmed by further investigations made by R. Summers, K. R. Robinson, and A. Whitty in 1958. The builders were ancestors of the modern Shona people of Zimbabwe. Even in ruin, Great Zimbabwe has been calledremarkable,majestic,awe-inspiring, andtimeless when intact, it was an architectural masterpiece. Now known as the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, the site was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1986. The area was first settled by Bantu-speaking farmers, perhaps in the second and third centuries a.d. A second phase of occupation began about a.d. 330. The grasslands in the foothills of the Mashonaland plateau provided excellent pasture, and between 500 and 1000 the cattle-herding Gokomere people overran and absorbed the earlier inhabitants. Rich local gold deposits were later utilized, and it seems that some stone walls were built toward the end of that period. Scholars remain divided on how the Mwenemutapa of Great Zimbabwe attained their high lifestyle and widespread influence. Some believe that it came from cattle wealth and coastal trade in gold with contacts as far afield as India and China. Others suggest that a powerful politico-religious ideologygave them a competitive edge over neighbors so that they could coerce the human resources needed to build their city. But as yet there is no evidence that their success depended upon a single factor. Anyway, between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries Great Zimbabwe, capital of the wealthiest society in the region, dominated the area that now encompasses eastern Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, and South Africa. There were three main groups of buildings: they are now designated the Hill Complex, the Great Enclosure, and the Valley Complex. The approximately oval Hill Complex ca, a.d. 1250 was clearly a defensible retreat. Measuring about 330 by 150 feet 100 by 45 meters, it crowned a steep rocky prominence 260 feet 80 meters above the valley at the north end of the settlement. It comprised several enclosures connected by a network of narrow walled alleys. Drystone walls of dressed rectangular granite blocks linked the large natural outcrops to fortify a number of areas. The large western enclosure, its 20-foot-high 6.1-meter perimeter wall nearly 17 feet thick 5 meters, is thought to have been a religious precinct. The smaller eastern enclosure was probably residential, perhaps for the royal court or the chief shaman. At least three routes approached the hill from the west. Most of the buildings in the Great Enclosure at the southern edge of the site date from the early fourteenth century its elliptical perimeter wall was first built nearly 100 years later and subsequently restored a number of times. The 16-foot-thick 5-meter, 36-foot-high 11-meter wall, its drystone faces meticulously built from dressed granite the core is rubble, contains a space 840 feet 255 meters in circumference and 330 feet 100 meters across there are three unfortified doorways. The enclosure embraced a few elite residences, including the royal compound and an enigmatic 33-foot-high 10-meter conical towera solid, granite affair with a 16-foot about 5-meter base diameter. There is also a smaller tower. The rambling Valley Complex, between the other nodes of the city but closer to the Great Enclosure, dates from the early fifteenth century. It once comprised several stone-walled irregular yardsone writer calls it anarchipelagoaround the houses of more important citizens. However, most families probably lived in densely packed dhaka mud huts with thatched roofs, clustered between theseislands. More small towers, possibly of religious significance, dotted the area. The surviving masonry strongly suggests that the Zimbabweans independently evolved a technology that optimized immediately local resources. Their construction system began as a simple response to necessity and ended with sophisticated work that expressed joy in building, as it employed herringbone, chevron, and other decorative bonding, all made without mortar. Great Zimbabwe was fully occupied for about 300 years, but by the end of the fifteenth century it lay abandoned. Although grazing land was at first abundant, the poor soil could not have supported crops enough to sustain the citys increasing populationby the late fourteenth century it may have reached 18,000so some food necessarily would have been imported. By the fifteenth century Great Zimbabwes power had begun to fade, coincident with the rise of Torwa and Mutapa, the neighboring states. The reasons for its demise are unclear, but a familiar pattern is likely. Urban growth overtaxed the immediate environment, and the pressure put on resources by people and herds alike probably led to decline, resulting in social, economic, and political instability, and finally fragmentation. Many cultures have ended thus, not with a bang but a whimper. .....
Hadrians Wall
82. Northumberland, England
The most audacious building project among many initiated by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus known as Hadrian was the defensive rampart across the entire width of Britain that marked the northern frontier of the Roman Empire for almost 300 years. Started in a.d. 123 Hadrians Wall was about 73 miles 118 kilometers long, stretching from what is now the town of Wallsend Roman Segedunum on the River Tyne in the east to modern Bowness Roman Banna on the Solway Firth in the west. From there, seaward defenses, somewhat less substantial, turned south along the Cumberland coast for another 40 miles 65 kilometers. Spurred by his conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar undertook a reconnaissance of Britain in 55 b.c. A full-scale Roman invasion took place in a.d. 43, when Claudius was emperor, and there followed decades of resistance by various local tribes. But Britain, soon known asthe food basket of Rome, was too rich a prize to surrender. Under the governor Petilius Cerealis, the legions marched north into the territory of the Brigantes and established a base at York Roman Eboracum in a.d. 71. About ten years later, they pushed forward into Scotland, creating a temporary frontier between the Rivers Forth and Clyde. They intended to consolidate their new conquests by constructing roads and forts caestra, but the northern tribes proved too warlike, causing the Romans to strategically withdraw. Hadrian, the adopted son of Trajan, reigned from a.d. 117 until 138. He loved to build: among his architectural schemes in and near Rome were his own tomb later known as the Castel Sant Angelo, the Pantheon, and a luxurious country villa at Tivoli. He was also an inveterate traveler and for over half of his reign he was away from Rome, mostly touring the eastern provinces and North Africa. On a visit to Britain in 122 he appointed a new governor, Aulus Pletorius Nepos, and in order to establish a presence in the far north, he commissioned the construction of the Wall toseparate the Romans from the barbarians. Work started the following year. As planned, the eastern sector between Wallsend and the River Irthing was to be a stone structure, about 10 feet 3 meters thick and 15 feet high to the rampart the parapet was 5 feet higher. As it was eventually built, the thickness along the wall varied faces were of dressed stone and the infill of rubble. From Irthing to Bowness a turf-and -timber wall, about 20 feet 6 meters thick at the base, was initially built and replaced with stone within a few years. Immediately south of the wallexcept in the craggy terrain across the Penninesthere was a continuous ditch Roman vallum, 10 feet 3 meters deep and 20 feet wide at the top, with a flat bottom 8 feet 2.4 meters wide. It was flanked, 30 feet away on each side, by wide earth mounds. These earthworks defined the southern limit of the military zonein effect, like a customs zone at any modern border. It was originally intended that the wall would be manned by patrols from small forts calledmilecastles at 600-foot 184-meter, the Roman stadium intervals. Military and logistical backup would come from established but widely spaced fortresses like Corbridge Roman Corstopitum, usually at the junction of principal roads. Plans changed during the eight years taken for the building. A total of seventeen forts, some for 1,000 foot soldiers e.g., Housesteads, Roman Vercovicium and others for elite, 500-strong cavalry regiments e.g., Chesters, Roman Aesica, were built at roughly evenly spaced locations along the wall. Each milecastle, serving as a controlled crossing place to the north, had a gate reached by stone causeways across the vallum. Each housed only about two dozen men. Between them, Hadrians Wall had two evenly spaced stone observation and signal turrets that were manned by legionaries from the milecastles. Construction was practically complete by a.d. 130, although some work seems to have continued for another eight years. Most of the labor was provided by ordinary soldiers of the three Italian legions then based in Britain, who moved about 1.7 million cubic yards 1.3 million cubic meters of turf and stone. The total garrison probably numbered about 12,000, mostly drawn from auxiliary legions raised in different provinces of the empire. It is clear that such a well-manned outpost was not intended merely for defense it was used to attack the hostile northern tribes. Moreover, Hadrians Wall identified Rome by creating a highly visible boundary. Because traders had to use the milecastles as crossing points to the unconquered territories beyond, and because there was a concentration of population, markets and other social structures developed in some areas. Hadrian was succeeded by Antoninus Pius, who in a.d. 139 commanded another advance into Scotland, reestablishing the frontier. The 37-mile-long 59-kilometer Antonine Wall was built around a.d. 142 between what is now Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde River and Carriden on the Forth. The 9-foot-high 2.75-meter turf-faced soil rampart stood on a stone foundation. There was a 40-foot-wide 12-meter vallum, 12 feet 3.7 meters deep on its north side. Small forts were located at about 400-yard 370-meter intervals. By about a.d. 155 the Romans again retreated from Scotland, to return only briefly between a.d. 159 and 163. Hadrians Wall regained its former importance the vallum, which had been partially filled, was finally reconstructed by about a.d. 208. Breached only three times during the remainder of the occupationin a.d. 197, 296, and 367it was retaken on each occasion and rebuilt where necessary to remain the frontier of Roman Britain until the last legions departed in a.d. 410. .....
Hagia Sofia
83. Istanbul, Turkey
The great Church of the Holy Wisdom, known as Hagia Sofia or Sancta Sofia, in Istanbul, is the high point of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture, remarkable for its revolutionary dynamic structural system and the ingenuity of a plan that subordinates liturgy to form. It was dedicated by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in December 537. Like many churches, it was built on the site of former sacred structures, some of which predated Christianity. The earliest church had been replaced in 361 by the timber-roofed basilica Megala Ekklesia. Damaged during religious riots in 404, this second building was restored eleven years later under Emperor Theodosius II, only to be burned down in another uprising in 532. Within weeks Justinian commissioned the great church of Hagia Sofia. He had been, crowned in 527. Despite the fall of the Western Empire to Germanic invaders in the late fifth century, Justinian ensured that his Eastern Empire survived. He and his wife, Theodora, reigned as unofficial joint rulers, together transforming Constantinople into a city that was universally admired and envied. Justinian employed the architects Anthemios of Tralles and Isidor of Miletus to build a church of great size and magnificence, sparing no expense. Materials were transported from all over his domain. Dressed marble was plundered from classical pagan buildings it is said that eight red porphyry columns were brought from the Artemiseion at Ephesus new stone came from the finest marble quarries in Phrygia, Egypt, Thessaly, and the Morean Peninsula. The interiors were decorated with mosaics of gold, silver, glass, marble, and granite tesserae. Because of the urgency, tradition has it, 1,000 masons and 10,000 apprentices worked on the building. It was completed in just twenty days under five years. There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, that upon, first visiting the completed church Justinian exclaimed.Oh Solomon! I have excelled you! The central dome, framed with forty brick ribs, is slightly elliptical, its base measuring 101 by 104 feet 30.3 by 31.2 meters. It springs from pendentives at 183 feet 54 meters above the floor and rises to 226 feet 67.8 meters. There is a window between the bases of each pair of ribs, and the resulting ring of light creates the illusion that the dome is poised in the air with little apparent support. The true massiveness of the masonry structure is replaced with a virtual building created from lightnot only because the penetrating rays of the sun constantly change in angle and direction, but also because of the scintillation of the mosaic-covered surfaces as the light skips from facet to facet.Awesome in size and opulent in finish though it was, it is not for these reasons that Hagia Sofia is an architectural feat. It is because of its structural brilliance and the subtlety with which the spaces are articulatedunderlining the difference between the practical directness of Western architecture and the nuances of oriental. Nevertheless, the church remains Roman. The subdivision of its spaces according to their purposes coincides with contemporary Western basilicas: atrium, narthex, nave and aisles, sanctuary, apse, vestries, and altar are all present. There the similarity ends. Western churches were long and narrow, and their slender parallel walls supported timber-framed roofs. The plan of Hagia Sofia is almost square, approximately 250 by 220 feet 75 by 67 meters, and the four massive piers, each about 25 by 60 feet 7.6 by 18.3 meters, carry a domical roof. Yet when the spatial arrangement of the church is considered, it can be readily seen that by the use of elegant screens to separate aisles and nave, and the placing of the apse, the architects skillfully manipulated a vast single space to meet the liturgical program of the clergy. The interior space is made cruciform by projecting a large hemidome over the apse and smaller ones above the aisles. This daring experimentation with space was made possible through the use of the pendentive, a structural device that allowed Byzantine architects to satisfactorily roof a cubical volume with a dome. That had never been achieved in the West, and never before on such a scale in the East, from whose vernacular architecture it had been drawn.Hagia Sofia has undergone many changes in its 1,500-year lifetime, with both natural forces and desecration taking their toll. The church was structurally damaged by earthquake only a year after its dedication, and again in 557 and 559. In 562 it was restored and reinforced by Isidoros, nephew of the original architect, who also raised the dome by about 20 feet 6.25 meters. Further earthquake damage in 869 and 889 closed it for five years. The Iconoclasts vandalized the original mosaics in the eighth and ninth centuries, but most were replaced. Hagia Sofias finest ornaments were plundered by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and the building was seriously damaged. Large buttresses were added to the north and south facades in 1317, but that did not prevent considerable earthquake damage about thirty years later. Mehmet the Conqueror took Istanbul for Islam in 1453, and Hagia Sofia, although retaining its name, was put to use as a mosque. Large timber medallions with Koranic texts were hung on the walls of the interior and the Christian mosaics whitewashed over. Minarets were added at various times during the Ottoman period. The building became a museum in February 1935. At the end of the twentieth century Hagia Sofia stood on the United Nations World Heritage Watch List, one of the worlds 100 most threatened buildings.Despite .....
Halles Centrales Central Markets
84. Paris, France
Once described by novelist Emile Zola as theventre de Paris belly of Paris, Les Halles, situated in a square northeast of the Louvre, was the popular and vibrant market quarter. It was alive during the day with merchants and shoppers and at night with vehicles bringing produce from the French provinces and other Mediterranean countries, night butchers preparing meat for the next days business, and inquisitive patrons from nearby restaurants and bars. Originally the market comprised open-air stalls, but between 1853 and 1866 a series of pavilions was built to create a covered market of grand scale. Known as the Halles Centrales and designed by architect Victor Baltard 1805 1874 with Felix-Emmanuel Callet 1791 1854, the project was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III as part of the mid-nineteenth-century remodeling of Paris planned by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann. Influenced by his experience ofmodern life in London, Napoleon III was intent upon establishing Paris as an imperial city capable of exploiting new developments in industry, trade, and transport. He aimed to improve housing conditions, remove slums home to many of the insurgents of the French Revolution of 1789 and nineteenth-century uprisings, establish public parks, and construct grand streets, public buildings, and monuments. The gigantic Halles Centrales was an iron-framed complex that became the prototype for covered market buildings in France and elsewhere, just one of many new structures that emerged during theHaussmannization of Paris. Baltards first design was for a classical building with masonry walls. However, the emperor requested that he use iron instead, as a demonstration of Frances industrial prowess. Pressure from a public wanting a spacious, well-lit, and well-ventilated structure forced the architect to adopt a design not unlike the railroad sheds of the 1830s and 1840s. He planned a series of rectangular pavilions laid out in a grid pattern and connected by broad streets, all but one of which was covered. Initially there were six pavilions, but the number was soon extended to ten a further two were added in 1936. Based on a 19-foot 6-meter module, they measured either 137 by 197 feet or 197 by 197 feet 42 by 54 meters or 54 by 54 meters. At one end of the long axis there was a rotunda, near to which were the administration and public services. A vast basement housed food stores and such facilities as a butter-mixing room and poultry abattoir, Externally the building frame comprised hollow cast-iron columns, which acted as downpipes for rainwater they were connected by arched girders. The interior columns, also of iron, supported clerestory walls that rose above the eaves of the pavilions. All was covered with a glazed roof. The infill walls were usually single-skin brick, with stone dressings at the top and bottom above them were horizontal bands of timber-framed opening windows and fixed louvers. Between 1962 and 1969, the food markets were moved to Rungis, south of Paris. The Halles Centrales site was earmarked for renewal, and while debate raged over how it would be utilized, its former pavilions were home to exhibitions and other cultural events. In the early 1970s ten of the graceful buildings were demolished two others were dismantled and reassembled, one in Nogent-sur-Marne, France, and the other in Yokohama, Japan. Les Halles was replaced by the Forum des Halles, an underground metro station with a regional railroad link 1977 and a multistory shopping center 1979. Popular opposition to the demolition of the Halles Centrales led to a wider movement for the conservation of Frances nineteenth-century industrial heritage. .....
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
85. Iraq
The ancient city of Babylon stood on the east bank of the Euphrates River about 30 miles 50 kilometers south of modern Baghdad. Philo of Byzantium, writing in the third century b.c., listed so-called Hanging Gardens among the seven wonders of the world. Tradition has it that the gardens were built by King Nebuchadnezzar II ruled ca. 605 561 b.c. for his wife Amytis, because she missed the mountainous landscape of her native Media. They may have been commissioned by the half-legendary Queen Sammu-ramut known as Semiramis some 200 years earlier. Contemporary Babylonian clay tablets intriguingly ignore them amid lucid descriptions of Nebuchadnezzars palace and the city and defenses. Neither the Babylonian priest Berossus nor Philo and other Greek writersthe geographer Strabo and the historian Diodorus Siculuswho centuries later described the gardens ever saw them, and no certain traces survive. Some historians suggest they were merely romantic constructs upon accounts of Mesopotamia carried to Greece after the Macedonian conquest in 330 b.c. The German archeologist Robert Koldewey believed he had found the substructure of Nebuchadnezzars gardens around 1899 when he uncovered several unusual vaulted foundation chambers, atypically built of stone, and a well in the northeast corner of the palace. From more recent excavations concentrated on the southern palace, archeologists surmise that they were in another building, hundreds of meters from the river. Because Strabos description had placed them close to the Euphrates, other scholars disagreed. There is another possibility. More recently, the suggestion has been made that the classical writers were confused, and that the gardens were not in Babylon at all, but in the Assyrian city of Sennacherib, Nineveh, which stood on the Tigris 250 miles 400 kilometers to the north. Nineveh was about 1,800 acres 700 hectares in area, enclosed by 10 miles 16 kilometers of 50-foot-high 15-meter walls. Within and outside its defenses, Sennacherib created lush parks and gardens, full of exotic plants and watered from a complex, system of aqueducts and canals. They are described on a clay prism dating from about 690 b.c. So is the way in which the huge volume of water needed for irrigation was raised to the highest terrace to flow to lower levels through sloping channels. The king had great brass archimedean screws cast four centuries before Archimedes! to lift the water from the ample supply. His description matches those of the later writers. For example, Diodorus Siculus portrays a garden supposedly in Babylon, whose approachsloped like a hillside and whose structure rosetier on tier, adding thatwater machines [raised] the water in great abundance from the river, although no one outside could see it. Whether the Hanging Gardens existed or not, or whether they were in Babylon or Nineveh, the descriptions were evocative. .....
Hezekiahs Tunnel
86. Jerusalem, Israel
Hezekiahs Tunnel, an eighth-century-b.c. subterranean aqueduct in Jerusalem, was a magnificent engineering achievement. Teams of stonecutters, working no more than two abreast and using hand tools, cut the 1,730-foot 576-meter passageway of bedrock, probably in about seven months. Starting from both ends, between 33 and 150 feet 10 and 45 meters underground, without sophisticated surveying instruments or contact with the surface, they were able to reach a meeting point. The Canaanite citadel called Jebus stood on a slope that fell away into a deep valley outside the present-day walls of Jerusalems Old City. It had a defensible water supply upon which the conquering Israelites were to build, reaching a climax in the reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah 727 698 b.c.. Jerusalem depended on a single source of water: the Gihon or Gichon Spring. Fed from underground streams and hidden in a small cave on the citys eastern slope, it also irrigated surrounding farmland through canals built along the Kidron creek bed. Archeologists have found evidence of Canaanite fortifications designed to protect the spring. Gihons name describes its erratic nature: the Hebrew word meanseruption orgushing. Although reliably producing up to 245,000 gallons 1.1 million liters a day, the spring would flow profusely for half an hour, then reduce to a trickle for between four and ten hourslonger intervals in summer, shorter in winter. A response to siege warfare generated the sophisticated water-reticulation systems that culminated in Hezekiahs Tunnel, one of the great engineering achievements of ancient Jerusalem. Possibly as early as 1800 b.c., the Jebusites were able to reach Gihon from within their walls: a diagonal tunnel, like others in the region, followed a natural rock fissure to a point from which pitchers could be lowered to the spring. Some scholars believe that this was the passageway mentioned in the Bible, through which Joab led King Davids men into the city, which they then overthrew. It is known as Warrens Shaft, for Colonel Charles Warren, an Englishman who discovered it in 1867. The debate continues over its date and who built it. The Israelites augmented this basic system in two stages. First, they built the Siloam Shiloah Channel, probably during the peaceful reign of King Solomon 970 928 b.c.. From Gihon a part-open, part-tunneled conduit ran south along the Kidron brook to a reservoir in the HaGal Tyropoeon Valley at the southwestern corner of Jerusalem, which by then had been extended to what are now known as the Jewish and Armenian Quarters. Sluices along its eastern side had stone gates that could be opened to irrigate the gardens and fields in the valley below. Ancient Jerusalems most extraordinary hydraulic engineering projectperhaps better classified as a civil defense undertakingwas Hezekiahs Tunnel, discovered in 1838 by the American scholar Edward Robinson. Under the implacable Sennacherib 705 681 b.c., the Assyrian Empire extended from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, and westward to the Nile valley. His father Sargon had overrun the northern kingdom of Israel, and Sennacherib was concerned with consolidating the family conquests. Hezekiah, the charismatic ruler of the relatively puny kingdom of Judah, reassured by the prophet Isaiah that God would protect Jerusalem, stood against the Assyrian might. He stockpiled weapons and extended the citys defenses by building the 23-foot-thick 7-meter Broad Wall. And at the first inkling of invasion he had devised a measure that would help his people survive a siege. He plannedto stop the water of the springs that were outside the city [and] closed the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the City of David 2 Chron. 32:30. Hezekiahs Tunnel 701 b.c., still a functioning watercourse almost 3,000 years later, connects the Gihon Spring and the Pool of Siloam or Hezekiahs Pool, specially constructed at the south end of Jerusalem, where the king had extended the outer defenses. Thus the Bible calls the poolthe reservoir between the two walls Isa. 22. The direct distance between spring and reservoir is about 1,100 feet 330 meters, but the winding tunnel is 1,730 feet 576 meters long. On average, it is about 3 feet 900 millimeters wide and varies between 3 and 9 feet in height in places, it is 150 feet 45 meters beneath the surface of the hilly city. The fall from Gihon to Siloam is about 6 feet 1.8 meters, that is, a grade of about 1 in 70. The tunnel was excavated by two groups of workers, starting at each end and cutting toward each other through the rock to eventually connect. The Siloam Tunnel Inscription, engraved on one of the walls and found in 1880, celebrated their meeting: While there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellow, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed .....
Hippodamos of Miletus
87. The fifth-century-b.c. Greek architect Hippodamos of Miletus has long been known as thefather of city planning. Although the claim has been challenged by some historians, his contribution at least in the West was the notion of ordered city planning, as opposed to the uncontrolled growth of earlier times. For example, fifth-century-b.c. Athens, the dominant Hellenic city, was an undisciplined accretion of houses lining crooked narrow streets and lanes whose routes were determined by the topography around the great Acropolis. Hippodamos has been credited with the introduction of the orthogonal planagridiron with streets at right angles dividing the city into the kinds of blocks we are familiar with. His ideal plan was zoned by land use, with blocks reserved for public buildings and open spaces, integrated with the houses to provide a cohesive social, environment. However, some elements of the Hippodamean city can be found in earlier Greek settlements. For example, the colony of Smyrna, near what is now the Aegean coast of Turkey, was rebuilt in the seventh century b.c. with parallel north-south streets. Therefore, it may have been that Hippodamos simply formalized generally held conventions in his theoretical writings and applied them in the cities he designed. In Politics, Aristotle remarks upon the Miletians long hair and eccentric dress and notes his wide interest in natural philosophy. It was unusual for an architect to discourse upon the best form of government, but that did not prevent Hippodamos from doing so. His theories of physical planning were linked to social planning clearly he saw the planners role not only in terms of functional and esthetic design but also in human organization of religious, civic, and commercial activities. Adopting what today would be called a determinist approach, Hippodamos divided his optimum population of 10,000 into three: artisans, farmers every Greek city had its agricultural hinterland, and military. Then he divided the city into three parts: one for worshiping the gods, one to support the soldiers, and the third private, the property of the common people. He went further, categorizing laws into three sorts: insult, injury, and homicide. The political scientist Daniel J. Mahoney has commented,Hippodamos characteristically divided everythingthe population, laws, and landinto threes because he wrongly thought that human nature was amenable to mathematical manipulation. Yet Hippodamos is not remembered for his utopian social views, but for the physical form of his cities. Several have been attributed to him, including his birthplace, Miletus. The prosperous fortified Aegean port stood on a peninsula at the mouth of the Meander River. Established by the Mycenaeans in the middle of the second millennium b.c., it grew to be one of the largest cities in Anatolia, a commercial center with a population said to have reached 100,000. In 499 b.c. with sister Ionian cities, Miletus rebelled against its Persian occupiers. They responded by razing it. Liberated after the Persians defeat at the naval battle of Mycale 479 b.c., the Miletians rebuilt their city according to Hippodamoss orthogonal plan: a repeated pattern of identical blocks with wide main streets crossed by minor thoroughfares. The commercial and religious buildings occupied multiple blocks, and all was enclosed by a defensive wall. Refounded on the site of an ancient city in the mid-fifth century b.c., the smaller port of Priene, north of Miletus, was set out on a Hippodamean grid. Its plan comprised 84 rectangular 120-by-160-foot 37-by-49-meter blocks, covering 93 acres 37 hectares and descending toward the sea from the base of a 1,000-foot 306-meter cliff on Mount Mycale. The north-south streets were steep, even needing to be stepped in places the east-west streets, approximately following the contours, were easier to negotiate. Provision was made for city growth within the encircling walls. In the event, the population remained at 3,000 and more than half the enclosed area was never developed. Reserves for public spaces were part of Hippodamoss plan, and the agora stood upon a central terrace. Around 450 b.c., Hippodamos was commissioned by Perikles to redesign parts of Piraeus, the port of Athens. It stood less than 6 miles 9.6 kilometers southwest of the city on a peninsula surrounded by the Saronic Gulf. He rebuilt the original fortified Themistoclean port, by then about thirty years old, with a well-defined grid of broad streets defining long rectangular blocks. His plan gave better access to the three harbors, dedicated respectively to grain vessels, general cargo ships, and the navy. The parallel Long Walls, about 600 feet 183 meters apart, were completed in 431 b.c. to protect the supply line between Athens and its port during the Peloponnesian War with Sparta. There are several other attributions. Hippodamos almost certainly had a hand in the foundation of the colony of Thurii in southern Italy around 444 b.c. Very regular orthogonal extensions to the city of Olynthos, in what is now Macedonia, were laid out soon after 432 b.c. But it may be that Olynthos and the much later city of Rhodes 408 b.c. on the Aegean island of the same name were laid out by others who implemented the Hippodamean form. That easily surveyed orthogonal form continued to be influential and was perhaps modified by the Romans in any number of their colonial towns. It was revived in the fifteenth century as one of the theoretical bases of Renaissance urban design. Much later, the planners of cities in the New World employed the grid: Savannah, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City are all evidence of that. So is San Francisco, where its imposition on a hilly site, even if it provides locations for exciting movie car chases, underlines its suitability for little but the flattest terrain. .....
Hydraulic boat lifts
88. When inscribing the Canal du Centre boat lifts in Belgium on its World Heritage List in 1998, UNESCO commented that theyrepresented the apogee of the application of engineering technology to the construction of canals. That holds true for each example described here. The boat lifts exemplify the seemingly limitless mechanical ingenuity of the Victorian Age. The Industrial Revolution, first in Britain and then in the rest of Europe and North America, saw the necessarily rapid growth of inland transportation networks. Although they were soon augmented and often replaced by railroads, canals were the main arteries of industry and commerce. Differences in water levels along their length and at their junctions with rivers were normally overcome by building locks. In order to save time, creative engineers developed a hydraulic mechanism known as a boat lift, which could replace several conventional locks. Among the most ingenious devices of the machine age, the boat lift continued to be refined into the early twentieth century. The principle was simple: a boat or barge entered a watertight trough that was raised or lowered by filling or emptying a counterbalancing trough. It is likely that the first commercial boat lift was built in 1838 on the Grand Western Canal in the English county of Devon. The canal, first suggested in 1768, was intended to link the Bristol Channel on the west coast and the English Channel on the east. Construction did not begin until 1810 and four years later an 11-mile 17.6-kilometer stretch was completed. Extensions were built, and by 1838 the canal reached as far as Taunton in Somerset. A decade later the Great Western Railway linked Bristol and Exeter, and work on the canal was discontinued. But the boat lift served vessels carrying limestone from Tiverton in Devon. Consisting of a pair of 30-foot-long 9-meter wooden troughs joined by chains, it was capable of raising nearly 10 tons 8.14 tonnes through the 47 feet 14 meters that separated two sections of the canal. The most important English model for others in Europe was the Anderton Barge Lift, built near the English salt-producing town of Northwich between 1872 and 1875. It lifted barges over 50 feet 15 meters between the Weaver Navigation and the Trent and Mersey Canal. Designed by the engineers Edward Williams and Edwin Clarke, the mechanism comprised two sets of connected hydraulic cylinders and pistons, each supporting a 76-by-15-foot 23-by-4.7-meter boat tank. In order to lift a boat, a little water was released from the lower tank as the then heavier counterbalancing tank moved downward, the hydraulic system was activated to raise the lower tank, boat and all. The process was augmented by a steam-powered hydraulic pump. The mechanism lasted for about thirty years, but corrosion problems in the hydraulic system led to the construction of a replacement albeit incorporating several parts of the original structure between 1906 and 1908. The new lift continued to carry commercial traffic until the mid-1960s and recreational boats until 1982. Early among the European clones was the lift at Les Fontinettes on the Neuffossee Canal in northern France. Built in 1888 to raise 340-ton 305-tonne canal boats 43 feet 13 meters from the River Aa to the canal, it replaced no fewer than five eighteenth-century locks, dramatically reducing the time needed to negotiate the network of inland waterways linking Calais and Dunkerque with the industrial center of Lille. It was replaced by a single modern lock in 1967. Proposed in 1879, the 17-mile 27-kilometer Canal du Centre in Belgiums industrial Scheldt-Meuse-Rhiue Delta integrates Europes inland waterways. Because they survive in working condition, four lifts near La Louviere, also based on the Anderton model, are unique among their contemporaries. Each lifts boats through 57 feet 17 meters. The first, with a capacity of 450 tons 407 tonnes, was built around 1889 the remaining 340-ton 305-tonne lifts followed between 1908 and 1917. In 1999, as part of a long-term program to increase the capacity of Belgiums major waterways, a single hydraulic elevator was completed at Strepy-Thieu on a new section of the Canal du Centre. It is capable of moving barges of 1,500 tons 1.370 tonnes deadweight vertically though 243 feet 73 metersthe highest lift in the worldin tanks that weigh almost 9,000 tons 8,150 tonnes. Because of growing industrialization in the late nineteenth century, Germanys River Ruhr needed a transport network for raw materials and manufactured goods. In 1899 the Dortmund-Ems Canal was built to connect North Sea harbors to the Ruhr region. The Rhine-Herne Canal, completed in 1914, linked the Rhine with Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The two artificial waterways are joined by the 45-foot 13.5-meter Henrichenburg boat lift at Waltrop. Constructed between 1894 and 1899 it was replaced in 1958 1962. Another early hydraulic lift system was built in the New World: the Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent-Severn Canal, connecting Lake Ontario with the upper Great Lakes and the West. Completed in 1904 it consisted of two ship liftseach with a mass of 1,900 tons 1,730 tonnes and rising 49 and 65 feet 14.8 and 19.8 meters, respectivelywithin the 4-mile 6.5-kilometer canal, replacing eight conventional locks. .....
Industrialized building
89. In the second half of the 1920s the modernist architects of Europe, perceiving an urgent need to reform city planning and especially public housing policies, sought to address the social changes resulting from industrialization. At a 1928 meeting at La Sarraz, Switzerland, architects from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, and Switzerland formed the Congres Internationaux dArchitecture Moderne CIAM, agreeing that rationalization and standardization were the chief ways to solve the housing problems each country then faced. CIAM reconvened in Frankfurt in 1929 to discuss the pragmatic issue of existenzenminimumlow-cost residential units. That unit should replace house in its lexicon is an indicator of pervasive socialist thinking indeed, politics could not be excluded from any debate on urbanism and housing policies. In its Athens Charter, derived in 1933 and published ten years later, CIAM offered modern technology as the generic solution to the urban problems that would be exacerbated by World War II. That is, they called for a new way of building, and that displacement of conventional thinking with a problem-solving approach was an architectural feat in itself. Success is a different matter. It is one thing to theorize, quite another to find real solutions. Designers on both sides of the Atlantic were investigating industrialized construction techniques as a means of making better, affordable housing. As early as 1910 the German architect Walter Gropius advocated the industrial production of interchangeable housing components, and in 1914 Le Corbusiers Domino house system employed a standardized framework. It was perhaps inevitable that many of the resulting products were mechanistic and austere, emphasizing structure and detail at the expense of esthetic considerations. This new, efficient way of making architecture was grasped as an opportunity to realize the house as a machine for living in. The first half of the twentieth century is replete with designs for systems and components, too numerous to include here. Suffice it to identify a few key individuals. The French blacksmith and steel fabricator Jean Prouve 1901 1984 began experiments with prefabricated construction in 1925, in partnership with Aluminium Fran .....
Inka road system
90. Peru
The brief but glorious ascendancy of the Inka lasted for about sixty years from a.d. 1476. At that moment their empire, Tahuantinsuyu Land of the Four Quarters, was the largest nation on earth. Ruled from the Andean capital, Qosqo, it covered 2,000 miles 3,200 kilometers north to south and 200 miles 320 kilometers inland. The empires northern quarter, Chinchaysuyu, extended beyond what is now Colombia the southern quarter, Collasuyu, reached as far as central Chile the eastern quarter, Antisuyu, included the eastern Andean foothills in modern Bolivia and Argentina and the western quarter, Guntisuyu, embraced the Pacific coast. A critical means of sustaining Inka power over subject peoples was a system of primary and secondary roads whose total length has been estimated to be 25,000 miles 40,000 kilometers, comparable to the communication infrastructure of the Roman Empire, and achieved without the advantage of the wheel or large draft animals. Quite apart from the variety of the terrain, the Inkan transportation network was a great engineering feat, and the response to that diversitymountains and valleys, snow, deserts, and swampsmakes the accomplishment the more remarkable. Near the coast they were dusty tracks, sometimes built on causeways to keep them free of blown sand or sometimes simply pegged out in swamps they were built on stone viaducts and in high rain- or snowfall regions they were paved with cobbles or flagstones. Steep slopes were negotiated by means of steps, often cut into the living rock. The roads sat within a hierarchy, at the apex of which were the two north-south royal, or Inca, roads linking Qosqo with the four quarters of the empire. One crossed the Cordillera from what is now Colombia to Argentina, and the other followed the coastal plains from northern Peru to northern Chile. They were linked by several crossroads. The rest of the primary network consisted of principal or rich roads and big or broad roads, covering a conservatively estimated 15,000 miles 25,000 kilometers. A secondary system of peoples roads joined villages and districts throughout the Tahuantinsuyu, bringing the total length of roads to some 25,000 miles 40,000 kilometers. Inevitably, in mountainous country, bridges of various construction were necessary. These ranged from simple stone slabs, through small log bridges and flying foxes, to rope-and-leather suspension bridges, some spanning chasms up to 500 feet 150 meters wide. There were even floating bridges made of rope and reeds. A corollary of the Incan road system was the army of young athletes called chaqsi, who ran in relays between staging posts chasqwasi set at 8- to 15-mile 13- to 24-kilometer intervals. They carried verbal messages and sometimes goods. For example, the royal court at Qosqo enjoyed fresh fish delivered from the coast over 200 miles 320 kilometers away. The messenger service was continuous, relays of runners covering up to 300 miles 480 kilometers a day. Armies were deployed along the roads, officials moved between administrative centers, priests traveled to supervise religious services, pilgrims wound their way to shrines, merchants transported their goods by llama or alpaca caravans, and herders coaxed flocks down from the high country. For these more leisurely travelers, services were provided at large villages called tanpu along the major routes, strategically located at intervals representing one days walk, say 25 to 30 miles 40 to 50 kilometers. In the tanpu, lodging, food, and clothing were available for thousands of people at once, because for political or economic reasons, the Inka sometimes would relocate entire populations. These administrative and service centers were as important to the Inkas as the roads themselves from them, imperial bureaucrats exercised control over the empire. Thus, for example, several centers were established on the royal road at Tambo Colorado and Huanuco Viejo, each with more than 3,000 buildings to house the civil service, manufacturing and warehouse functions, catering for local food shortages, and so on. Smaller settlements were sometimes built at half-day intervals. At the beginning of the twenty-first century some 14,000 miles 22,000 kilometers of Inka roads remain discernible, but much of the continuity has gone, destroyed by modern highways, radio masts, or hydroelectric power stations. Tourism also is taking its toll. Progress is inevitable, but measures are being taken to preserve remnants of the Inka Trail. For example, in the 1990s the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary commissioned the British company Mountain Path Repair International to produce a sustainable management plan for the road between Qosqo and the spectacular site and to restore the eroded sections .....
Inuit snow houses
91.
The Inuitthe real peopleof Alaska, Arctic-Canada, northeastern Siberia, and Greenland sometimes build shelters out of water, or at least water in one of its solid states, snow. The highly sophisticated design and construction of that kind of igloo the Inuit word for house is a major architectural achievement, employing a technology that turns a challenging resource to creating a not merely adequate but ideal house form. The oldest identifiable lnuit date from about 2000 b.c. Some of them followed immense migratory herds of bison, caribou, and musk ox across the Bering Strait into North America. Since two-month summers made agriculture impossible in their harsh, treeless environment, the Inuit relied for their food on hunting and fishing. Although some Inuit have now become westernized and eat supermarket food, fish and sea mammals remain the mainstay of the traditional diet of many, and groups still follow a seasonal nomadic cycle through their lands. In comparison with other hunter-gatherer cultures, the Inuit have highly developed technologies, craftsmanship, and art. The dogsled is used for long-distance transportation of large loads, and the maneuverable kayak sealskin-covered canoe has long been a model for Western societies. Inuit weapons are fashioned from ivory, bone, stone, or sometimes copper and often decorated with elaborate carving. Their clothingparka, trousers, mittens, boots, and snow gogglesis often made of caribou skins. It should not be thought as the stereotype has it that all Inuit live in snow houses. They have three traditional dwelling types. A summer house is essentially a caribou-, walrus-, or sealskin tent. A winter house is partially excavated and usually built of stone, with a whalebone or driftwood frame supporting a moss or sod covering. Then there is the circular dome-shaped snow house that some groups use as a winter dwelling. But it is more commonly used by hunters as a temporary shelter while traveling on long journeys. The igloo is built with carefully shaped blocks of snow about 4 feet long, 2 feet high, and 6 to 8 inches thick about 1.3 by 0.65 by 0.15 meters, weighing about 45 pounds 20 kilograms. The house can be up to 18 feet 5.5 meters in diameter, with ample headroom for the occupants. Snow texture and consistency is critical, and the suitable hard-packed snow is usually found on a north-facing slope. Tiny pockets of air trapped between the crystals provide a remarkably effective means of thermal insulation. For maximum structural strength, the first row of blocks is set out in a circle. The blocks are shaped to form a kind of ramp beginning at the front of the igloo, as the base of a self-supporting continuous spiral. As the walls rise to merge into the roof, successive tiers of blocks tilt more and overhang more as they rise, until they converge to form the dome, which is closed with a large fitted cap-block. This method allows the builder to work alone if necessary. The cracks between the blocks are packed with soft snow. Once the first two circuits are completed, it is possible to construct an igloo even during a blizzard, because the structure acts as a windbreak. When intended to be occupied for a long time, the igloo has another low wall of snow blocks placed around it, and the space between the two walls is filled with loose snow, improving thermal insulation. The entrance is a narrow passage, high enough to admit a crawling person and curved to stop the penetration of cold winds. Additional storage vaults may also form part of the house. The translucent snow provides a little light inside the igloo, and sometimes an ice window is employed. A small ventilation hole is cut in the dome. The floors in larger, long-occupancy igloos are often concave, so that cold air falls into a pool. The remainder of the floor surface is covered with furs, while others hung on pegs trap an air layer against the walls, providing interior warmth without melting the snow. The heat generated by the occupants bodies and by lamps or camping stoves raises inside temperatures enough to allow the Inuit to move about naked in their houses of snow. .....
Ironbridge Coalbrookdale
92. Shropshire England
Coalbrookdale is regarded by many as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. The town of Ironbridge on the eastern bank of the River Severn is the location of the worlds first metal bridge. Designed in 1775, the gracefully arching prefabricated cast-iron structure, appropriately named Ironbridge, was fixed to its masonry abutments in the summer of 1779. Spanning 100 feet 30 meters, the bridge supports itself without a bolt or a rivet in the entire structure! In terms of the creative application of new materials and technology, it remains one of historys great architectural and engineering feats, the product of the fervent inventiveness of optimistic industrialists, opening the way to the modern era of iron- and steel-framed buildings. Coal and limestone mining and iron smelting made the River Severn, which reaches the sea through the Bristol Channel on Englands west coast, one of Europes busiest waterways. In 1638 one Basil Brooke patented an iron-making process and built a furnace at Coalbrookdale. Seventy years later the operation was acquired and overhauled by the entrepreneurial Bristol Quaker Abraham Darby I, an ironmonger and brass founder. In 1711 he developed a cheaper means of smelting iron by using coked coal as fuel rather than charcoal. The process liberated iron production from fuel restrictionsindustrialization initially meant deforestationas well as making very large castings possible. Within a couple of years Darby and his partner, Richard Ford, developed what was a minor business producing mainly pots and pans into the worlds leading ironworks. After a few decades the Coalbrookdale Company and its subsidiary Lilleshall Company had expanded to own mines, forges, factories, and farms throughout the region. The burgeoning iron-, brick-, and pottery works in the parishes of Madeley and Broseley, facing each other across the Severn Gorge, brought workers flocking to the district. That dramatic population growth and the obvious increase of commercial and industrial traffic meant that the local ferry, precariously approached down steep, slippery banks, soon proved inadequate for local needs. Abraham Darby II had proposed to bridge the Severn between Madeley Wood and Benthall but the project lapsed when he died in 1763. It was left to his son, Abraham III, to carry out the project. With the eager cooperation of the squire of Broseley, ironmaster John Wilkinson, in 1775 young Darby convened a meeting of potential subscribers to plan a bridge. The group obtained Parliaments approval for a structure of cast-iron, stone, brick or timber. The worlds first cast-iron bridge was designed by the Shrewsbury architect Thomas Farnolls Pritchard, who two years before had suggested using the new material for such projects. He proposed a single-span bridge, estimated to cost .....
Itaipu Dam
93. Brazil Paraguay border South America
Built between 1975 and 1991, the Itaip .....
Itsukushima Shinto shrine
94. Miyajima Japan
Miyajima is a mountainous island in Hiroshima Bay on Japans Seto Inland Sea, separated from the mainland by the 550-yard-wide 500-meter Onoseto Strait. It has long been a sacred site of Shintoism, and renowned for the Itsukushima shrine, built on piles over the water and dedicated to three sea goddesses, Ichikishima-Hime-no-Mikoto, Tagori -Hime, and Tagitsu-Hime. The entire precinct comprises an inner shrine of thirty-seven axially disposed buildings and an outer shrine of nineteen more. The inner sanctuary, the intermediate sanctuary, the hall of worship, the spectacular O-Torii Grand Gate, several secondary temples, and drama and dance stages are linked by wide covered corridors and galleries known as Kairo. All the timber is finished with vermilion lacquer. The Japanese government has named six of the buildings as National Treasures the rest have been recognized as Important Cultural Assets. The shrine was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1996, and it has been described as one of the great accomplishments of the Shinden-zukuri architectural style of the Heian period a.d. 794 1184. With a backdrop of mountains and built on tidal land that at high tide gives it the appearance of serenely floating on the sea, the Itsukushima shrine is a magnificent achievement of harmonizing architecture and nature. Itsukushima is thought to have been first constructed by Saeki Kuramoto in a.d. 593, but the earliest historical record dates from 881. It was enlarged in 1168, when Taira-no-Kiyomori was governor of Aki Province, and the Taira clan began to worship there. Fire caused damage early in the thirteenth century, and it is likely that the consecutive restorations included changes to the organization of the buildings. The shrine for the Guest Deity Sessha Marodo-jinja was constructed in 1241. The buildings were again restored after being damaged by a typhoon in 1325, since which time the layout has been little changed. By the late twelfth century, the influence of Itsukushima was waning, and by the mid-fourteenth century the buildings had fallen into disrepair. After the warlord Mori Motonari gained control of Hiroshima in 1555, the shrine was restored to its former glory. He commissioned many of the present buildings, including the main sanctuary, in 1571, remaining faithful to the Heian style. Although there are slight stylistic variations in the detailsinevitable over so many centuriesthe overall architecture of the Itsukushima shrine is remarkably homogeneous. The approach from the east by boat first encounters the 52-foot-tall 16-meter, vermilion-colored O-Torii, standing in the sea some 220 yards 200 meters in front of the hall of worship and built on its axis. The eighth since the Heian period, it dates from 1874 to 1875. The great weight of its massive camphor-wood pillars, approximately 44 feet 13.4 meters tall, together with the 76-foot-long 23.3-meter hollow cross piece, filled with stones, allows the O-Torii to stand upon the seafloor without being embedded in it. The main sanctuary Honden, measuring about 78 by 38 feet 23.8 by 11.6 meters is crowned with a decorative tile and cypress-bark roof. An offering hall heiden, a hall of worship haiden, and a purification hall haraiden are linked by covered corridors. The main shrine Honsha has three parts: the inner sanctuary of the goddesses, the sanctuary for the priests, and a space for worshippers. It is faced with turquoise-lacquered folding doors. In front of it is the Broad Stage Hirabutai, used during the annual midsummer musical festival, Kangensai it has a long, narrow pier extending to the Front Lantern Hitasaki, used for the departure and arrival of the sea goddess during those celebrations. The High Stage Takabutai, standing at the center of the Broad Stage, is used for the performances of sacred shrine music and dancing known as Bugaku. The Noh Drama Stage Noh Butai stands at the end of the structure, and its floor is ingeniously constructed as a sounding board to improve acoustics. Some of tire flooring planks are 5 feet wide and 35 feet long 1.5 by 10 meters they were transported from northern Japan. Their spacing is calculated so that the platforms resist the pressure of high seas. Maintenance of the shrine is continuous because of its exposure to wind and saltwater, and the piles supporting it need to be frequently replaced. The Itsukushima shrine has graced the island of Miyajima with its elegant presence for 800 years. Its designers and builders, possessors of a grand vision and a deep understanding of the relationship between architecture and nature, remain unknown and unsung. .....
Jahrhunderthalle
95. Breslau Germany
The Jahrhunderthalle Centennial Hall of 1911 1912 in what was formerly the city of Breslau in Germany now Wroclaw, Poland was a major milestone in the development of the enclosure of large public spaces by reinforced concrete structures. It was by far the largest of several pavilions built in Scheitniger Park now Szczytnicki Park to house the 1913 centennial of Germanys liberation from Napoleonic rule. The Jahrhunderthalle was intended to serve as an exhibition space, an assembly hall, and a venue for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment. Wroclaw in southwestern Poland fell to the Prussian armies of Frederick the Great in 1741, to eventually be renamed Breslau. By the early twentieth century the city had become a major center for the arts, in part because the Expressionist architect Hans Poelzig was director 1903 1916 of the Royal Art and Craft Academy. Breslaus largely German population then exceeded half a million, and the government decided to create what it called a metropolis of the east. Accordingly, the architect Max Berg, director of Frankfurt am Mains City Building Department, was appointed City Building Commissioner. In Frankfurt, he had been deeply involved with the construction of the citys Festhalle 1907 1909, designed by Friedrich von Thiersch that experience was significant for his work in Breslau. He had also designed the development plan for Berlin. Beginning in the second half of 1910, Berg conceived and developed the structure of the Jahrhunderthalle. Engineering calculations were made by Gunther Trauer of the City Building Department. Trauer described it as an incredibly clever design, although he admitted that it was unusually large and challenging for him. Nevertheless, he rose to the challenge, and the building is evidence of an admirable symbiosis between architect and engineer. Together they produced two feasibility studiesone that employed a fire-resistant steel structure and another of reinforced concreteand prepared two sets of contract documents. Because the City Board of Directors was adamant that the exhibition building should be no-risk [and] fire-proof, the former structural system was virtually precluded because of the bulkiness of concrete-cased steel. On the other hand, such a huge reinforced concrete space had never before been built, and conservative members of the board doubted its practicability. However, after six months of deliberations Bergs reinforced concrete proposal was accepted in June 1911 on the condition that the cost be reduced by 10 percent. The clients insistence on functional flexibility had generated difficulties for Berg. Conventional wisdom pointed to a long space for an exhibition hall and a central plan for the other events. The first design was based upon a longitudinal plan, but that was soon modified to become a central circular space with four semicircular apses that are reached through enormous arches. As built, the hall encloses almost 60,000 square feet 5,600 square meters of floor space. It provides standing room for 10,000 people the seating capacity is only 6,000. The 137-foot-high 42-meter central space is roofed with a 212-foot-diameter 65-meter dome, formed by 32 half-arches of reinforced concreteleft exposed for acoustic purposesspringing from the massive poetic substructure to a tension ring at the apex. In its day it was the widest monolithic dome in the world. The vast interior is lit by four tiers of curtained clerestory windows, supported by the half-acrches and continuous around the entire structure, which diminish in height as they rise. That gives the dome the appearance of a series of concentric rings. The apses, also structurally formed from reinforced concrete half-acrches, have walls glazed in the same manner, adding to the stunning impact of the space. Although the structural system was revolutionary, the spatial organization and the overall form that it yielded had a Renaissance quality, very like the Church of S. Maria della Consolazione 1503 at Todi, Italy, by Donato Bramante and Cola di Caprarola. Bergs inspiration was complex: he drew upon the spirit of Gothic architecture and the esthetic theories of the Frenchman Durand and the Hollanders Lauweriks and Berlage. The monumentality of the huge building evokes the romantic, unbuildable Beaux Arts projects of Boullee and Ledoux at the same time, Berg avoids ornament for its own sake. The result is that, artistically, the Jahrhunderthalle denies the .....
Jantar Mantar
96. Jaipur India
Jantar Mantar instruments and formulae, the open-air observatory designed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Indias last great classical astronomer, stands at the entrance to the palace in the old city of Jaipur. Built between 1728 and 1734, the group of large, modern-looking masonry structures is in fact a collection of astronomical instruments. They measure local time to an accuracy of a few seconds the suns declination, azimuth, and altitude the declination of fixed stars and planets and they predict solar eclipses. It is the largest of the observatories established by Jai Singh II in five principal Hindustan cities others were in Delhi, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi Benares. Only two survive: the one at Mathura was quarried for its stone and those at Ujjain and Varanasi are partly in ruins. Jantar Mantar is a remarkable architectural achievement: large buildings constructed with such exactness that they can be used as scientific instruments.Jai Singh II, a member of the Hindu Kachhawaha dynasty, came to power at the age of thirteen. As well as being a capable general, he was so politically and intellectually gifted that the Mogul emperor Aurangzeb conferred on him the title of Sawai literally, a man and a quarter. Mogul power was declining toward the end of the 1720s, but Jai Singhs kingdom was prospering. The water supply in his fortified hillside capital, Amber, was strained by increasing population, so he moved his seat of government to the plains. In 1727 he commissioned the Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya to design a new walled city about 125 miles 200 kilometers southwest of Delhi and named it Jaipur. Unlike the laissez-faire contemporary north Indian cities, Jaipurs plan was based on urban design principles found in the Hindu architectural treatise, the Shilpa Shastra. The city was divided by a right-angle grid of wide primary and secondary streets, and further by lanes and alleys, into seven rectangular zones following the caste system, related to occupations and trades. The central rectangle housed the royal complexthe palace, administrative buildings, the womens palaces, and the Jantar Mantar. Jai Singh II was interested in religion and the arts and sciences and his court became a magnet for savants, artists, and philosophers. He was especially interested in astronomy and acquired a multilingual library on the subject, including the works of Ptolemy and Euclid, Persian and Hindu astronomers, and modern European and Muslim sources. Beginning in 1728, he built the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur. Within high walls on three sides, the observatory covers an area of about 5 acres 2 hectares. It contains fifteen astronomical instruments built of local stone and marble. Six had solar measurement functions, eleven were for observing the night sky, and one was unfinished. These large, architecturally refined devices, capable of achieving much greater accuracy than small brass instruments, were based on Islamic astronomical theories. Most were derived from those commissioned by the fifteenth-century Byzantine ruler Ulugh Begh for the well-equipped observatory built in Samarkand in 1428. The largest instrument at Jaipur is the equatorial sundial, a 90-foot-long 27.5-meter straight ramp pointing toward the celestial pole. Graduated masonry quadrants on each side are centered on the nearest edge of the ramp, whose shadow marks local solar time to an accuracy of a few seconds. It was also used to determine the celestial longitude of the sun and to establish the exact time of the equinoxes. The design of another instrument, the Jai armillary sphere, has been attributed to Jai Singh II himself. It comprises two marble hemispherical bowls, each about 13 feet 4 meters in diameter, set into the ground their surfaces are inscribed with coordinate lines of celestial latitude and longitude. A small ring was suspended on wires over the exact center of each, and during the day its shadow marked the exact position of the sun. At night an observer could enter a room under the bowls to take sightings on the stars. The two bowls are complementary, and alternating their use within a two-hour changeover allowed continuous observation. There are also several sundials: a vertical one, hemispherical ones, and a smaller equatorial one that can measure time to about 20 seconds precision. Twelve smaller zodiacal instrumentsone for each signand similar in design to the equatorial sundial, were used for observing the latitudes and longitudes of the sun and the planets. There are also two sets of tall rectangular columns arranged in circles and calibrated to allow reading of the altitude and azimuth of celestial bodies. Finally, the astrolabe, a star chart engraved in a metal disc, is about 6.5 feet 2 meters in diametersix or seven times the usual size of contemporary examplesand made of a seven-metal alloy that Jai Singh had developed to minimize variations caused by temperature changes. Adjustable rulers allow the calculation of rising and setting points of the stars and planets for the accurate casting of horoscopes. That esoteric function underlines a fact that may become obscured as we marvel at the mathematical sophistication of the Jantar Mantar. It is simply this: that despite Jai Singh IIs erudition and urbane universalism, his great observatory and the others like it sprang in part from a religious and not a purely scientific source. In excellent repair after being reconstructed by Chandra Dhar Sharma Guleri in 1901, the Jantar Mantar at Jaipur was declared a national monument in 1948. .....
King s College Chapel
97. Cambridge England
The architectural historian G. E. Kidder Smith correctly identifies Kings College Chapel as one of the great rooms in architecture. Initiated by King Henry VI in July 1446, it was not completed until 1537. Even then, it was acknowledged by many to be one of Europes finest late-medieval buildings. It was an architectural achievement in that it epitomized the English High Gothic, its filigreed stone frame, large windows, and exquisite fan vaulting all demonstrating the pinnacle of structural refinement that had taken almost 400 years to achieve. Henry VI 1421 1471, described as a a pious and studious recluse incapable of governing, succeeded his father Henry V as king of England in 1422. Just a month or so after the infant monarch ascended the English throne, he was also proclaimed king of France. Interrupted by the Wars of the Roses in 1461, his reign resumed in 1470, only to be cut short by his murder the following May. When he reached the age of sixteen he was deemed old enough to rule for himself and, despite a reputedly rebellious youth, by the time he was nineteen Henry had grown to be religious. Neglecting matters of government, he turned his attention to the establishment of two educational foundations: Eton College near Windsor 1440 1441 and the Royal College of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Nicholas of Canterbury now known as Kings College at Cambridge University 1441 provided for seventy scholars drawn from Eton. Henry set out detailed instructions for both colleges and at both his primary concern was for the construction of a chapel. One writer has obsequiously observed that the kings selfless piety accounts for the form of the chapel at Kings, which was conceived .....
The Krak of the Knights
98. Syria
Once described as the key of Christendom, the concentric castle known as the Krak of the Knights stood on the 2,000-foot-high 611-meter southern spur of the Gebel Alawi, commanding the strategic Homs Gap in the Orontes Valley between Syrias Mediterranean coast and the hinterland. The easternmost in a chain of five castles, it was well placed to control the trade routes between Asia Minor and the Levantine Coast. The formidable fortress represented the height of achievement in medieval military architecture and was described by Lawrence of Arabia as one of the best preserved and wholly admirable castles in the world. Medieval warfare was a cycle of conquest and consolidation. Builders were as important as soldiers to an army and throughout the religious wars known as the Crusades 1096 1291 both sides built scores of fortified strongholds, the ruins of which can be found throughout the Middle East. In 1095 Pope Urban II decreed that he would absolve anyone who fought to reclaim the Holy Land for Christendom, a promise that ignited two centuries of conflict. On the face of it, there was a religious reasonpilgrims could not reach Jerusalembut Urban IIs decision was also prompted by a combination of ulterior political motives. The Byzantine Empire was staggering in the face of Turkish expansion European feudal lords were anxious to profit from their military strength, and some states wanted to exploit their naval might in the Mediterranean. And there was opportunity for the papacy to make the most of rising religious fervor to gain control of the mind of western Europe. Kings and barons squandered the lives and the wealth of their subjects as they led all social classes against Islam. From time to time the Crusaders controlled parts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, capturing Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks in 1099 and holding it until Sal .....
Lal Quila the Red Fort
99. Delhi India
Lal Quila the Red Fort was built between 1638 and 1648 at the command of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who also built the Taj Mahal as the royal residence in his new capital, Delhi. The fort, representing the highest achievement of Mughal architecture, contained all the accoutrements befitting a center of empire: public and private audience halls, domed marble palaces, luxuriously appointed private apartments, a mosque, and exquisite gardens. Much of the opulence has gone, but in its heyday its magnificence would have been unparalleled, as boasted by an inscription on one of its walls: If on Earth be an Eden of bliss, it is this, it is this, none but this. Delhi stands at the western end of the plain of the Ganges. The epic Mahabharata speaks of it as a thriving city built about 1400 b.c., although archeo-logical reality suggests it was settled about 1,000 years later. The first city named Delhi was founded in the first century b.c. by Raja Dhilu southwest of the modern location, it had six successors. Its Mughal history is relevant here. In 1526 Babur, the first Mughal ruler, established Delhi as the center of an empire that would unite vast areas of south Asia for the next two centuries. His son Humayun built a new city near Firuzabad but it was leveled when Afghan Sher Shah Suri overthrew him in 1540. He built a new capital, Sher Shahi, as the sixth city of Delhi. Once more eclipsed when the emperors Akbar and Jahangir moved their courts elsewhere, Delhi reached prominence, even glory, in 1638, when Akbars grandson Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to establish the seventh city of Delhi: Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi. Most of it is still embraced by Shah Jahans walls, and four of its seventeenth-century gates still stand. He also built Lal Quila as the royal residence within the new city. Almost immediately, Shah Jahan commissioned the architects Ustad Hamid and Ustad Ahmad to design a fitting royal residencethe Red Fortat the northeastern corner of Shahjahanabad. It was completed within about ten years. An area of 124 acres 50 hectares was enclosed within 1.5 miles 2.4 kilometers of formidable defense walls. It was flanked by the Yamuna River on the eastern side, which fed a moat 76 feet 22.8 meters wide and 30 feet 9 meters deep. Thick red sandstone walls from which the fort derives its name, punctuated by turrets and bastions, rose 60 feet 18 meters from the river those on the other side stood up to 112 feet 33.5 meters above the surrounding terrain. Two of the six main entrancesthe Lahori Gate and the Delhi Gatesurvive. Now the moat is dry and the Yamuna flows almost a kilometer away, but Lai Quila towers above the modern city of Delhi that spreads out to the west. The buildings within the walls are all carefully arranged on the long north-south and shorter east-west axes of the octagonal plan. Although they reveal the delicate work that can be found in all Mughal architecture, they exemplify the later phase of the style, characterized by the increasing use of marble, elaborate floral decoration of external surfaces, and the proliferation of tall minarets and bulbous domes. Shah Jahan seems to have preferred the flowing plant motifs inspired by the European sixteenth-century herbariums that had been perfected by his fathers artists. The walls of carefully cut marble were patterned with precious and semiprecious stones and surfaces were decorated with inlaid flowers of hard stones in many colors. Immediately inside tlie fortified Laliori Gate was tlie Chatta Chowk. a vaulted two-story arcade containing thirty-two shops. East of it. on the same axis, was another gate called Naubat Khana Dram House, also two stories high, from which musicians played martial, music for tlie emperor five times a day. or announced tlie arrival of important guests. Further east on tlie axis and across a courtyard stood tlie Diwan-i-Am Public Audience Hall, ornamented with gilded stuccowork and hung with heavy curtains. There the emperor, seated in a canopied, marble- paneled alcove set with precious stones, would hear through his prime minister tlie complaints and petitions of tlie commoners. The Diwan-i- Am was also used for state functions. At tlie eastern terminus of tlie short axis of tlie plan stood tlie Rang MahalPalace of Colors, its roof crowned with gilded turrets. It housed tlie emperors wives and mistresses. The interior was richly decorated with painting. Its ceiling, overlaid with silver and gold, was reflected in a pool in tlie marble floor. The Nalir-i-Bihist Stream of Paradise flowed through its center, feeding small water channels that flowed to cool tlie other rooms of tlie Red Fort. The north-south axis, through tlie center of a courtyard that separated tlie Diwan-i-Am and tlie Rang Mahal, was flanked by sumptuous pavilions. In tlie Diwan-i-Klias Hall of Private Audiences, tlie emperor met with his courtiers and dignified guests. Standing on a plinth and supported by thirty-two pillars, tlie white marble hall was decorated with floral patterns of precious stones. At its center tlie fabled Peacock Throne carried off to Persia in 1739 stood on a white marble dais under a ceiling inlaid with silver and gold. South of that building lay tlie emperors private apartments, tlie Klias Mahal. On their east side was a large sitting room that opened to a cantilevered gallery, where each sunrise tlie emperor appealed before his subjects. At tlie northern end of tlie large square in front of these buildings stood tlie Hammam Royal Bath. Built of marble and extravagantly decorated with inlay, glass, and paint, it comprised three apartments that were also used for private meetings. Shah Jalians son Aurangzeb built tlie Moti Masjid Pearl Mosque within an enclosing wall beside tlie Hammam in 1659- 1660. At tlie northern end of tlie long axis stood a three-story octagonal tower. Shall Bhuijtlie shahs private working area. At tlie southern end Shah Jalianbuilt the Mumtaz Mahal, a palace for his favorite daughter Jahanara Begum. Mughal power waned in the eighteenth century. The British captured Delhi in 1803, and the city was the focus of Indias first war of independencethe British still prefer to call it the Indian Mutinyin 1857. In 1911 the colonials moved their imperial capital from Calcutta to Delhi and began to build the eighth city, New Delhi, officially inaugurated in 1931. India finally expelled the British in 1947, and the nation celebrates its liberty by flying the Indian flag above Lal Quila each 15 August, Independence Day. .....
Lalibela rock hewn churches
100. Ethiopia
Lalibela is a village in the mountainous Welo region of northern Ethiopia, about 440 miles 700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa in the Middle Ages it was known as Roha and was the capital of the Zagwe dynasty. Standing on a rock terrace at an elevation of 8,500 feet 2,600 meters, it is the site of eleven large rock-hewn monastic churches that date from the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Each is architecturally distinctive and all are finely carved inside and out. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, they are not the earliest such churches in Ethiopia others predate them by at least 500 years, but they are widely recognized as the most beautiful. Francisco Alvarez, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, visited Lalibela in the 1520s, the first European to see the churches. He was reluctant to report to his superiors, fearing that they would not believe his account of buildings unlike any to be seen elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, he described them. hewn entirely out of the living rock, which is sculpted with great ingenuity. The culturally unique churches are remarkable for that reason: each has been cut from the purple-red volcanic tufa, in some cases 90 feet 27 meters into the ground. Some of them are connected by tunnels or passageways open to the sky. Even to the modern mind, they are an architectural marvel. The history of the churches is swathed in mythology. It is probable that King Lalibela 1181 1221 commissioned them. According to legend, angels carried him to heaven when he was affected by a poison that his envious brother had administered God sent him back to earth with instructions to build the churches and later dispatched angels to continue the work at night. Another account says that the king recruited Indian, Arab, and Egyptian builders, or even white men from Jerusalem, a link that is strengthened by the naming of the local river, Jordan. It has been suggested that, upon learning that the Holy City had fallen to Islam, Lalibela wanted to create a new Jerusalem in his secure mountain fastness. Tradition has it that the eleven buildings were completed in twenty-four yearsarcheologists calculate that would have needed 40,000 workersbut the time frame seems too short. Maskal Kabra, Lalibelas queen, is said to have built one of them to his memory. The churches stand in two groups flanking the Jordan. Four of themBet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Amanuel, and the cruciform Bet Ghiorghis, dedicated to Ethiopias patron saintare in effect huge blocks of sculptured stone standing in deep excavated courtyards and attached to the rock only by their bases. Bet signifies the house of. They look like normal buildings, but each one is a single piece. The others must be accurately described as semimonolithic, because they remain attached to the rock by at least one face, whether the roof or walls. For example, although the twin churches of Bet Golgotha and Bet Qedus Mikael share a roof, they have, respectively, one and three facades exposed. Bet Abba Libanos is isolated from the mother rock except for its roof, which is integrated with the overhanging cliff in front of it stands a large forecourt, cut from the tufa. The other churches are named Bet Danaghel, Bet Debre Sinai, Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, and Bet Meskel. The eclectically blended artistic influences are variedGreek, Egyptian, and even Islamicand the nature and the extent of the carefully carved exterior and interior walls, ceilings, moldings, and window tracery are just as diverse. Bet Qedus Mikael has smooth exterior wall surfaces, and its interior is austere, decorated with Greek crosses on the other hand, Bet Golgotha is more ornate, perhaps because it houses the tomb of King Lalibela, and it contains bas-reliefs of saints, the only sculptures in any Ethiopian church. Other churches have painted decoration, mostly with a teaching function, in various states of preservation. The churches of Lalibela are home to hundreds of monks, clerics, and students, who celebrate liturgies that are tlie same as they were eight centuries ago. It is tlie most important pilgrimage site in Ethiopia, a country that includes an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam, and during tlie major holiday seasons it may be visited by as many as 50.000 devotees. More recently. Lalibela has become a tourist attraction, precisely because of its spectacular churches, and draws over 10.000 secular visitors a year. Inevitably, there is a tension between conservation and development. But because tourism is tlie villages only real source of wealth and is encouraged by tlie central government, a compromise must be reached. In 1996 the European Community earmarked EUR4.7 million for shelters to replace tlie corrugated-steel roofs that covered Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Maryam. Bet Meskel. Bet AmanueL and Bet Abba Libanos from damage caused by torrential rains, and an international architectural competition was held. Structures designed by tlie first-prize winners. Teprin Associati of Italy, were completed by December 2000. UNESCO and tlie Ethiopian Department of Preservation of Cultural Heritage are urging restoration of tlie deteriorating fabric of tlie churches. .....
Larkin Administration Building
101. Buffalo New York
The Larkin Administration Building 1902 1906 by Frank Lloyd Wright 1869 1959 was his first major public work, built, as he said, to house the commercial engine of the Larkin Company in light, wholesome, well-ventilated quarters. It was a milestone in the history of commercial architecture, in terms of both its spatial organization and the exploitation of modern technology. Indeed, some historians identify it as the twentieth-century structure that, more than any other, changed the face of architecture within a few years it was hailed in Europe. Peter Blake has claimed that it was the first consciously architectural expression of the kind of American structure which Europeans were beginning to discover to their delight: the great clusters of grain silos and similar industrial monuments that [they] found so exciting in the early 1920s. Blake 1964, 55 56. The Larkin Companys soap-manufacturing and mail-order operations occupied a large urban industrial site between Swan, Exchange, Van Renssalear, and Hamburg streets of Buffalo, in western New York State. Wrights innovative building on Seneca Street, near the corner of Seymour and Swan, housed the firms administrative functions. Around 1902 Wright realized that different building types called for different esthetic systems. Thereafter, he developed two patently distinct architectures. In his houses he pursued what might be called prairie horizontalitythe line of repose that reached its best expression in the Frederick C. Robie House, Chicago 1908 1910. For nondomestic buildings, such as the Larkin Building Unity Temple, Oak Park, Illinois 1905 1909 and Midway Gardens, Chicago 1913 1917, he adopted Cubic Purism, often squat and squarish with symmetrical plans and elevations. The rather severe exterior of the Larkin Building was relieved with sculpture by Richard Bock, who produced a globe of the world, supported by celestial beings and emblazoned with the company name. The great six-story space in the center of the buildingtoday we think of it as an atriumwas lit by a large skylight. It was surrounded by balconies lit by high-level windows around the perimeter of the building, they contained the general office spaces, set out years before their time on an open plan. In keeping with Wrights views about the nature of work, and no doubt with those of his client John D. Larkin, the interior espoused nonhierarchical, democratic office planning. There was even an employees lounge with a piano, where the company provided a weekly lunch-time concert for the workers an organ stood at one end of the third story of the atrium. Many of the 1,800 employees worked at long desks running between the outer walls and the atrium. The lighting was an important part of the design the desks received daylight from two sides: the exterior windows and the atrium. Electric lamps were mounted at the ends of the tables in the ground floor of the central court so that every office worker had well-balanced, shadow-free light. Wright believed in making total architecture and designed the lighting system himself, as well as the steel office furniture. The employees were protected from industrial pollution and the noise of the nearby rail yards by heavy red brick walls, and from undue interior noise by sound-absorbent surfaces. The revolutionary working environment was also air-conditioned, one of the first in the United States. Just as he separated service rooms from living rooms in his contemporary houses, Wright gathered the serviceselectrical and plumbing ducts, stairways, toilets he introduced wall-hung water closets to make cleaning easier, and heating systemsat the outer corners of the main building. Beating the box as he put it, he expressed the service functions as square towers, freestanding, individual features. Responding to criticisms by Russell Sturgess of The Architectural Record, who called it an extremely ugly building and a monster of awkwardness, Wright said in 1908, It may be ugly .....
London Underground
102. England
Londons underground railroad system, popularly known as the Tube, is the oldest in the world. As early as the 1830s Charles Pearson, the city of Londons solicitor, suggested that the mainline stations could be linked by an underground railroad with as many as eight tracks. Despite the potential economic and social advantages of the scheme, it could find no financial backing, and Parliament refused to approve it. The citys first above-ground passenger service was the London and Greenwich line, opened in February 1836. Within four years it was carrying nearly 6 million passengers annually between the major mainline train stations on the borders of the metropolis and the edge of the central business district. With an area of 60 square miles 154 square kilometers and a population of 2.5 million, Greater London was then the worlds largest city, and the most crowded, plagued by street congestion. To find a solution to a worsening problem, the City Terminus Company CTC revived the underground railroad idea in 1852 and placed it before Parliament, only to again fail. The following year the Bayswater, Paddington, and Holborn Bridge Railway Company submitted a plan for a different line, ostensibly at half the cost. Parliament endorsed the North Metropolitan line in 1853, and the company promptly had the CTC line approved as part of its own. The Great Western Railway Company agreed to finance construction of the underground in return for direct access to the city. In 1854 an act of Parliament was obtained to begin the Metropolitan Railroad. A sum of .....
Madan reed houses
103. Iraq
The reed houses that form part of the distinctive culture of the Madan, or Marsh Arabs, of southeastern Iraq are an architectural achievement because they result from pushing available resources to their limits. Descended partly from the ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, this seminomadic people, now numbering perhaps 200,000, have for millennia inhabited Lake Hammar and the surrounding marshlands in the Tigris-Euphrates Delta, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Baghdad. Not only have they developed a sophisticated house form using a single building materialthe stalks of the prolific giant reed (Fragmites communis)but they have also created the very land upon which their houses and farmsteads stand. The Madan villages are irregular clusters of small islands constructed by alternating layers of reed mats and layers of mud dredged from the marsh bottom. Thus, paradoxically, much of the fertile land is actually floating on the water. Each island has its house and buffalo paddock, and communication between them is by means of narrow canoes (mashuf) of bitumen-coated wood, propelled through the shallow water with long poles. The Madan fish, hunt waterfowl and pigs, breed water buffalo, and raise crops of paddy rice and great millet. Many domestic necessitiesbeds, cots, baskets, and canoe polesare woven from reeds. In short, until recently the Madan have lived in harmony with the ecosystem of their harsh but bountiful environment. The reed house (mudhif) is constructed around a framework made by tying the giant reedsthey can grow to 20 feet (6 meters) longto make bundles that taper from about 1.5 feet to 6 inches (45 to 15 centimeters). The thick ends are stuck into the mud floor of the island in opposing pairs and then bent and lashed together, with a substantial overlap at the top, to form a row of parallel parabolic arches, at about 6-foot (2-meter) centers. The builders even use a tripod of bundled reeds as scaffolding for this part of the work. The primary frames are stabilized with closely spaced, much thinner reed bundles (like purlins) around the perimeter of the house. The completed framework is covered with intricately woven split-reed mats to form the integrated walls and roof. The upper parts of the end walls are enclosed with a curtain of the same material, and four or five reed columns are erected to support a framework to which a decorative lattice is fixed, always to beautiful effect. Depending on the length of the reeds used for the arches, the house can be 12 feet (3.7 meters) wide the length is indeterminate, and buildings up to 100 feet (30 meters) have been recorded. Furnishings are sparse: the reed floors are covered with carpets, and there is a clay hearth for making coffee. The distinctive house form has a long pedigree,being illustrated on a clay plaque dating from the fourth millennium b.c. found in excavations of Sumerian Uruk. That fact, and the appearance of vegetable forms in stone, such as Egyptian papyrus and lotus columns, has given rise to the speculation that all columnar architecture in the protohistoric civilizations (and perhaps beyond) springs from such construction. The unique culture of the Marsh Arabs is in danger indeed, it may already be beyond help. Largely as a result of their isolation, they have maintained their traditions and were untouched even by Turkish and British colonialism. Because of high evaporation, the marshes have long been regarded as wasteful of water that could be used for irrigation a major drainage scheme was proposed in a 1951 report drafted by British engineers commissioned by the Iraqi government. In the 1970s Turkey dammed the Euphrates. But the Madans problems started in earnest after 1980, during the Iran-Iraq War. Within two years Iran regained the territory, including the marshlands, taken earlier by Iraq. The marsh dwellers fled as the Iraqi army sent enormous electrical currents through the water to electrocute invading Iranian soldiers. Saddam Husseins unrelenting destruction continued after the war. Following Saddams defeat in the Gulf War in 1991, southern Iraqi Shiite Muslims launched a guerrilla offensive against his Sunni Muslim government. The uprising was crushed, and many rebels sought refuge in the marshes, supported by the Madan, who are also Shiite. To flush them out, in 1992 Saddam began to drain the region systematically, using the 1951 British report. Within a year a network of 20-foot-high (6-meter) dikes was preventing two-thirds of the normal water flow from reaching the marshlands, thus turning much of it into expanses of dried mud. Between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, the man-made Saddam River carried floodwaters directly to the Persian Gulf. A third of Lake Hammar dried up, and thousands of Marsh Arabs moved deeper into the surviving wetlands or fled to Iran and elsewhere. Some sources estimate that fewer than 10,000 remain in Iraq, recognized as a persecuted minority by the European Parliament, to pursue their traditional lifestyle. To compound the offense of ethnocide, Saddams actions have caused probably irreversible environmental damage. International organizations such as the UN Human Rights Commission, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and the International Wildfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau have been watching in alarm, but have been powerless to act. .....
Maiden Castle
104. Dorset England
The ancient British hill fort now known as Maiden Castle (from mai-dun, Celtic for great hill), about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) southwest of modern Dorchester, grew from a neolithic village to become the largest pre-Roman fortress among nearly 1,400 in England. Indeed, it was one of the most extensive in western Europe. Still visible 2,000 years after its massive ramparts were completed, the fort crowns a low saddleback chalk hill south of the Frome Valley. Its strength did not lie (as in the case of others) in its siting, but rather in the sheer size and scale of its fortifications. By the middle of the first century b.c., four rings of ditches and steeply sloping earthen walls, in places as much as 90 feet (28 meters) high and reinforced by timber palisades or drystone structures, occupied an area of 100 acres (40 hectares). Within the defenses, the long axis of the fort is over 0.5 mile (0.8 kilometer) and its inner circumference about 1.5 miles. It was a remarkable engineering achievement, not only in terms of its monumentality, but also because of its organic nature, by which it grew over twenty centuries. Maiden Castle has a long prehistory, revealed by archeological studies first undertaken by Mortimer Wheeler in 1934 1938 further excavation took place in 1985 1986 under the direction of Niall Sharples. The first earthwork was a neolithic causewayed camp (ca. 4000 b.c.) consisting of a single ditch and bank defending an area of about 12 acres (4.8 hectares). It was followed after half a century by a 1,750-foot-long (537-meter) bank barrow, crossing the center of the fort from east to west. About 1,000 years later settlers built burial mounds on the site, after which it seems to have been abandoned for some time. After about 700 b.c. various tribes settled Britain, and most of the southwestern region now known as Somerset and Dorset was occupied by the Durotriges. They secured their lands against rival tribes with hill forts: such places as Hambledon Hill, Hod Hill, South Cadbury, Spettisbury Rings, and of course Maiden Hill, which some scholars suggest was their capital. Around 600 b.c. these Iron Culture settlers incorporated the existing earthworks into their own defensesan earth rampart augmented by a timber palisadeenclosing about 15 acres (6 hectares) at the east end of the saddleback. There was continual growth: limestone walls were added to parts of the ramparts, and it seems that around 450 b.c. a westward extension was constructed. Sometime before the third century b.c., the encircling fortifications were enlarged, and entrances with double gates were constructed at the east and west ends the entire hilltopsome 45 acres (18.2 hectares)was secured. The height of the earth walls was increased, perhaps late in the second century b.c., and yet another rampart and ditch were built around the perimeter. Further enlargement took place a century later. Although it may be that not all Dorset hill forts were continuously occupied, and that some were simply used as havens in times of danger, evidence suggests that Maiden Hill was a permanent settlement, and at the middle of the first century a.d. perhaps 5,000 people were living within what they believed to be the safety of its walls. There were made streets, and archeologists have discovered graves, storage pits, and other pits for refuseit might be said, sanitary landfill. The Romans launched a full-scale invasion of Britain in a.d. 43, moving westward across the country. The Roman historian Suetonius claims that twenty of the southwest hill forts fell quickly to the II Augusta Legion, come from Strasbourg under the general Titus Flavius Vespasianus (later to become Emperor Vespasian). They reached Maiden Castle within the year. The Durotriges were renowned warriors, accustomed to hand-to-hand combat. At longer range, they used slings and were prepared to defend their town with them: ammunition dumps within the ramparts held a reserve of 40,000 large pebbles brought from Chesil Beach. The Romans chose to turn their war machines against the well-defended east gate, defended by slingers on its four ramparts. Overwhelmed by the weight of numbers and the superior tactics and weapons technology of the invadersespecially the catapults that launched missiles from beyond the slingers rangeMaiden Castle surrendered, although not before offering savage resistance. After three millennia the huge, spectacular hill fort had become obsolete, and it was abandoned within about thirty-five years. Many of the former inhabitants moved to the new Roman town of Durnovaria (Dorchester), others to the century-old Celtic village in the shadow of Maiden Castle. In about A.D. 370 the Romans built a temple in the precincts of the fort, but it too was abandoned when they withdrew from Britain only 100 years later. The site is now maintained and managed by English Heritage. .....
Maillarts bridges
105. The Swiss engineer, architect, and artist Robert Maillart (1872 1940) exploited the structural strength and expressive potential of reinforced concrete to generate a modern form for his bridges. By using simple construction concepts he developed graceful structures based on flat or curved reinforced concrete slabs. Amongst his radically innovative ideas were the mushroom slab, the deck-stiffened arch, the open three-hinged arch, and the hollow-box arch. Maillarts biographer David Billington (1997, 2) asserts that the engineers elegance arose from structure itself and not from an extraneous idea of beauty.Taken singly or together, Maillarts bridges are engineering and architectural feats that elegantly demonstrated, as Le Corbusier claimed in Vers une Architecture (1923), that engineers recognized (long before architects) that beauty could be achieved through thoroughly defining and solving problems. That new approach to design lay at the foundation of modem architecture. Maillart studied civil engineering at Switzerlands Federal Technological Institute in Z .....
Maria Pia Bridge
106. Oporto Portugal
Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Oporto is the capital of northern Portugal and the second-largest city in the country, rising steeply from the deep river valley. In 1875 the railway between Lisbon and Oporto was almost complete, and the final problem facing its builders was crossing the Douro. An international competition attracted only four entries, three from France and one from England. Gustave Alexandre Eiffels winning proposal for the transparent Maria-Pia Bridge was not only the least expensivetwo-thirds that of the next tender and only one-third of the highest pricebut it also involved revolutionary structural design. Although Eiffel is best remembered for the Eiffel Tower in Paris, much of his professional life was given to building bridges. Upon his graduation from the ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in 1855, he was employed by a firm in southwestern France that produced steam engines and railroad equipment. In 1858 it won a contract to erect a railway bridge over the Garonne River near Bordeaux Eiffel oversaw the construction, which was completed in 1865. The following year he set up business as a constructor, designing and fabricating metal structural work, especially in wrought iron. After 1872 foreign contracts came his way, and three years later he designed the Maria-Pia railway bridge in Oporto.Eiffel supported the railroad deck 190 feet (57 meters) above the river with a graceful, filigreed wrought-iron arch spanning 525 feet (160 meters) the approaches to the center span were borne on lacy framed pylons of varying heights to accommodate the sloping banks. Construction started in 1877, and the bridge was built in just a year and ten months, without the need for temporary scaffolding directly supported on the grounda masterly piece of design. The structural system involved several other technological innovations, not least the design analysis methods. Civil engineers already knew how to calculate for statically indeterminate beams, but the force method needed to predict the behavior of this kind of structure, although propounded a decade earlier, had been taken seriously only a year before Eiffel designed the bridge. It has been asserted that this was the first application of the analysis of a statically indeterminate structure other than a beam, and that Eiffel discovered the method by himself. The pioneer technique was to be used in many large arches, including two in Oporto. The first came soon after: the wrought-iron Dom Lu .....
Marib Dam
107. Yemen
The Republic of Yemen is located on the southwestern coast of the Arabian peninsula, the region once possessed by the ancient southern Arabian kingdoms that occupied the mouths of large wadis (valleys) between mountains and desert. The first-millennium-b.c. kingdom of Saba sprang up in the dry delta of the Wadi Dhana that divides the Balak Hills. In the eighth century b.c., at the height of their prosperity, the Sabaeans had established colonies along both sea and land trade routes to Israel, and they dominated the region. Their capital, Marib, among the wealthiest cities of ancient Arabia, stood 107 miles (172 kilometers) east of Sanaa, the capital of modern Yemen. It is generally agreed that artificial irrigation was practiced near ancient Marib as early as the middle of the third millennium b.c. About 2,000 years later a dam was built to harness the biannual floods and systematic irrigation was introduced. Some scholars believe that the Marib Dam was the greatest technical structure of antiquity. Around 685 b.c., under King Karibil Watar, Saba enlarged its borders. Territories were conquered in the southwest of the peninsula Ausan in the south was defeated and Sabaean rule extended northwest as far as Nagran. In the second half of the sixth century b.c., two kings successively built the Marib Dam near the mouth of the Wadi Dhana, the largest water course from the Yemeni uplands. By impounding water during the two rainy seasons, the dam provided irrigation for some 25 square miles (65 square kilometers) of fields and gardens. Replenished and enriched by sedimentary deposits, this agricultural land supported a population estimated to be about 30,000. The first dam was a simple earth structure, 1,900 feet (580 meters) long and probably only 13 feet (4 meters) high, built between rocks on the south side of the wadi and a rock shelf on the north. Its location a little downstream of the wadis narrowest point permitted space for a natural spillway and sluices. Around 500 b.c. a second 23-foot-high (7-meter) earth dam was built. It was triangular in section both faces sloped at 45 degrees and the upstream side was faced with stone set in mortar. The final form of the Marib Dam was not built by the Sabaeans. Late in the second century b.c. the Himyarites, a tribe from the extreme southwest of Arabia, established their capital at Dhafar and gradually absorbed the Sabaean kingdom, gaining control of South Arabia. They undertook the next major reconstruction of the Marib Dam, building a new 46-foot-high (14-meter), 2,350-foot-long (720-meter), stone-faced earthen wall, incorporating sophisticated hydraulic systems. It was nearly 200 feet (60 meters) thick at the base, built on a stone foundation, and created a lake that was probably 1.5 square miles (4 square kilometers) in area. At each end of the wall there were sluices, constructed with what has been described as the finest ancient masonry .....
Masjed e Shah Royal Mosque
108. Isfahan Iran
The Royal Mosque, or Masjed-e-Shah (now known as the Masjed-e-Imam), was the major legacy of the Safavid Shah Abbas I (1587 1628), sometimes called Abbas the Great, who established Persia as a unified state. The beautiful building, said to stagger the visitor with its opulence and inventiveness, represents the epitome of Iranian architecture. It merits a place among the worlds architectural feats because of the resplendent tile work that covers it both inside and out.Helped by the British mercenaries Sir Anthony and Sir Robert Sherley, Abbas I defeated the Turks and expelled the Portuguese from the strategically critical island of Hormuz. He unified Persia by enforcing adherence to Shiism and establishing Farsi as the official language. His domestic policy focused on providing an economic infrastructure by building roads and bridges, and looking abroad, he also employed Armenian merchants to improve the silk trade with India. But nothing in the entire Safavid period (ca. 1320 1772) is better remembered than the vast amounts he spent developing Isfahan, where he established his capital in 1598. Beginning in 1602, Abbas I completely rebuilt the city center in the form that survives. He commissioned the grand avenue of Chahar Bagh, the 1,700-by-500-foot (500-by-150-meter) Meidan-e-Shah (central Royal Plaza) and the buildings that surround it: the Bazaar (1619), still the largest in Iran the Royal Palace of Ali Qapu (1602) facing the Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque (1602) and of course the Masjed-e-Shah. The Bridge of Thirty-Three Arches over the Zilldeh Rudh was built for him, as well as the Jubi Aqueduct to water the gardens with which he bedecked the capital. He also patronized a flourishing school of painting, and rugs for the royal palace and other buildings were woven on the court looms. It was said of Abbas Is unparalleled achievements in art and architecture, Isfahan is half the world. The commencement date of the Royal Mosque is uncertain. Some sources give 1590, a little early in the context of other urban development, and others claim that Abbas I laid the first stone in spring 1611. Ali Reza, the calligrapher responsible for the inscriptions in the building, dated the main entrance in 1616. Although Abbas put great pressure on his architect Ostad Abul-Qasim and his team of workmen, the mosque was incomplete when the Shah died in 1628 at the age of seventy. It is probable that work was still going on two years after that. The beautiful building certainly set a precedent, for elements of some later mosques are derivative: for example, the dome of the nearby Madrasa Mader-e-Shah (Royal Theological College) of 1714. There are an estimated 18 million bricks in the Royal Mosque and the exterior reveals of its openings are claimed to be faced with 472,500 tiles. Indeed, the building should be included among the worlds architectural feats because of the resplendent tile work on its main facade, its beautiful turquoise dome, and the interior. Tiles were a critical element of Persian architecture for two reasons: first, there was a practical need to weatherproof the clay bricks normally used in construction and second, artistically, they were used to ornament the building. This was not merely for decoration but to define and articulate the underlying architectural form: tile work emphasized selected motifs and marked transitional points in the design, either by providing a patterned boundary or by the use of calligraphy. The Royal Mosque is widely celebrated for its exquisite haft rang (seven-color) tile workcolors were white, blue, yellow, turquoise, pink, aubergine, and greenwhich was developed extensively during the seventeenth century as the quality of glazes improved. It differed from conventional mosaic in that the full range of colors was used to create sinuous or calligraphic patterns on individual tiles, so that when they were placed, the overall design could be seen. .....
Maunsell sea forts
109. England
The coasts of Kent and Essex Counties, England, overlook the Thames Estuary, the only sea route to London. Throughout World War II it was constantly endangered by German minelayers, U-boats, and the Luftwaffe. From 1939 until 1942 the British navy patrolled the area then a series of seven sea forts was built to permanently guard the river mouth. They were an innovative architectural and engineering achievement. The reinforced concrete and steel structures were entirely prefabricated in a Gravesend dry dock, floated to their locations, sunk, and anchored on the bottom of the sea, up to 9 miles (14 kilometers) off the coast. Although not as large as the now almost commonplace offshore oil and gas platforms around the world, the sea forts predated them by about five years, and the six so-called Texas Towers that form part of the U.S. lighthouse system by almost twenty. Two kinds of forts, one for the navy and another for the army, were designed by the civil engineer Guy Maunsell. Even when war was little more than a threat, he submitted several proposals for seaward defenses, but it was not until October 1940over a year after the outbreak of warthat the Admiralty commissioned him to design a prototype sea fortress. His initial costly proposal, for a 2,900-ton (2,640-tonne) pontoon supporting a gun battery, was shelved by the government. But when France fell, the Admiralty was moved to action and asked Maunsell to produce five sea forts for the Royal Navy. The naval sea forts were essentially steel gun platforms with two 6-inch (150-millimeter) cannon and a Bofors antiaircraft gun. The huge structures were assembled by Holloway Brothers at the Red Lion Wharf, Gravesend, towed downriver by three tugs, and sunk by flooding their hollow pontoon base. Two were positioned in the estuary off the Essex coast and two off the Kent coast. Each fortress had a crew of about 100, who lived, provisioned for more than a month, in the two 26-foot-diameter (8-meter), 7-story concrete legs that supported the main platform, with its guns, radar, and control tower. The first was sited at The Roughs in February 1942. Sunk Head followed on 1 June, and Tongue Sands was completed about a fortnight later. Knock John was ready for action on 1 August. The fifth was never built. The army sea forts, also designed by Maunsell, were Englands response to German air attacks on the strategic Liverpool docks via the undefended Mersey Estuary. It was decided to build five in the Mersey mouth and seven in the Thames Estuary. Each self-contained fort had living quarters for twenty-four men and comprised seven steel platforms supported on four 160-foot (49-meter) concrete legs. Four were gun towers with 3.7-inch (95-millimeter) cannon a fifth was armed with a Bofors gun the sixth was a searchlight tower and the last was for radar. They were linked high above the sea by tubular steel catwalks that also carried power and fuel lines between the platforms. Their disposition was based upon the proven layout of shore gun batteries. In the event, only three were built on each side of England. Those in the Thames Estuary, constructed by the engineers who built the navy forts, were towed downriver in pairs and lowered by winches at strategic sites: The Great Nore, Shivering Sands, and Red Sandall rather closer inshore than the navy counterparts. The pontoon bases used in the earlier structures would have been unsuitable in shallower water, where tidal currents constantly shifted the seabed instead, Maunsell designed a self-burying footing that firmly anchored each tower in place. Construction began in August 1942, and the last tower was completed sixteen months later. At each site, the Bofors platform was erected first to defend the construction crews as they assembled the rest of the fort. There is now no way to measure the passive deterrent effect of the Maunsell forts, but during their short active life they accounted for the destruction of twenty-two enemy aircraft and about thirty flying bombs. Because the Ministry of Defence believed that a combination of bad weather and tidal action would quickly destroy them after the war, no thought was taken for their disposal. For a few years after 1945 the naval forts were serviced by the Thames Estuary Special Defence unit, and two were temporarily adapted as lightships. Difficulty of access in storms led to that being discontinued in fact, Tongue Sands was wrecked in bad weather in 1966. Only Knock John and The Roughs survive. After May 1964 the former, together with Red Sand and Shivering Sands army forts, was occupied at various times and for various periods by pirate radio stations, until the last was shut down under the Offshore Broadcasting Act in July 1967. The Roughs continues to have an eccentric postwar history. It lies slightly north of the Thames Estuary off Harwich, and in September 1967, when it was still outside British territorial waters, a former British army officer named Paddy Roy Bates formally (and it must be said legally) annexed it as the Principality of Sealand, going aboard as the prince with his family. In the late 1990s a consortium of U.S. Internet entrepreneurs set up the worlds first offshore data haven there, offering prospective clients security for their computer operations, free from the interference of legislation. The army forts also went into decline. For a short while, under the control of the Anti-Aircraft Fort Maintenance Detachment, they were furnished with improved searchlights and radar installations. Any perceived crisis past, the army stripped all guns and equipment from them in 1956. The Red Sand fort, off the Isle of Sheppey, was abandoned that same year. The Great Nore fort was dismantled in 1958 after being struck by a ship and officially declared a hazard to shipping. In 1959 another vessel collided with the Shivering Sands fort, bringing down one of the towers. Despite their short-lived roles as radio stations, the survivors are now derelict. Their robustness means that their skeletons will stand in the North Sea for some years to come, gaunt confirmation of the proverb Necessity is the mother of invention. Guy Maunsell did not survive his great sea forts, dying in 1961 after establishing an international civil-engineering partnership, which continues. .....
Mausoleum at Halicarnassos
110. Anatolia Turkey
The tomb of King Mausolos, known as the Mausoleum, was a structure impressive enough to merit inclusion among the seven wonders of the ancient world, and its name has passed into many European languages to describe any imposing funereal structure. It was designed by the Greek architect Pythios (some sources credit Satyros also) and decorated with works by the sculptors Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus, and Leochares. Because it survived for sixteen centuries, descriptions abound combined with archeological evidence, they provide a good idea of the monuments appearance. Mausolos (reigned ca. 377 353 b.c.) was a Persian satrap (governor) of Caria in southwestern Anatoliaa region so remote from the Persian capital that it was virtually independent. With a view to extending his power, Mausolos moved his capital from Mylasa in the interior to the coastal site of Halicarnassos, with its key position on the sea routes and large safe harbor, on the Gulf of Cerameicus. In 362 b.c. he joined the ill-starred rebellion of the Anatolian satraps against Artaxerxes II, but anticipating defeat, withdrew from the alliance in time. From then on he became the almost autonomous king of a large domain including Lycia and several Ionian cities northwest of Caria, later forming coalitions with the island city-states of Rhodes and Cos. Mausolos undertook major urban design projects in Halicarnassos: a defense system, civic buildings, and a secret dockyard and canal. But the most interesting of all his public works was the planning of his great tomb. Conceived during his lifetime, it was initiated probably after his death by Artemisia II, who was at once his sister and his widow, and who for three years was sole ruler of Caria. She died in 350 b.c. and was buried with Mausolos in the uncompleted tomb. According to Pliny the Elder (a.d. 23 79), the craftsmen, realizing that the tomb was a monument to their own creativity, elected to finish the work after their patroness died. Sited on a hill above Halicarnassos, the tomb rose 140 feet (43 meters) into the air from the center of a stone podium in an enclosed courtyard. A stair flanked by lions led to the top of this platform, whose outer walls were arrayed with statues, including an equestrian warrior at each corner. Its rectangular, tapered pedestal of white marble, with base dimensions of about 120 by 100 feet (37 by 30 meters), was 60 feet (18.3 meters) high. Its faces were carved with reliefs of Greek legends, including battles between centaurs and Lapiths, and Greeks and Amazons. The pedestal supported a colonnade of thirty-six 38-foot-high (11.6-meter) Ionic columns that housed a sarcophagus of white alabaster decorated with gold in a burial chamber. The tomb was roofed with a 22-foot-high (6-meter) stone pyramid of 24 steep steps, crowned with a 20-foot (6-meter) marble chariot bearing statues of Mausolos and Artemisia. Sculptured friezes of people, lions, horses, and other animals adorned every level of the Mausoleum tradition has it that each of the famous sculptors was responsible for a side. Under Memnon of Rhodes, Halicarnassos resisted Alexander the Great in 334 b.c. But it successively fell to Antigonus I (311 b.c.), Lysimachus (after 301 b.c.), and the Ptolemies (281 197 b.c.), after that retaining its independence until the Roman conquest in 129 b.c. Throughout all this conflict and for 1,600 years, the Mausoleum remained intact until a series of earthquakes shattered the columns and damaged the roof, bringing down the stone chariot. By the fifteenth century a.d. only the base remained. When the Crusader Knights of St. John of Malta invaded the region, they built a castle on the site and in 1494 used the stones of the Mausoleum to fortify it against an expected Turkish invasion. Within twenty-five years almost every block of stone had been placed in the walls of their Castle of St. Peter the Liberator. Before grinding much of the Mausoleums surviving sculpture into lime for plaster, the knights selected many of the pieces to adorn their castle. They renamed the city Mesy today the ancient site is occupied by the town of Bodrum.In 1846 Charles Newton of the British Museum began a search for vestiges of the Mausoleum. By 1857 he had uncovered sections of the reliefs and pieces of the roof. He also found a broken wheel from the stone chariot and, finally, the statues of Mausolos and Artemisia that had ridden in it for twenty-one centuries. All that remains of this wonder of the ancient world can now be found in the Mausoleum Room of the British Museum. .....
Megalithic temples
111. Malta
The oldest monumental architecture in the world is found on the tiny islands of Malta and Gozo, south of Sicily in the western Mediterranean. There, for perhaps 1,500 years from 3800 b.c., communities of neolithic farmers built about thirty massive post-and-beam temples. None of these megalithic structures has survived intact, but no doubt they were architectural masterworks, the earliest of them a thousand years older than the pyramids at Giza, Egypt. The most striking examples are at Ggantija (the word means giant) on Gozo and at Hagar Kim Mnajdra, Tarxien, Ta Hagrat, and Skorba on Malta. The islands were first settled, quite separately, by people from southeast Sicily sometime between 5000 and 4000 b.c. These simple agrarian immigrants bred cattle, sheep, and pigs and grew lentils and barley. There probably followed a second wave of colonists from Sicily who absorbed or displaced the original group, and who left evidence of a culture expressed in communal underground tombs, for example, those at Zebbug on Malta and at Xaghra on Gozo. These graves foreshadowed the spectacular subterranean building known as the Hypogeum at Hal-Saflieni, described below. It has been suggested that later temple forms were also derived from these earlier burial places, because both building types consist of irregular compartments joined by short corridors. Architecture, especially religious architecture, on such a scale indicates that the society produced an agricultural surplus to fund the work, that their organization permitted collaborative effort, and that their religious beliefs were strong enough to inspire and maintain that effort. The temples demonstrate a developing form. The earliest were constructed by piling massive limestone rocks that were neither dressed nor carved. Later temples, like those at Ggantija, Hagar Kim, Mnajdra, and Tarxien, were also built of huge slabs transported from neighboring quarries, but the blocks were set out to a clearly predetermined plan, carefully dressed and fitted and carved with finely detailed ornament. This later phase is lucid evidence of an ingenious people with a well-developed technology. They could transport immense blocks of stone, up to 20 feet (6 meters) high and weighing many tons, and accurately shape them using only flint or obsidian tools. The quality of the decorative work that embellished the structuresspiral carvings, intaglio patterns, and figuresdemonstrates creative and artistic skills of a similar order. The Hagar Kim and Mnajdra Temples stand on rocky ground a few hundred meters apart near the village of Qrendi on Maltas southeast coast. Their layout is difficult to describe. For example, the entrance to the approximately oval compound at Hagar Kim is set in a wall of carefully shaped and fitted rectangular limestone blocks. The doorway itself is a trilithon (three stones). This device, consisting of two uprights supporting a lintel, would remain the essential architectural and structural element of European architecture for the next 3,000 years. But beyond the gate there is a confused assemblage of amorphous rooms and courtyards linked by corridors, whose elaborate arrangement must be seen to be understood. The three temples and the small enclosure of the Mnajdra complex are built of hard and soft limestones and are rather better defined. Two large elongated elliptical spaces forming a figure eight make up the largest building they are entered through trilithonic doorways flanked by small square apses. The enclosing walls are built in two layers internally they present as tall, massive slabs, while the outer face is constructed of masonry blocks. Although smaller, each weighs several hundred kilograms. It seems that some of the temples once had domed roofs. The complex of three linked temples in the town of Tarxien probably was built sometime later than the others, although the basic form is the same.Perhaps the most striking prehistoric site on Malta, dating from around 3000 to 2500 b.c., is the Hypogeum at Hal-Saflieni, near the town of Paola. The three-story, 1,600-square-foot (150-square-meter) subterranean curvilinear building was excavated from the soft coralline limestone. Its upper level is a series of irregular, roughly finished burial chambers, very like the earlier rock-hewn tombs found elsewhere on the island and on Gozo. The middle level has twenty larger more regularly shaped rooms joined by corridors. One is carved from the rock in close imitation of the contemporary aboveground temples, complete with trilithonic forms, roof beams, and other structural devices, none of which (of course) are structural. Some walls are almost covered with painted animals and curvilinear geometric designs. An ante-chamber known as the Holy of Holies has a stairway leading to the lowest level, 36 feet (11 meters) beneath the surface, which has a maze of chambers and more rock tombs. That section seems to have had little use, but the remains of some 7,000 people have been found in the whole Hypogeum. Perhaps the building was designed as a temple for the dead, since archeological discoveries suggest the spaces were used for rituals other than burials. The theme of an earth-mother goddess was common throughout the ancient Mediterranean region, but the intricate art of Malta may have been associated with a more complicated cult than fertility worship. Whoever or whatever they worshiped, it seems that this mysterious culture was suddenly terminated around 2000 b.c., when it was at its height. The directors of a joint archeological project between the Universities of Cambridge, Bristol, and Malta have theorized about the reasons for this sudden collapse, attributing it to a combination of several factors: the transition from an egalitarian to a hierarchical social structure, the pressures of increasing population, obsession with temple building that detracted from agricultural efforts, the effects of erosion on productivity, and diminishing trade links with Sicily. The architecture they left behind was undervalued for centuries by the Maltese authorities, and through exposure to the severe marine climate and more recently shocks from nearby quarries, it inevitably decayed. In 1980 the Temple of Ggantija was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List, and in 1992 the listing was extended to include five more complexes on Malta and Gozo under the title the Megalithic Temples of Malta. In that year a carefully designed conservation project was launched by a multinational team of experts to save the Hypogeum, whose ochre rock paintings were being badly affected by seepage and eighty years of tourism. Each site presents its individual challenge and further conservation measures are planned for the oldest monumental architecture in the world. .....
Menai Suspension Bridge
112. Near Bangor Wales
The many achievements of the Scots engineer Thomas Telford (1757 1834) include bridges over the River Severn at Montford, Buildwas, and Bewdley, all built in the 1780s. In the following decade, as engineer for the Ellesmere Canal Company, he designed and constructed aqueducts over the Ceiriog and Dee Valleys in North Wales. Temporarily returning to Scotland, with William Jessop he built the Caledonian Canal, more than 900 miles (1,440 kilometers) of highland roads, and harbor works at Dundee, Aberdeen, and elsewhere. From 1810 he was engaged as principal engineerWilliam Alexander Provis was the resident engineerto construct a highway between the Shropshire county town of Shrewsbury and Holyhead in northwest Wales. It is widely agreed that his masterpiece is the Menai Suspension Bridge (1819 1826), which carries that highway across the Menai Strait, linking Bangor in mainland Wales with the island of Anglesey. It was the first large-scale chain-link suspension bridge and at that time the longest span bridge ever erected. In 1782 a meeting on Anglesey examined complaints concerning the operation of the ferries at Porthaethwy, Llanfaes, Llanidan, and Abermenai that for centuries had been the only means of crossing the Menai Strait to the Welsh mainland. Increasing traffic across had led to delays and overcharging, and many of the boats were neglected and in dangerously poor condition. Alternatives to the ferries were canvassed, including an embankment and stone or timber bridges. With 4,000 vessels passing through the strait each year, those proposals were met with reasonable objections, and nothing was done. In October 1785 the Irish Mail Coach service was inaugurated between London and Holyhead on Anglesey, where travelers took ship for Ireland. The situation was further exacerbated in 1801, when the Act of Union demanded that Irish members of Parliament travel between Dublin and London, partly via the primitive Holyhead-Shrewsbury road and of course the ferry. Nevertheless, it was not until 1810 that Parliament commissioned Telford to recommend the line for a link across North Wales and Anglesey, including a bridge across the Menai Strait. Attempts to improve only parts of the existing road were disastrous, so in 1816 Telford was appointed its resident engineer. His 69-mile (110-kilometer) stretch of the 93-mile (150-kilometer) toll highway (now the A5 national road) was probably the best road in Britain. It was up to 40 feet (12 meters) wide, with easy gradients and excellent bridges moreover, its well-designed construction meant that it could accommodate heavy wagons. Telford offered three alternative designs for the Menai Strait bridge, and that for a suspension structure was accepted. Finally, after forty years of debate and quibbling, the first stone was laid on 10 August 1819, and in the face of opposition from ferry proprietors and businesspeople in the ferry ports, construction work commenced. Including the approaches the bridge is 1,500 feet (459 meters) long. The approaches, completed in the fall of 1824, were carried on seven stone piersthree on the mainland side and four on the Anglesey sidesupporting arches. The 579-foot (177-meter) main span, with its 24-foot (7.4-meter) dual carriageway, was suspended 100 feet (30 meters) above the water by sixteen chain cables hung from 153-foot-high (47-meter) massive battered towersthey were called pyramidsat each end, built of limestone from Penmon Quarries at the north end of the strait. Telford designed the piers to stand above the low-water mark, to facilitate inspection of the masonry.The suspension chains were fabricated in wrought iron from Hazeldeans foundry near Shrewsbury. Each consisted of 935, 9-foot-long (2.75-meter) eyebar links, about 3.5 inches (83 millimeters) square in cross section, pinned together. To prevent rusting between fabrication and placement, they were immersed in warm linseed oil. Tunnels were excavated in rock to provide anchorage, and the first section of chain was secured at the mainland end, draped over the top of the eastern pyramid and left hanging to water level. The procedure was repeated on the Anglesey side. The central section, weighing nearly 28 tons (25.4 tonnes), was maneuvered into position between the towers on a barge and connected to the end sections before being raised to the top of the tower by block and tackle and the strength of 150 men, thus completing the span. The chains were all placed in ten weeks, by July 1825. Iron rods suspended from them were bolted to iron joists that carried a timber deck. The Menai Strait bridge was opened to the public on 30 January 1826. Its completion and Telfords Shrewsbury-Holyhead road reduced the travel time between London and the Irish Sea port by a quarter. Without stiffening lateral trusses, Telfords bridge soon proved unstable in the winds that swept through the strait, causing the road deck to oscillate. In 1826 a gale caused 16-foot (4.9-meter) deformations in the deck before it failed although severely damaged, the bridge survived and was strengthened. A more rigid timber deck was incorporated in 1840 and that was replaced by a steel structure in 1893. Further changes were made in a major renovation of 1938 1941, ostensibly to cater for modern automobile traffic (the previous load limit per vehicle was 5 tons [4.6 tonnes], although it might also have been defense related). The arched openings in the towers were widened to allow easier passage of larger vehicles, the carriageway was strengthened, and the chains were replaced with steel cables and realigned. The bridge remains in use. .....
Menier chocolate mill
113. Nolsiel France
The Menier chocolate mill at Noisiel, Marne-la-Vallee, was at the heart of a factory complex of industrial structures associated with Meniers chocolate-manufacturing business. The multistory mill, built between 1872 and 1874, demonstrated an innovative design approach that frankly exposed its structure and materials, using the latter for decorative effect. It is widely regarded as the first building in continental Europe to have been constructed with an iron frame and non-load-bearing masonry walls and has been described as one of the iconic buildings of the Industrial Revolution. In 1816 the pharmacist Jean-Antoine-Brutus Menier opened premises in Paris to sell his medicinal powders to chemists and hardware shops. Later he expanded his business to include chocolate-coated medicines and chocolate confectionery. Having outgrown his Paris base, in 1825 he transferred to Noisiel on the River Marne, where he purchased a mill to grind powders. Following his death in 1853, his son Emile-Justin took over the business, transferred its pharmaceutical arm to St. Denis and diversified into rubber production in a factory on the outskirts of Paris. The Noisiel plant was given over entirely to chocolate production. Between 1860 and 1867 Emile Menier commissioned the architect Jules Saulnier (1817 1881) to redevelop the plant, constructing new buildings and improving the existing premises to better support the chocolate-making process. The factory would earn the nickname the cathedral because of its architecture. In 1869 Saulnier, working with the engineers Logre and Girard, prepared designs for replacing the timber-framed water mill that spanned the river, in order to house three new turbine wheels he first chose stone as the principal material. Interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, construction did not commence until 1872. By then Saulnier had revised the design and the outcome has been described as his masterpiece. The structural frame of the six-story chocolate mill was of puddled iron, diagonally braced to achieve a distinctive effect across the upper three levels of the facade Saulnier likened the resulting pattern to the girders of a lattice bridge. The non-load-bearing, 7-inch (18-centimeter) yellow brick infill walls were decorated with diaper work and ceramic tile inlays with flower and cocoa-bean motifs, mainly in reds, dark yellow, and black. The frame was supported by a skeleton iron structure resting on the substantial stone piers that had carried the earlier timber-framed building, and floors were constructed of shallow brick arches between I beams, which were in turn carried by the main frame. The water-driven turbines were located between the piers. The interior was disposed to house the cocoa-bean milling process, and to free the third level of columns, its floor was suspended from the roof trusses. The spacing of columns and windows varied slightly, and deliberately, contributing to the artful composition of the facade. Under Emile Meniers entrepreneurial leadership the business continued to expand. In the 1880s it established a factory in London and acquired cocoa plantations in Nicaragua, as well as a sugar refinery and a merchant fleet. It even established a railroad company to move materials and products. More buildings were constructed at Noisiel, utilizing the most advanced constructional methods and materials. A self-contained village was founded in which most of the factorys 2,000 employees lived in detached two-family houses or, if single, in hostels. The complex was set in extensive landscaped grounds. At the turn of the century the Menier chocolate business was the worlds largest, and it reached its hey-day before World War I. Decline was probably inevitable. Between 1971 and 1978 the British confectionery company Rowntree-Mackintosh progressively purchased the Menier company, including its Noisiel factory, where chocolate continued to be made until 1993. The multinational Nestle, which has owned Rowntree-Mackintosh and its subsidiaries since 1988, has taken over the Menier factory as Nestle-Frances headquarters, conserving the original buildings at a reported cost of Fr 800 million (U.S.$107 million). The chocolate mill has been made the focal building in the redevelopment by architects Robert and Reichen, and is used for a boardroom, reception rooms, and directors offices. The French government has registered it as a Monument Historique. .....
Mesa Verde Cliff Palace
114. Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park is spread over more than 52,000 acres (21,000 hectares) of a well-wooded mesa between Cortez and Durango, Colorado, at a general elevation of 7,000 feet (2,100 meters). Within its boundaries are the ruins of almost 4,000 Amerindian settlements, some up to 1,300 years old. The largest and most remarkable is the so-called Cliff Palace, a multistory building like a modern apartment block built under overhanging cliffs. It accommodated probably 100 150 people in its 151 rooms and 23 kivas, and its size and complexity make it a preeminent feat of architecture without architects. Who were these exceptional builders? They are generally known as the Anasazi (Navajo for ancient ones), and their civilization was centered around the region where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah now join. Some scholars identify the Anasazi as the ancestors of the Hopi and other indigenous Pueblo groups of the southwest United States, and modern Pueblo Indians prefer to call them ancestral Puebloans. The precise origins of the Cliff Palace dwellers are unknown: certainly there were permanent settlers in the region before a.d. 500, farming and using caves or adobe structures for shelter and digging covered storage pits. By about 700 villages were being built: those in caves consisted of half-buried pit houses, while those on open ground had straight or crescent-shaped row houses with rooms both above and below ground. For the next three centuries the same house typesthough somewhat largerpersisted, and stone masonry began to replace earlier pole-and-mud construction. The pit houses are the predecessors of the kivas, underground chambers common in the next phase of building. Known as the Classic Pueblo period (a.d. 1050 1300), this was the era of the Cliff Palace and other villages built in similar sheltered depressions, as well as large freestanding apartment-like structures along the walls of canyons or mesas. Most consisted of two to four stories, differing little in construction from the earlier masonry and adobe houses, and often stepped back so that lower roofs formed a sort of patio reached from the floor above. All were built in places difficult to reach, some accessible only via almost vertical cliff faces, hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. The population of the region became more concentrated, perhaps acting upon the conviction that there is safety in numbers. The Cliff Palace clearly was located with defense rather than esthetic appeal primarily in mind. The only access to it was by hand- and footholdslarge enough for only fingertips and toescarved in the rock. Afraid of something or someone (there is now no indication of what or whom), the Anasazi built fortresses unique among indigenous Americans. Their main building material was sandstone, laid in a mortar made from mud reinforced with tiny stone chips the masonry was covered with a thin coat of plaster. Deliberately small doorways, set a foot or two above the floor, were probably intended to keep out winter drafts they could be covered with rectangular sandstone slabs about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) thick.The Cliff Palace was first excavated and stabilized by Jesse Walter Fewkes of the Smithsonian Institution, in 1909, more than twenty years after it was first seen by European Americans. Archeological work did not resume until about eighty years later, when evidence was discovered of a hierarchical society: a wall divides the Cliff Palace into two parts. It has also been suggested that the site was not continuously occupied except by a small caretaker population of perhaps 100 people. Then, its twenty-three large kivas would have accommodated larger numbers who gathered there only on special occasions, perhaps for the distribution of surplus food. The kiva, traditionally described as a ceremonial room, was a sunken, usually circular chamber entered through an opening from the plaza above. It had a ventilated hearth, and ledges and recesses surrounded the central space. The Anasazi may have used the Cliff Palace as living quarters during the winter lull in the agricultural year. The investigation of the site continues.Mesa Verde was abandoned quite suddenly, around a.d. 1300. The Anasazi left so much behind that it has been suggested that their departure was hasty. But that is speculation, and other sources suggest that they depleted the resources of the region, leading, through a tragic path of famine and internal wars, to the demise of their culture. Others cite the migration of Navajos and Apaches from the north, and yet others a fifteen-year drought at the end of the thirteenth century. For whatever reason, the Anasazi departed, leaving behind them the amazing and mysterious ruins of an architecture that is one of North Americas greatest archeological treasures. .....
Meteora Greece
115. The almost flat valley of the Pineios River, north of the town of Kalambaka in Thessaly, is punctuated by spectacular formations of iron gray conglomerate rock, huge, sheer-sided columns abruptly projecting up to 2,000 feet (600 meters) above the plains. On the seemingly inaccessible pinnacles of many of these weathered outcrops there stand, as though growing out of the rock, the monasteries of Meteora. Were they architectural feats? We believe so. Although most conventual buildings by definition demonstrate some degree of preoccupation with solitude, those at Meteora are unique, built where it appears virtually impossible to build. Not only were there no materials in situ, the task of delivering the imported materials to the buildersindeed, of getting the builders themselves to the precarious sitescould hardly have been more difficult. The logistical problems were subordinated to the need for isolation.Christian monasticism originated in Egypt and spread throughout the Byzantine Empire between the fourth and seventh centuries. For a hundred years after the accession of Emperor Leo III in a.d. 717, the Iconoclasts attacked the eastern monasteries, seizing their treasured relics, thus greatly diminishing their wealth and power. As the rabid movement waned, Christian ascetics, perhaps moved with fear of a recurrence or perhaps with an eye on the restless power of Islam, sought secure places in which to follow their religious exercises. Throughout the ninth century hermits settled in rock crevices and caves in the great brooding pillars of the Pineian valley, long known as a retreat by mystics of pre-Christian religions. As their numbers increased, the Thebaid of Stagoi Monastery was created at Doupiani, and its community grew during the eleventh century. Meteora became a sanctuary, especially after about 1300, when it provided asylum for secular as well as religious refugees under Ottoman rule. Around 1356 St. Athanassios Meteoritis founded Great Meteoron (from which the region derives its name), and about eighty years later the Serbian Orthodox prince John Uresis joined the community, endowing it with such wealth and privilege that it soon became the regions dominant monastic house. The growth of other foundationsVarlaam, commenced in 1350 and rebuilt in 1518 Holy Trinity of around 1470 and Roussanou, established in 1288 and rebuilt sometime before 1545led to a golden age of monastic life and produced an environment in which scholarship and Byzantine ecclesiastical art flourished. At its peak the whole community numbered thirteen coenobite monasteries and about twenty smaller foundations. The patriarch Jeremias I (ruled 1522 1545) raised several of them to the rank of imperial stavropegion. The monks set out to create places of inaccessible isolation. In the completed buildings entry could be gained only by a series of vertical wooden ladders of dizzying length (65 130 feet, 20 40 meters), which could be drawn up at night or when intrusion was imminent, or by nets hauled up by windlasses housed in cantilevered towers. Great Meteoron, or the Monastery of the Transfiguration, largest and highest of the houses, stands on the Platylithos (Broad Rock) 1,780 feet (534 meters) above the valley. Varlaam was originally reached by using scaffolding dug into the rock, and its windlass and rope in the tower (built 1536) were used for materials and supplies until 1963. Roussanou is built on a site only just large enough for it, and its walls stand right at the edge of the precipice. Whatever the reason for such a defense against the worldwhether to protect the souls and minds of the monks or the wealth of the monasteriesthe construction of these buildings in the sky, some of which are large and complex, represents a formidable challenge to the resolve and skill of the builders. It has been well met. The monasteries generally declined in the seventeenth century (although some had failed long before), and by about 1800 they were little more than a decaying curiosity, a unique sight for tourists. They surrendered their independence to the Bishop of Trikkala in 1899. At the beginning of the twenty-first century only five are still occupied: the monasteries of Great Meteoron, Ayia Triadha, Varlaam, and the convents of Agios Stefanos and Roussanou. .....
Mir space station
116. Mir (Russian for peace) was conceived in 1976 as the climax of the (then) Soviet program to achieve the long-duration presence of a man in space. Its first component was launched into orbit ten years later. The first modular station assembled in space, it is the pioneer work of extraterrestrial building constructed in a virtually gravity-free environment, it is unique among architectural and engineering works. Earlier space stations had been integral units, completed before launching. Mir circled the earth for over fifteen years. As first proposed, it was 43 feet (13.1 meters) long and 13.6 feet (4.2 meters) in diameter its mass was 46,200 pounds (20,900 kilograms). By 1985 the Russian Space Agency had decided that four to six additional modules, each with a mass of 46,000 pounds (20,800 kilograms), would be moored at docking ports on the station. By the time the final module was in place, the total mass was about 221,000 pounds (100,000 kilograms). Mir, humanitys first landmarkif that is the correct wordin space, orbited the earth at an altitude of 225 miles (390 kilometers) and an inclination of 51.6 degrees. The primary function of the station was as a location for scientific experiments, especially in the areas of astrophysics, biology, biotechnology, medicine, and space technology. At various times, Mir was leased as a laboratory. Cosmonauts, astronauts, and scientists of many nationalitiesRussian, American, Afghan, British, Canadian, German, Japanese, and Syrian among themconducted over 20,000 experimental programs on board. However, space-watcher David Harland observed that Mir was the first station to be permanently manned, extending the time spent in space for periods between one month and six learning how the technology degrades, and how to repair it, and do so in space showed its real mission as a technology demonstrator. The Mir module, the core of the station, was launched on 20 February 1986. Most of it was occupied by the main habitable sectioncrews quarters, a galley, a bathroom with shower, hand basin, and toiletand the operational section, forward of which were the primary docking module and air lock. The galley was furnished with a folding table with built-in food heaters and refuse storage. For privacy, each crew member had a separate cubicle containing a folding chair, sleeping bag, mirror, and porthole. To provide a familiar environment in microgravity, the living quarters had identifiable surfaces: the floor, above several storage compartments, was carpeted in dark green the light green walls had handrails and devices for securing articles and the white ceiling had fluorescent lights. The other part of the core module was the stations control area, set up for flight control, as well as systems and medical monitoring. There were six docking ports on the cores transfer compartment for secondary modules or the Soyuz and Progress-M transport vehicles: one on the long axis, four along the radius, and another aft, connected to the working module by a 6-foot-diameter (1.8-meter) pressurized tunnel. The engine and fuel tanks were in the assembly compartment.Five more modules, added between 1987 and 1996, completed the space station. The first, located on the aft docking port, was the astrophysics module known as Kvant-1. Nineteen feet (5.8 meters) long and 14 feet (4.3 meters) in diameter, it contained a pressurized laboratory compartment and a store. Kvant-2, about twice as long as Kvant-1, was the scientific and air-lock module added in 1989 that allowed cosmonauts to work outside the station. It also included a life-support system and water supply. Kristall, a 39-foot-long (12-meter) technological module, was attached to the station in 1990 it carried two solar arrays as well as electrical energy supply, environmental control, motion control, and thermal control systems. In 1995 U.S. astronauts installed a special docking port that allowed the U.S. space shuttle to dock without obstructing the solar arrays. Also in 1995, the Spektr remote-sensing payload arrived at Mir with equipment for surface studies and atmospheric research and four more solar arrays. Mir was completed when the Priroda remote-sensing module arrived on 26 April 1996. The station could not remain in orbit indefinitely, and two options for closure were available. Mir could be fitted with booster rockets and moved to a higher orbit or simply abandoned and allowed to crash into the ocean. Mir fell into an uninhabited part of the South Pacific late in March 2001. That course of action was chosen so that efforts could be refocused on the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). The decision fits in with the claim of NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) that the nine U.S. collaborations with Mir since 1994 formed Phase One of the joint construction and operation of the ISS. The ISS is a joint venture of the United States, Russia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Brazil. The first components of the station, the Zarya and Unity modules, were put into Earth orbit in November and December 1998, respectively. Scheduled for completion in 2004 after a total of 44 launches deliver over 100 components, the ISS will have a mass of 1 million pounds (454,500 kilograms) and measure 356 by 290 by 143 feet (109 by 88 by 44 meters). It will orbit Earth at about the same altitude and inclination as its predecessor. A crew of up to seven will have pressurized living and working space about twice as big as the passenger cabin of a jumbo jet. Mir was there first. .....
Mishkan Ohel Haeduth the Tent of Witness
117. The Mishkan, or sacred tent, was a unique portable temple constructed under the direction of Moses as a place of worship for the Hebrew tribes. It was used during the forty-year period of wandering between their liberation from slavery in Egypt and their arrival in the Promised Land (ca. 1290 1250 b.c.). According to chapters 25 and 26 of Exodus, the warrant and exact specifications for its construction were given by God. The tent seems to have been still in use in the first half of the eleventh century b.c., but it no longer served a religious purpose after Solomon built a permanent temple in Jerusalem in 950 b.c. Portable shrines existed in Egypt as early as the Old Kingdom (2800 2250 b.c.), and fine examples were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen, (ca. 1350 b.c.). But they are small in comparison with the Tent of Witness, which differed from all contemporary religious buildings in several remarkable ways. First, it was the only temple constructed by the monotheistic Israelites, in contrast to the manyoften several dedicated to the same deitybuilt by their polytheistic neighbors. Second, it was never associated with one particular sacred geographical location, peculiar to the deity rather, it was set up wherever Yahweh, the God of Israel, indicated, in the belief that his presence made every location sacred. Third, it was small and outwardly unimposing, and although constructed of the choicest durable materials, it did not have (indeed, could not have) the appearance of weighty permanence common to contemporary religious buildings. Fourth, the materials used imparted a brightness that contrasted with the dark tents of the tribespeople who camped around it and that marked it out against the somberness of other shrines. Finally, its construction was not financed by temple taxes but by the voluntary offerings of the Israelites: according to Exodus, they gave 2,800 pounds (1,270 kilograms) of gold, 9,600 pounds (4,360 kilograms) of silver, and 6,700 pounds (3,050 kilograms) of bronze besides the necessary yarn and textiles. Its architectural character was inextricably linked to the Hebrews nomadic life for the first forty years of its existence. The Law of Moses provided instructions for the Levite families of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari responsible for assembling, demounting, and carrying the Mishkan and its court. The complex invariably stood at the very center of the Israelite camp. It comprised a large courtyard around a comparatively small building that may be regarded as the Tent of Witness proper. The outer court was enclosed by a white linen wall, 150 feet (46 meters) long by 75 feet (23 meters) wide and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) high, hung on 60 pillars of the brownish orange wood from the durable desert acacia. The pillars, each crowned with a silver capital, stood on bronze sockets, and their guy ropes were fastened with bronze pins. Access to the court was through a gate at the eastern end, also of white linen but distinguished from the general walls by an embroidered pattern in blue, purple, and scarlet and fastened to its pillars with gold hooks. Immediately inside the gate was an altar made of bronze-sheathed acacia wood. It is a comment upon the portability of the sanctuary that, at only 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) square and 4.5 feet (1.35 meters) high, this was the largest of the furnishings, designed to be carried on poles, rather like a sedan chair. Nearby stood a bronze basin holding water used for the priests ritual ablution. The Tent of Witness itself stood at the western end of the court. An oblong enclosure, about 45 feet long by 15 feet wide (13.5 by 4.5 meters) and 15 feet high, was framed by walls assembled from 48 gold-sheathed acacia boards, each 27 inches (about 70 centimeters) wide. Standing on foundation blocks of solid silver, the boards were locked together by a system of bars passed through brackets on their outer faces and through their centers. The plain exterior gave no clue to the richness and brilliant color of the rooms it contained. The ceiling was a draped curtain of the same textile as the courtyard gate, covered with another of goats hair, then red-dyed rams skins an outer layer of porpoise skins provided durable protection. The interior was reached through a door of the same embroidered fabric hung on gold-sheathed pillars. By absolute contrast, the floor was simply the earth of the desert. The first compartment, 30 by 15 feet (9 by 4.5 meters), was called the Holy Place. It was furnished with a gold-sheathed table a small altar for burning incense, also covered in gold and a seven-branched menorah (lamp stand) hammered from solid gold. Beyond an inner curtain emblazoned with embroidered cherubim (angelic beings) was the Holy of Holies. The only furniture in that inner sanctum was the Ark of the Covenant, a gold-sheathed wooden box containing the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. This was the dwelling place of the God of Israel, who sat invisibly enthroned above the gold seat of atonement that rested on the Ark. Access was denied to all except the High Priest, and then only on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Because of the uniqueness of the spiritual beliefs that the Tent of Witness expressed, it was never a prototype for anything else. When Solomon built the great temple in Jerusalem, the architectural emphases were quite different. .....
Moai monoliths
118. Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
The small Pacific island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), 2,300 miles (3,680 kilometers) west of Chile, is the most remote inhabited island in the world, with Pitcairn, its nearest neighbor, 1,400 miles (2,240 kilometers) away. The staggering architectural achievement of the people of Rapa Nui was the creation, but especially the transportation and erection, of hundreds of monolithic moaistylized giant human heads-on-torsoscarved in hardened volcanic tufa. On average, the statues are 13 feet (4 meters) high and weigh 14 tons (14.22 tonnes). But the largest ever raised once stood at the prominence known as Ahu Te Pito Kura nearly 33 feet (9.80 meters) high, it weighed about 91 tons (83 tonnes). Even it would have been dwarfed by another found incomplete in a quarry: measuring almost 72 feet (21.6 meters), its weight was perhaps 185 tons (168 tonnes). Since the Dutch seafarer Jacob Roggeveen made Rapa Nui known to Europe in the 1720s, scholars have debated the origins of its culture. Local legend has it that the canoes of Hotu Matua (the Great Father) arrived from Polynesia around a.d. 400. Some scholars, citing archeological evidence, assert that they came between 300 and 400 years later. Whatever the case, among the lush palm forests the newcomers planted their gardens of bananas, taros, and sweet potatoes. The South American origin of the latter led the adventurer Thor Heyerdahl to conjecture that Polynesia had been colonized by pre-Inka people, a view refuted by later scholars, who cite biological, linguistic, and archeological evidence to support Southeast Asian origins. As compelling as it is, the question is not our present concern. Unique in Polynesia, the mysterious moai are thought to have been carved between a.d. 1400 and 1600 by specialist master craftsmen using tools made from obsidian found at Orito. The figures, always male, are believed to be iconographic representations of powerful beingsancestors, chiefs, or others of high rankrather than portraits. The red volcanic stone for their headdresses (pukaos) came from the Puna Punau volcanic crater their eyes were made of shell and coral. They were the product of a spiritual and cultural imperative that seems to have become an obsession. The archeologist Jo Anne van Tilburg of the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that the statues acted as ceremonial mediators between sky and earth, people and chiefs, and chiefs and gods. The statues were transported, probably by conscripted labor, from where they were quarried and set up on the perimeter of the island, mostly on the southeast coast. Some were moved up to 14 miles (22.4 kilometers) and placed facing inland upon flat mounds or stone pedestals (ahu) about 4 feet (1.2 meters) above the surrounding ground. The word ahu also conveys a sacred site, and some, comprising massive masonry blocks and tons of fill, supported a whole group of moai. For fifteen years van Tilburg carried out a census of the moai, finding a total of 887 statues. Fewer than one-third (288) had been transported to their coastal locations. She recorded another ninety-two as in transport, that is, on their way to their intended locations. The remainder were still in the quarries at what van Tilburg calls the central production center, in the volcanic caldera known as Rano Raraku near the eastern end of Rapa Nui. Perhaps they were abandoned because flaws were found in the stone, perhaps they were too large to move, or perhaps deteriorating social conditions forced the work to end. How were they moved to their solemn stations around the coast of Rapa Nui? Several possibilities have been suggested. There is a local tradition that the moai walked to their sites, which led Heyerdahl to conclude that they were stood upright and rocked from side to side, thus walked along. A poorly rendered Dutch illustration of 1728, showing a statue standing upright on a base at which people are working, has been interpreted as moving the moai on rollers. Both systems have been tested using pseudo-moai and both worked. Others have suggested that the gigantic figures were laid prone, just as they had been carved, and dragged on sleds. Working from computer models that took account of many variables, including the food needed for the workers, van Tilburg proposed a plausible alternative, tested by experiment: the massive figures were moved in the prone position, supported on long logs that were rolled on smaller ones. In fact, no one knows with certainty how such loads were moved over the difficult terrain of the island. Around a.d. 1550, Rapa Nuis population reached a peak of about 10,000, placing an untenable load on the tiny islands resources just when moai carving and, more significantly, transportation reached a climax. Over the next century or so, radical change occurred, heralding the collapse of the society. Some scholars lay most of the blame for decline on the compulsion to construct the colossal figures. The once abundant palm forests were cleared for housing and crop production and to provide tools and pathways for moving the moai. Deforestation allowed the erosion of topsoil, and crops failed. Soon, driven by territorial imperatives, the island clans descended into civil war and even cannibalism. All the coastal moai had their eyes smashed out and the statues were toppled and decapitated by the islanders themselves. Contacts with the West from the beginning of the eighteenth century served only to make matters worse, and in 1862 Peruvian slavers and exotic diseases together ravaged the population, reducing it to little more than a hundred. The process was reversed after Rapa Nui was annexed by Chile in 1888, and in 1965 it received the same privileges as other Chilean provinces. The economy now depends on sheep ranching and tourism. The main attraction for tourists is the mysterious moai, whose uniqueness led to the island being inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1995, with the following description: .....
Mohenjo Daro
119. Pakistan
The city of Mohenjo-Daro (hill of the dead) was the largest settlement of a culture that for more than 600 years from 2500 b.c. extended over 600,000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers) of India and Pakistanlarger than western Europe. The citys ruins, on the west bank of the Indus River about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Karachi, evidence careful urban design combined with a sophisticated infrastructure that was undreamed of in the contemporary river-valley civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Although presented with undeniably nationalistic and political bias, recent archeological evidence from the subcontinent suggests that there, and not in Mesopotamia, was the cradle of civilization. Mohenjo-Daro has been chosen here as simply representative of a great achievement, the invention of city planning. The first traces of the ancient cities were accidentally discovered on the Indus River floodplain in 1856. The occupying British, building the East Indian Railway between Lahore and Karachi, plundered hundreds of thousands of bricks from the site of Harapp .....
Mont Saint Michel
120. Normandy France
Mont-Saint-Michel is a craggy, conical island, about half a mile (0.8 kilometer) across and standing half a mile from shore in the Gulf of Saint-Malo, near the border of Brittany and Normandy on Frances northern coast. The north side of the island is wooded and the west presents a barren face to the sea. A fortified village of fewer than 100 inhabitants huddles on the lower southern and eastern slopes and the great Benedictine abbey, dating from the thirteenth century, crowns the entire mount, towering about 240 feet (73 meters) above. The integration of monastery with village and both with the rock was noted by UNESCO as an unequalled ensemble when the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979. Mont-Saint-Michel is an architectural feat for that reason and others: the audacity displayed by the builders on so difficult a site and the harmony achieved between its parts, which were built in many architectural styles over five centuries. The place known as Mont Tombe, which became Mont-Saint-Michel, has a spiritual history dating from pre-Christian times. There the Gauls had worshiped Belenus, the god of light, and there the Romans consecrated a shrine to Jupiter. By the fifth century a.d. the secluded crag and the Scissy Forest around it had become a retreat for hermits. There is a tradition that in 708 St. Michael appeared to Aubert, twelfth bishop of Avranches, directing him to build a sanctuary to the archangel on the mount. In October of the following year, Aubert consecrated a simple circular oratory, to accommodate about 100 people, and built cells to replace the earlier huts, but not before an abnormal tidesome sources say a tidal wavehad gouged a channel between rock and shore, creating the islet. At low tide a land bridge connects to the mainland across beaches of gray silt at high tide it is covered by about 40 feet (14 meters) of water. Under the sponsorship of Richard the Fearless, Duke of Normandy, Abbot Mainard occupied the island in 966 with twelve Benedictine monks from Monte Cassino. He built a rectangular chapel with 6.5-foot-thick (2-meter) stone walls on the ruins of the oratory. By that time, the Benedictines had enjoyed four centuries of prominence in western Europe and monasticism had reached a zenith. In France, the abbeysthere were about 120 of them exercised great influence in many spheres: spiritual, artistic, intellectual, economic, and political. Besides the Benedictines, whose other Normandy houses were at Fecamp, Lessay, and Lonlay, the Premonstratensian (Canons had established themselves at Ardenne and La Lucerne. Eventually, Mont-Saint-Michel would become a magnet for thousands of the faithful from all over Europe. The next building phase was initiated by Abbot Hildebert II in 1017. An extensive masonry foundation leveled the entire top of the island and an abbey church was built on the summit. Mainards sturdy chapel formed its crypt and was later named Notre-Dame-sous-Terre (Our Lady Underground). The rest of the new cruciform churchwith its seven bays, the nave was nearly 230 feet (70 meters) longwas supported on masonry walls and piers. The project, designed in the latest style (now known as Romanesque), was completed by 1135. That was not the end of the architectural development, and about thirty-five years later Abbot Robert de Torigny commissioned a new west front with twin towers.In 1203 the French king Philip II Augustus sent an expeditionary force against the abbey, and some of its dependencies were destroyed by fire. To compensate for the damage, a generous endowment allowed Abbot Jordan to immediately commence the granite conventual building known as La Merveille (the Marvel), flanking the church on the seaward side of the rock. Remarkably, the extensive, logistically difficult works were completed by 1228. The Marvel began at 160 feet (49 meters) above the sea and consisted of three terraced levels. The lowest housed the almonry and cellar. The second was taken up by the kitchens a huge refectory with timber barrel vaults a guest hall, adorned with tapestries, stained glass, and glazed tiles and a scriptorium (now called the hall of the knights). At the top was the monks dormitory and a beautiful arcaded, vaulted cloister attributed to Raoul de Villedieu. In contrast to that tranquil security, the Marvel has been described as half military, half monastic. Louis IX visited the Mont in 1254 and later helped to pay for its fortification. Strategically located, it acquired a defensive role and housed a garrison jointly paid by king and abbot. Through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, both the abbey and the town were enclosed by walls on the land side, adding another texture to the varied architecture of the rock. Frequently attacked, it would never be captured, even remaining unconquered when English armies took most of the fortresses of Normandy early in the fifteenth century. There was a series of structural failures in the abbey church. In 1300, one of de Torignys west towers fell down. More serious was the collapse in 1421 of Hildeberts Romanesque choir. France was still at war with England, and all thought of reconstruction was deferred until 1446, when a massive base known as the Crypt of the Large Pillars was built as foundation for a replacement building. Work on the new choir began in 1450 and it was completed in 1521. Apsidal in plan, with radiating chevet chapels, it was naturally built in the contemporary, highly ornate French style, appropriately named flamboyant because of the flamelike patterns of its window tracery. Other architectural failures followed: in 1618 the de Toringy west facade started to collapse, and eventually it was pulled down in 1776, together with, the three western bays of the nave. The monastic foundation seemed to decline with the buildings. Although by the twelfth century under de Toringy, the Benedictine abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel had acquired fame for its intellectual life, drawing pilgrims from across Europe, about a century later its power had begun to slowly wane. As the balance of its role tipped from devotion to defense, the size of the community decreased. In 1523 it was granted in commendam to Cardinal Le Veneur, the series of commendatory abbots continuing until 1622by then hardly any monks remainedwhen control passed to the reformed congregation of St. Maur. In turn, the Maurist monks were dispossessed during the French Revolution. From 1790 the abbey, its name ironically changed to Mont Libre (Mount Freedom), was used to incarcerate criminals and political prisoners. Napoleon III abolished the prison in 1863. Having gone full circle, the buildings were leased to the Bishop of Avranches until 1874, when the Commission des Monuments Historiques appointed the architect E. E. Viollet-le-Duc to restore it. In 1966, in recognition of the monasterys millennium, the French government allowed the resumption of monastic life on Mont-Saint-Michel since then a community of monks, nuns, and lay oblates lives in a part of the abbey, reviving the ministry to pilgrims. This has been a complicated story, whose point is just this: the architectural feat of Mont-Saint-Michel was not achieved in a day, a month, or a year. The harmony and the unity of its parts, diverse in date, style, and function, took 500 years to realize. .....
Mount Rushmore
121. South Dakota
The broad granite southeast face of 5,725-foot (1,750-meter) Mount Rushmore, neat Rapid City, South Dakota, is carved with the massive portrait heads of four U.S. presidentsGeorge Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. For its sheer engineering ingenuity and ambitiousness of scaleWashingtons head is 60 feet (18 meters) highthe ensemble may be regarded as an architectural feat. In 1923 South Dakotas state historian Doane Robinson suggested carving giant statues in the Black Hills. Perhaps he was prompted by the knowledge that a colossal Confederate memorial had been commissioned a few years earlier for Stone Mountain, Georgia, but it is more likely that the idea was first conceived as a tourist attraction. Initially, Robinson wanted to have a cluster of tall granite outcroppings known as the Needles carved to form a procession of the Amerindian leaders and European explorers who shaped the Western frontier. Conservationists resisted the idea, and there was no public support. Nevertheless, in 1925 the financial backers of the proposed memorial approached the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who was known to specialize in large-scale sculpture and was then rather unhappily employed on Stone Mountain. Borglum suggested that the southeast face of Mount Rushmore would make an ideal site for a monument. He proposed to carve the heads of the four presidents beside a table inscribed with a history of the United States. Such a composition would have more than regional significance it would commemorate the foundation, preservation and continental expansion of the United States and be a shrine to democracy. And behind the figures a hall of records would preserve national documents and artifacts. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the memorial in 1927, and Borglum began drilling. But although less than half the time was spent on actual carving, the work would take fourteen years to complete. Most of the delay was due to money shortages during the Great Depression. Borglum lobbied at every political level, playing on nationalistic feelings and stressing that public works created jobs and won votes. As a result of his persistence, nearly 85 percent of the monuments $1 million cost came from federal coffers. The Washington head, 500 feet (150 meters) up the mountain, was formally dedicated in 1930, when the name Shrine of Democracy was officially adopted Jefferson followed in 1936, Lincoln in 1937, and Roosevelt in 1939. Borglum died in March 1941 and his son Lincoln supervised the completion of the sculpture. Borglums plaster maquettes were based on life masks, images, and descriptions, but the differences between them and the finished heads demonstrate that the sculptor did not simply transpose from plaster to stone. Once the dimensions were scaled up to the finished size and marked out on the mountain, the team of carvers was faced with the problem of removing the unwanted granite. Despite Borglums first inclination against its use, dynamite was the only practical way to do that. Once an oval-shaped mass of rock was formed for each head, explosive experts blasted its surfaces to the approximate final measurements. Carvers suspended in bosuns chairs shaped the features. They used pneumatic drills to cut closely spaced holes that nearly defined the final surface, and the honeycombed granite was ultimately chiseled away to expose the smooth surfaces of the presidents faces. Viewed from a distance, stone miraculously became flesh as the architect Frank Lloyd Wright observed, The noble countenances emerge from Rushmore as though the spirit of the mountain heard a human plan and itself became a human countenance. A similar feat, already mentioned, deserves a little more detail. The north face of Stone Mountain, 16 miles (26 kilometers) east of Atlanta, Georgia, is carved with a 138-foot (42-meter) equestrian bas-relief of the Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson B. Davis. What began in 1915 as a commission for Borglum to produce a 70-foot (21-meter) statue of Lee developed into a proposal for the group portrait. Preliminary work started soon after World War I and carving began in June 1923. Irreconcilable differences with the client caused Borglum to quit in March 1925just as he received the Black Hills commissionwhen little more than Lees head had been finished. Augustus Lukeman replaced Borglum, dynamited most of the earlier work, and started again. Disputes over property ownership halted the project in 1928, and it was not revived until 1960, when an international competition led to the appointment of Walker Hancock as chief carver. He started work in 1964, making only slight modifications to the Lukeman design. The use of thermo-jet torches allowed for rapid, accurate removal of the stone and, in collaboration with Roy Faulkner, Hancock had the gigantic memorial finished by 1972. The grandiose neoclassical character and the gigantic size of Mount Rushmore and similar projects call for comment about our seemingly irresistible need to enshrine ideals that are anything but inhuman through overwhelming and inhuman scale. Consider, for example, the 150-foot (45-meter) Statue of Liberty or the Cristo Redentore above Rio de Janeiro. On the other hand, colossi have been built for reasons of vainglory: the Colossus of Rhodes collapsed after one generation the 120-foot (36-meter) statue of Nero (originally near the Roman Colosseum and providing its name) is long gone. One of the multitude of Egypts Ramessean statues is described by the poet Percy Shelley as a colossal wreck, two vast and trunkless legs of stone. Destroyed by nature or by conquerors, such works are at once monuments to our engineering ingenuity and our transience. .....
Mycenae Greece
122. Imposing even as a ruin, Agamemnons city MycenaeHomer called it Mycenae, rich in goldstands on a foothill of Mount Euboea between Hagios Elias and Mount Zara near the modern village that still bears its name: Mik .....
Mystra Greece
123. The ruins of the medieval city of Mystra are 3 miles (5 kilometers) northwest of modern Sparta in the Peloponnese. In 1204 the Fourth Crusade, turned aside from its original purpose by Venetian bribes, sacked Constantinople and established Frankish dominion over Greek territories. Among the most important states they founded was the Principality of the Morea, or the Principality of Achaea, governed from 1210 by Geoffroi I de Villehardouin. In 1249 his second son, Guillaume II de Villehardouin, built a castle atop a steep cone-shaped foothill overlooking the fertile valley of Eurotas and strategically commanding the Taygetos Range to the west and the valley of Laconia to the east. Over the next few centuries the city of Mystra grew on the slopes below. Its name probably comes from the shape of the hill, which resembled a Myzethra cheese. Mystra, with a population that once exceeded 42,000, has been dubbed the wonder of the Morea. Like Venice, but for different reasons, it occupies a site that is totally inappropriate for a city, and its construction was a significant architectural achievement. In 1261 the Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus regained Constantinople. The following year, Guillaume II de Villehardouin paid his ransomhe had been captured in 1259with a number of castles including Mystra, and Michael VIII installed a Byzantine despot. The Villehardouin line survived until 1301, when Philip of Savoy became Prince of Morea. Throughout most of the fourteenth century the principality was in the hands of the Angevin House of Naples, and then controlled by the Venetians. The Byzantines regained it through matrimonial and political alliances and in 1448 Constantine XI Paleologus, the last Byzantine emperor, was crowned at Mystra. For about 350 years after 1460 Turks and Venetians took and retook the city. In 1821 it was among the first places the Greeks liberated from their Turkish oppressors. Ironically, the demise of Mystra was brought about by the foundation of the modern town of Sparta in 1834. The first inhabitants came from the old city others built the modern village of Mystra. Mystra has had a tumultuous history, and the different traditions of its occupiers account for its hybridized architecture. In the mid thirteenth century, the Byzantines persistent attempts to expel the Franks caused anxiety among the local populace. Many left the Eurotas plain to settle closer to the castle of Mystra. Houses were built on the lower slopes of the hill, and soon churches were constructed, clinging to the mountainside. This precipitous medieval city was surrounded by inner and outer circuit walls, commissioned in 1249 by Guillaume II de Villehardouin, and later repaired and augmented by the Byzantines and the Turks when they occupied the city. The walls were fortified by high rectangular towers, and of course dominated by the castle. They can hardly be described as concentric, because they snaked along contours and plummeted down steep slopes nevertheless, they contained and defended the city. On its northeast and west sides the craggy hill of Mystra climbs sheer from the narrow valley. The defensive walls divided Mystra into the lower and upper quarters: the urban classes lived in the former, while the aristocracy occupied the latter with its palaces, two- or three-story vaulted mansions, and various administrative buildings. Two heavily fortified gatesthe Monembassia and the Nauplialinked them. The L-shaped Palace of the Despots, possibly begun by Guillaume II de Villehardouin and built in stages between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, occupies an incongruously flat terrace overlooking the Eurotas Valley to the east. The two wings housed many different functions: the private apartments, a palace chapel, an open colonnade, and a large well-lighted hall for assemblies and ceremonies. Just north of the palace stood the mid-fourteenth-century church of Hagia Sofia, a centrally planned funerary chapel for the despot Manouil Katakouzenos. The winding streets of Mystra, as they followed the contours of the hillside, are lined with churches, many built after the metropolitan bishop of Lacedaemoniathe medieval name for Spartatransferred his cathedra to Mystra. Chief among them is the mixed architectural type cathedral: the Metropolis of St. Demetrios (ca. 1309) is a three-aisled basilica at its lower level the fifteenth-century upper floor, consisting of a womens gallery, is a cross-in-square roofed with five cupolas. Many churchesthe thirteenth-century Church of St. Theodore, the Church of the Virgin Evangelistria, and the Peribleptos Monastery (both fourteenth century)were purely Byzantine in form. Apart from the fifteenth-century Pantanassa Convent, which is still in use, the buildings of Mystra have been reduced to ruins, some by fire, others by being used as quarries when modern Sparta was being built. A few fine frescoes survive many more have been destroyed. Extensive restoration work has been undertaken over many years by the Committee for the Restoration of the Mystras Monuments and the Fifth Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities. Mystra was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1989. .....
Nazca Lines
124. Peru
The Pampa Colorado (Red Plain) is a 37-mile-long (60-kilometer) and 15-mile-wide (24-kilometer) plateau in the coastal desert of southern Peru near the town of Nazca. Across its broad face are carved staggeringly cyclopean patterns, an agglomeration of designs on the earths surface known as geoglyphs, which portray animals, birds, and other forms, mostly made by removing the dark reddish brown surface to expose a lighter-colored substratum in some places piled rocks define the enigmatic forms. The challenge presented to the modern imagination by this ancient engineering feat is threefold: its momentous scale and the accuracy of surveying techniques that could project straight lines for miles over irregular terrain are remarkable enough. Beyond them is the uncanny ability of a people whose entire spatial experience was planar, never far above the surface of the earth, to conceive of geometric patterns and representational images whose accuracy and intricacy could be fully appreciated only from high indeed, very high above. The Nazca Lines, as they are called, comprise literally thousands of zigzag, parallel, crossed, or radiating lines: some are 6 feet (1.8 meters) wide, others just a tenth of that. Some stretch for 6 miles (10 kilometers), maintaining their straightness regardless of the uneven topography. There are also simple or complex geometric shapes, including triangles and rectangles, nearly twenty varieties of fantastic birds, a monkey, a spider, a dog, a fish, a tree, and a hummingbird represented. As to their size: the monkey occupies the area of a football stadium one bird has a 350-foot (100-meter) wingspan and the spider, among the smallest geoglyphs, has a diameter of 150 feet (45 meters). Together, the lines and figures cover 45 square miles (115 square kilometers). Of course, they are best seen from above and were discovered only when aircraft first crossed the area in the 1930s. The origin of the lines remains uncertain, although because of their similarity to design motifs on other artifacts, they are attributed to the well-developed Nazca civilization, which flourished between 200 b.c. and a.d. 600. Based on the same evidence, some sources suggest that three successive cultures were responsible for the lines: the Paracas (900 200 b.c.), the Nazcas, and later settlers who migrated from Ayacucho around a.d. 630. Each culture was agrarian and it is likely that the lines may have been associated with rituals to guarantee a rich crop. On the other hand, the German anthropologist Dr. Maria Reiche, who studied the Nazca Lines for nearly fifty years, believed that they were a vast astronomical calendar, also associated with farming. Studies in the 1980s led others to the conclusion that, while part of elaborate rituals related to fertility, the lines had neither astronomical nor calendrical significance. A decade later a new theory emerged: they charted the origins and courses of aquifers rivers beneath the desert associated with irrigation farming in the region. In our modern culture of scientism we disengage the rational from the spiritual, and care must be taken to avoid too simple an interpretation of the actions of people whose universe was better integrated. All of the suggestions about the purpose of the Nazca Lines could be accurate.Even in their own time and place the Nazca Lines were not an isolated phenomenon. Many geoglyphs are to be found throughout South America. Areas with lines and figures very like Nazcas have been studied on the central Peruvian coast between the Fortaleza, Pativilca, and Rimac Valleys. Others have been found in the Viru Valley, on Perus north coast, and in the Zana Valley, more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) north of Nazca. More examples of ground figures and hill figures survive on the other side of the world. The 370-foot-long (110-meter) White Horse (ca. 500 b.c.) cut into the chalk hills at Uffington is among Britains most famous, second only to the pre-Christian Cerne Giant in Dorset, a 180-foot-tall (54-meter) human figure, carrying a 120-foot (36-meter) club there is also the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex. As late as 1998 a 2.5-mile-tall (4-kilometer) figure of an aboriginal warrior was discovered carved on the desert floor near Marree in the South Australian outback. It was soon exposed as a hoax, created with the help of satellite tracking equipment and earthmoving machinery The very fact of the difficulty of making such a figure using modern technology emphasizes more the incredible achievement of the ancient creators of the Nazca Lines. .....
Nemrud Dagi
125. Turkey
The hierotheseion (royal burial precinct) of King Antiochos I of Kommagene (reigned ca. 69 36 b.c.) stands on Nemrud Dagi, the highest point of his domain, near the modern village of Kahta in the southeastern Turkish province of Adiyaman. It has been characterized by UNESCO as one of the most ambitious constructions of Hellen[ist]ic times. The megalomaniac king reshaped the 7,000-foot-high (2,150-meter) mountain by leveling the rock and filling the artificial platform with huge statues of himself and the gods (whom he claimed as kin) he then ordered a 500-foot-diameter (150-meter), 163-foot-high (50-meter) tumulus (artificial peak) of fist-sized rocks to replace the natural summit. It is believed that his tomb, yet unopened, lies beneath the massive pile of rubble. Kommagene was a small buffer state between the Roman Empire and the kingdom of Persia. Located between the Amanos Mountains and the upper Euphrates, its capital Samosata commanded a strategic crossing of the great river. Mithradates father, Ptolemy, used that fact to seize control of the resource-rich area. It became an independent state in 162 b.c. After a brief subjection of the area to the Armenians, in 69 b.c. the Roman general Pompey installed Antiochos I on the throne. About 100 years later King Antiochos IV lost his wars with Rome and Vespasian absorbed Kommagene into the province of Syria. Antiochos I attempted to establish a new order. His first action was to build a hierotheseion to his father Mithradates Kallinikos I (died 63 b.c.) in the city of Arsameia (now Eski Kale). Its decorations and inscriptions made it clear that Antiochos intended to Hellenize the Kommagenian culture, uniting die Persian Parthian world with the Greco-Roman in effect, he set out to establish a new religion in which his own assumed divinity loomed large. Nowhere was that more evident than in his own hierotheseion on Nemrud Dagi. The great tumulus is flanked on the east, west, and north by terraces carved from the mountain it has been estimated that their creation involved the removal of 7 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of rock cut away by hand. On the east terrace stood an array of statues of the king and the gods, up to 33 feet (10 meters) high, carved from massive stone blocks mined in a remote quarry. The figures were set in order and identified by inscriptions written in Greek and Persian: Antiochos himself, the mother goddess Kommagene, the father god Zeus-Oromasdes (largest of the statues), Apollo-Mithras, and Herakles-Artagnes. Their faces were finely carved in the late Hellenistic style. At either end, the row of deities was guarded by the royal symbols: an eagle and a lion. At the eastern corner of the terrace stood a pyramidal altar of fire, and various elements around the platform carried carved relief portraits of the illustrious Persian and Macedonian ancestors whom Antiochos claimed as his own. Other relief decoration abounded. As far as the topography would allow, the west terrace, set some 33 feet (10 meters) lower than the east, was organized in the same way, to much the same purpose: the apotheosis of Antiochos. The syncretized Persian and Greek gods facing east and west on the respective terraces revealed Antiochoss attempted cultural synthesis. One inscription asserted that he had commissioned the site for posterity as a debt of thanks to the gods and to his deified ancestors for their manifest assistance he wanted to set for his people an example of the piety due towards the gods and towards ancestors. The north terrace, 269 feet (80 meters) long, was used for assemblies and rituals and also served as a processional way connecting the other terraces. Gigantic stone eagles flanked its entrance. The great tumulus was built on a rocky hill framed by the terraces. According to inscriptions, this was the place where Antiochos ordered that his remains should be buried. He died before his elaborate project was completed, and his son Mithradates neither finished the monumental work nor promoted the religious synthesis begun by his father. The site was abandoned, the last of its priests probably leaving soon after a.d. 72. Nemrud Dam was rediscovered in 1881 by one Karl Sester an 1882 1883 German exploratory expedition followed, as well as a Turkish investigation. The findings of both groups were published, but no more research was carried out until 1938, when Germans F. Karl D .....
Newgrange
126. County Meath, Ireland
Newgrange is one of the most notable archeological monuments in Europe. Named in Gaelic Uaimh na Greine (Cave of the Sun), the great passage tomb stands on a low hillock beside the River Boyne in County Meath, Ireland, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) from the sea. Newgrange was built around 3150 b.c., making it as old as some of the neolithic temples on Malta and much older than the pyramids of Egypt. It is a dramatic testimony to the ancient Celts scientific and architectural sophistication. Its designers employed great mathematical skills to create such an uncannily accurate astronomical instrument of gargantuan scale. It forms the center of Br .....
Offas Dike
127. English-Welsh border
Built by Offa, King of Mercia (a.d. 757 796), the impressive earthwork known as Offas Dike formed a boundary, albeit discontinuous, between England and Wales. One of the most remarkable structures in Britain, it runs 177 miles (280 kilometers) 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) longer than Hadrians Wall from the Dee Estuary in the north to the River Wye in the south. It is now generally agreed that the dike was not so much a fortification as a substantial line of demarcation. No earlier Anglo-Saxon king had unified southern England as Offa did, and with unity came power and wealth. He also formed ties with rulers across the channel and was accepted as an equal by Charlemagne, king of the Franks, with whom he entered a commercial treaty in 796. Even Pope Adrian I treated him with great respect. Some have suggested that the dike was built to give Mercia, command of the approaches to the English lowlands, but parts of it rise as much as 1,300 feet (400 meters) above sea level. The boundary it marked was hardly precise during Offas reign there were English communities to the west of it and Welsh communities to the east. Be that as it may, the dikes very presence made a strong statement about separation. There is an apocryphal story that it was [once] customary for the English to cut off the ears of every Welshman who was found to the east of the dike, and for the Welsh to hang every Englishman whom they found to the west of it. The dike consists of an earth bank in places 20 feet (6 meters) high with a 12-foot-deep (3.6-meter) ditch on the western side sometimes their combined width was 60 feet (18 meters). Natural features seemed to be used wherever practicable, but for the most part an earth embankment was built a total of 80 miles (130 kilometers). Elsewhere it was discontinuous, giving rise to the speculation that, having been initiated late in Offas reign, it was never finished. On the other hand, perhaps in those locations, the local topography served the same purpose. Welsh historian John Davies writes that Offas Dike was perhaps the most striking man-made boundary in the whole of Western Europe. Thousands of workers must have toiled to build it, evidence of Offas resources and the integrity of his kingdom. In places the straightness of its line for kilometers is evidence of the technical skills of its builders. No written records about the project survive. After 1066 the Norman invaders saw the value of the dike for defense, and many castles and abbeys of early date stand in its shadow on the eastern side. Offas Dike is a reminder of persistent Welsh-English antipathy. Although there is everywhere in Britain a challenge to the myth of a united kingdom, lately evidenced by the Scottish and Welsh elections of 1999, the signs of cultural disintegration are nowhere stronger than in Wales. That is expressed even in language differences. As someone has commented: for the source, we must look to the mid eighth century, when a long ditch was constructed, flanking a high earthen rampart that divided [the Celts from the Saxons] and which even today marks the boundary between those who consider themselves Welsh [and] those who consider themselves English. .....
Orders of architecture
128. To the ancient Greeks, the word cosmos conveyed the idea of the garnished universe, the world set in order. They believed that creation was the act of a great Demiurge who brought structure and form out of preexistent chaos, an ordering that permeated the physical universe. It was therefore perceptible in nature as a ubiquitous mathematical proportional system, a harmony in everything that could be seen or heard. To be in accord with that harmony, their own creations music, sculpture, architecture needed to correspond to cosmic order. Their great architectural achievement was to seek for that truth and express it in the development of three systems of building, each with its distinctive proportions, detail, and form, according to the culture that generated it. Those systems are known as the Doric, Ionic, and little used by the Greeks Corinthian orders of architecture. Each comprises a column with a base (in the case of the latter two), shaft, and capital, and a supported entablature, consisting of architrave, frieze, and cornice. Each was governed by an evolving system of proportions, linked to the module, the base diameter of the column each thus imposed architectural order. The Doric order developed in the regions speaking a Dorian dialect, that is, mainland Greece and the colonies in southern Italy, Sicily, and further west. It is clearly derived from an earlier timber architecture, and when the transition was made from wood to stone in order to produce more appropriate, durable buildings for the gods, the form and details, having gained a kind of sanctity, were translated to the new material, right down to the fixing pegs. The sixth-century Temple of Hera (the so-called basilica) at Paestum, Italy, is a well-preserved example of the archaic form, with its squat proportions, coarse moldings, and heavy entablature. The classical quest for cosmic harmony led to refinements of form and detail until the Dorian Greeks achieved what appears to have been a satisfactory conclusion in the proportional balance and visual nuances of the Parthenon, Athens (447 432 b.c.). The baseless column of the Doric order, rising directly from the temple platform (stylobate) made necessary by the uneven terrain had a tapering shaft with twenty shallow flutes separated by sharp arrises. The capital consisted of the convex echinus molding crowned with a flat rectangular slab (abacus). The plain architrave of stone blocks, with a molding at the top decorated with raised panels (regulae) and round projections (guttae), spanned from column to column. Above it was the frieze, consisting of double-grooved slabs (triglyphs) alternating with plain panels (metopes). The metopes and the relief sculptures that usually decorated them were painted in bright colors. The order was crowned by an overhanging molded cornice decorated with flower or figure sculptures. The Greeks continued to use the Doric order until about the second century b.c. But it presented several difficulties. First, with no base to protect it, the column was subjected to wear and accidental damage. Second, it was extremely difficult to make: not only did the columns taper but they were also carved with a slight swelling (entasis) about halfway up to make them look straight. Coupled with the need to maintain sharp arrises between the flutes, that demanded very skillful masons work. Third, the placement of the triglyph was problematic. Because it was impossible to locate one over the center of each column and at the midpoint of the spaces between the columns, the appearance was regarded as unwieldy. The Ionic order, which was fully developed by the sixth century b.c., was created by Greeks who established colonies along the southwestern coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey). The most remarkable Ionic building in the region was the huge Artemiseion at Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, commenced some time around 400 b.c. By then, the Ionic order had been long established on the Greek mainland, and the Erechtheion (421 406 b.c.) and the Temple of Athena Nike (427 424 b.c.), both on the Athenian Acropolis, are fine examples. It is of more slender proportion than the Doric. The molded base of the column rested on a stylobate, and the shaft, with twenty-four deep flutes (separated by narrow flat surfaces rather than sharp arrises), carried a capital usually carved from a single block with symmetrical spiral scrolls (volutes) flanking an echinus molding ornamented with an egg-and-dart pattern and supporting an abacus.The earliest Ionic capitals had rosettes in place of volutes, and the origins of the spiral pattern are obscure. Suggested sources have been rams horns, bulls horns, the foliage pattern of palm trees, and even the helical form of some seashells. Whatever the case, unlike the Doric, the capital was best viewed from front or back, and that presented a difficulty for designers, especially where the row of columns turned the corner of a building. Then, the outer volute on the corner column was turned outward at 45 degrees to make it right from two sides a compromise, not a best solution. The Ionic entablature had an architrave comprising three bands, each projecting beyond the one beneath the highest was narrower than the other two. Above was a continuous frieze, usually encrusted with sculpture, and at the top sat a cornice enriched with dentil moldings, a corona, and a cyma molding. The Corinthian was the most ornate order of architecture. It was also the latest, reaching its mature form around the middle of the fourth century b.c. Apart from its distinctive and elaborate capital a sort of inverted bell, covered with carvings of acanthus leaves it is otherwise very similar to the Ionic order, although the proportions are more slender.The oldest known example is in the cella of the Temple of the Epicurean Apollo at Bassae (ea. 420 b.c.). Among the chief examples are the circular structure known as the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates (334 b.c.), the earliest surviving building with external Corinthian, columns, and the octagonal Horologion of Andronicos (also known as the Tower of the Winds), with two Corinthian porches (before 50 b.c.). Both are in Athens. Also in that city was the massive Temple of the Olympian Zeus, started about 530 b.c. and completed by Hadrian in the second century a.d. It was perhaps the most notable of all Corinthian temples it was certainly the largest. The Corinthian order was seldom used by the Greeks, although it solved the problems that had been presented by the Doric and Ionic orders. However, it was enthusiastically developed in the Roman world. The Romans copied Greek art and architecture, captivated by the forms rather than the cosmology that generated them. They employed the Corinthian order more than any other, cosmetically modifying it by changing the column base, adding complicated carved embellishments to the cornice, and producing all manner of fanciful variations to the capital, with showy leafage and sometimes grotesque human and animal figures. The so-called Composite order, attributed to the Romans by sixteenth-century writers, was simply a distortion of the Greek precedents, combining Ionic volutes with Corinthian acanthus motifs. The Romans also used the Ionic order but seem to have been too impatient to achieve the refinements of the Doric, inventing their own version. The Roman Doric, used infrequently, was also influenced by a slender column (with a base) developed by the Etruscans. The Tuscan order, known only from the account of the first-century architectural writer Vitruvius, closely resembled the Roman Doric. The classical orders were eclipsed by the rise of Christianity, although they persisted in vestigial forms. An interest in Vitruvius was awakened in fifteenth-century Italy, and architects, captivated by all things Roman, made archeological studies of ancient ruins and employed the orders, often in an intuitive, uninformed way. Leone Battista Alberti and other more derivative architectural writers, including Serlio, Scamozzi, Vignola, and Palladio, urged the systematic application of the Roman not the Greek orders, with pedantic rules of proportion. Later, beyond Italy, the Frenchmen Philibert Delorme and Claude Perrault and the Englishman William Chambers wrote theoretical treatises about the architectural orders. Subsequently, during the artistic period known as the Greek Revival, strict conformity to the proportions of the original Greek models was practiced. Modern architecture had no place for the orders, but with the rise of postmodern architecture in the second half of the twentieth century, they appeared again, often so abstracted and deformed as to be barely recognizable. The American architect Charles Moore even invented one to flank his lively Piazza dItalia in New Orleans (1977 1978) he named it the Neon order. .....
Oresund Link
129. Scandinavia
The ambitious project to construct a fixed rail and road link across the 65-mile (105-kilometer) Oresund Strait was agreed to by the Danish and Swedish governments in March 1991. The resulting 10-mile (16-kilometer) combination of submarine tunnel, artificial island, and bridge, carrying a double-track electrified railroad and four lanes of freeway between Kastrup, Denmark, and Lernacken, Sweden, was officially opened on 1 July 2000. Responding to complex social, cultural, economic, ecological, geological, and technological constraints, the transoceanic international highway is a major achievement of design and logistical skill, demonstrating that high technology and environmental sustainability are compatible. Each country was responsible for extending its transport system to connect with the link. A/S Oresund built the Danish land works, while Svensk-Danska Brof .....
Paddington Station
130. London England
Paddington Station, London, terminal of the Great Western Railway linking Englands capital with the Atlantic port of Bristol, was designed by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806 1859) with the assistance of architect Matthew Digby Wyatt (1820 1877). Built between 1850 and 1854, it was one of the first stations to utilize the iron-arched roof and the ridge-and-furrow roof glazing also employed in Joseph Paxtons Crystal Palace of 1851. It led to further exploitation of the iron arch in stations such as St. Pancras (1863 1865) and to extensive use of the roofing system. Railroad terminals were a significant nineteenth-century architectural development that added a new building type to the townscape. There were two quite specific types of space required a head building that housed the pedestrian entrance, ticket sales area, baggage storage, and refreshment and waiting rooms, and an adjacent shed with platforms at which trains and travelers arrived and departed. The building type presented architects with a dilemma since there was no existing morphological or stylistic precedent. Therefore, the designers of the earliest railroad stations merely adopted or adapted conventional building forms, materials, and styles. As the popularity of train travel increased, so did the need for wider station sheds to accommodate more tracks and platforms because of the limitations of traditional construction technology, structural advances and new materials such as iron and glass offered potential solutions. The relatively new profession of engineers, unrestrained by historicism, took up the challenge and designed sheds that exposed contemporary materials and advances and (most importantly) met their clients demands. Sometimes they collaborated with an architect, as Brunel did by inviting Wyatt to design Paddingtons decorative details. But despite innovation and audacity, the architectural form and esthetic of the railroad sheds was not well received, and they were obscured by a masonry head building that looked back to any of a number of past styles. Brunel, son of French-born engineer Marc Brunel (1769 1849), served his apprenticeship supervising the construction of his fathers Thames Tunnel project (1825 1843). Although work there was in abeyance, he won a commission for the acclaimed Clifton Suspension Bridge near Bristol (1829). In 1833 the promoters of the Great Western Railway appointed him engineer of the bold project to connect London by rail with the west of England. Brunel chose and surveyed the route and prepared plans. Despite outspoken opposition from landowners and rival transport providers, he argued the railroads merits in lengthy public hearings and before a parliamentary committee. He was highly praised for his persistence and performance when the bill for the Great Western Railroad was finally approved in August 1835. During the lines construction, Brunel supervised the laying of tracks and the building of bridges, viaducts, and tunnels, including the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) Box Tunnel, which took about two and a half years to complete. The 151-mile (241.6-kilometer) railroad was finished in mid-1841 with one terminus at Temple Meads in Bristol and the other at Paddington, then a new suburb west of London. Brunel designed the Gothic-inspired Temple Meads Station (1839 1840) with its striking unsupported timber-arch roof spanning 72 feet (21 meters). The first Paddington Station was a temporary structure fitted between the arches of a road bridge. The permanent and grander replacement commenced in 1850 and was finished four years later.Paddington Station was built in a cutting and without a main facade. The Great Western Hotel (later Great Western Royal Hotel) of 1851 1853 by the architect Philip Hardwick (1820 1890) was next to the shed and served as its head building. Its Italian Renaissance detail, twin Jacobean towers, and mansard roof contrasted sharply with Brunels airy, cathedral-like structure. The entire train shed was 700 feet long, 238 feet wide, and 33 feet high (214 by 70 by 10 meters), covered by a triple-arched roof. The central arch, spanning 102 feet (31 meters), was flanked by one of 70 feet (21 meters) and another of 68 feet (20 meters). Two 50-foot-wide (15-meter) transepts integrated the space. In 1916, a fourth shed, spanning 109 feet (30 meters), was added on the northeast side. Originally, in the absence of a southern concourse, a retractable drawbridge provided access to the inner platforms. The roof, ironclad and partly glazed, was carried on slender wrought-iron arches a cast-iron column bolted to a brick foundation supported every third rib. Wyatt provided the neo-Renaissance-cum-Moorish embellishments to the columns and the sinuous wrought-iron ornamentation in the glazed end-arches. The effect of the spacious train shed interior has been described as dramatic and its ambiance as that of a greenhouse.Paddington Station is now a heritage-listed building under redevelopment by architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners as the central London terminal for the express train to Heathrow Airport. A concourse extension, named the Lawn Area because it incorporates the site of the station masters former garden, has been covered by a glass roof. Glass and aluminum have been used extensively to enhance the character of Brunels building. The second stage of the project includes replacement of the 1916 train shed with a new concourse opening to the adjacent Regents Canal a prominent transfer structure is also proposed with more buildings, including a 42-story tower block. .....
Palace of Minos
131. Knossos, Crete
Probably the best known of all Cretan architecture, the ruins of the Palace of Minos at Knossos stand near the River Kairatos on the north side of Crete, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) inland, near the modern city of Ir .....
Panama Canal
132. Panama
The Panama Canal, completed in 1914, is a 50.7-mile (81.6-kilometer) passageway through the Isthmus of Panama, connecting Cristobal on the Atlantic coast and Balboa on the Pacific at the narrowest point of the landmass of the Americas. By navigating its three locks, each of which raises or lowers them 85 feet (26 meters), ships can move from ocean to ocean in about twenty-four hours that saves the several days needed to sail the many thousands of miles around South America. The Panama Canal has been acknowledged as one of the twentieth centurys greatest engineering triumphs, which displays the combined skills of an international team of structural, hydraulic, geological, and sanitary engineers. A canal joining the oceans had been suggested as early as the sixteenth century. The conquistador Hernando Cortes proposed a route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, while others favored Nicaragua or Darien. King Charles V of Spain ordered a survey of the Isthmus of Panama in 1523, but although plans were made by 1529, the project lapsed. Several alternative schemes followed, including one of 1534 close to the present canal, but the Spanish then lost interest in the project until the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1819 the government approved the construction of a canal but the revolt of Spains American colonies meant that control of potential sites was wrested from her. The new Central American republics took up the idea, but they had to find European or U.S. investment to realize it. The California gold rush in the mid nineteenth century aroused U.S. interest, and a number of feasibility studies undertaken between 1850 and 1875 suggested two routes: across Panama or across Nicaragua. But the Americans were not the only ones interested. In 1875 the Frenchman Ferdinand de Lesseps, flushed with the success of his Suez project, first announced his interest in a Central American canal. On 1 January 1880, the Panama Canal was symbolically inaugurated, and a year later French engineers employed by the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interoceanique arrived at Colon on the Atlantic coast. Construction of a sea-level canal (as opposed to a lock canal) began in 1882 along the route of the 1855 Panama Railroad. But financial mismanagement, the tropical climate, and disease took their toll. The company was liquidated in February 1889 and by the following May all work had ceased. Following a scandal involving charges of bribery, de Lesseps died in France in 1894. In October of that year the Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal de Panam .....
Pantheon
133. Rome Italy
As its name suggests, the Pantheon in Rome was dedicated to many gods. Its seven interior niches housed statues of Apollo, Diana, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, and the great dome also had religious significance since it symbolized the heavens. Even now, when stripped of much of its enrichment, the scale and simple geometry of the Pantheon awe the visitor. Moreover, its sophisticated engineering stirs imagination for its ancient engineers. Many of their modern counterparts are at a loss to understand how the structural system worked, much less how it has survived for two millennia. The great Florentine artist Michelangelo Buonarotti concluded that it was the result of angelic and not human design. The first Pantheon was built in 27 b.c. for Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus Caesar. Except for lower parts of the porch and foundation, it was irretrievably damaged by fire in a.d. 80, and reconstruction to a slightly different design was commissioned by the Emperor Hadrian. The present building dates from between 118 and 128, although some scholars believe that it was completed under Pius about twelve years later. Lucius Septimius Severus and Caracalla sponsored a restoration in 202. In 609 the building was presented to Pope Boniface IV by the Byzantine emperor Phocas, and it was dedicated as the Church of St. Mary of the Martyrs (now Santa Maria Rotonda) on 13 May.The great portico was originally approached across a colonnaded rectangular courtyard on the temples north side. Three rows of 46-foot-high (14-meter) columns support its gable roof, which rises to 80 feet (24 meters). The entablature carries a pediment that once was crowded with bronze relief sculptures of a battle between the Titans and the gods. The front row of eight columns and the second row of four are of Egyptian gray granite the third row, framing the door and its flanking apses, is of Egyptian red granite. All are crowned with Corinthian capitals carved in white Pentelic marble from Greece. The massive bronze entrance doors are 21 feet (6.3 meters) high. With their fanlights, they were originally gold plated. The interior of the Pantheon a single volume is a 143-foot-diameter (43.3-meter) cylinder upon which rests a hemispherical dome. The total inside height is the same as the diameter. A semicircular apse covered by a hemidome faces the door. Around the wall on each side are three 14-foot-deep (4.2-meter) recesses, alternately rectangular and semicircular in plan and screened from the central space by pairs of 35-foot-high (10.5-meter) marble Corinthian columns supporting entablatures and a deep cornice. The lower part of the wall once was faced with marble and porphyry, the upper with marble pilasters and paneled with antique yellow marble, serpentine, and pavonazetto. Above it all soars the magnificent coffered dome, the largest in the world until Brunelleschi built his masterpiece on Florence Cathedral thirteen centuries later. Five rows of twenty-eight square diminishing coffers, each recessed in four steps, rise to a central oculus a circular window open to the sky. Originally the coffers were decorated, perhaps with gold stars on a background of blue. Even when the doors are closed, light enters the vast space through the 19-foot-diameter (8.7-meter) oculus. As the sun moves, a spotlight slowly swings across the interior, illuminating and enriching the colored wall and floor surfaces. Externally the dome was covered with gilded bronze plates, but they were taken to Constantinople in 655 and replaced by lead. Indeed, much of the precious material of the Pantheon has been plundered the exterior surface of the wall was once veneered with colored marbles. Now the brickwork and the huge relieving arches of the second tier are exposed. A 14.75-foot-deep (4.5-meter) concrete foundation supports the Pantheons 20-foot-thick (6-meter) cylindrical brick-faced concrete wall, 104 feet (31.7 meters) high. Roman concrete consisted of lime, pozzolana and a few pieces of very coarse aggregate. Bricks of various shapes were used as lost formwork. The wall was made lighter as it rose by using lighter aggregate in the concrete every 4 feet (1.2 meters) the brick formwork was tied together with a through-course of brickwork. It was designed to bear a range of complex stresses and loads, and it seems that instead of working as a solid mass it behaves structurally like a series of massive piers acting as buttresses to resist the thrust imposed by the dome. Roman concrete domes normally were made of lightweight aggregates such as pumice to reduce their mass and constructed on timber centering supported from the ground. The thickness of the Pantheon dome reduces from nearly 20 feet (6 meters) at the base to about 5 feet (1.5 meters) at the edge of the oculus. The engineers probably knew that such a huge span of unreinforced concrete might not develop enough tensile strength therefore they used lighter aggregates near the apex and the oculus really a brick-reinforced compression ring to minimize lateral thrust. Thus, to halfway up the dome is built as a series of seven stepped rings of concrete with alternating layers of bricks and tufa probably, each was allowed to develop full strength before the next was placed. The top 30-foot (9.2-meter) section was made in the usual way: alternate layers of 9-inch (7.5-centimeter) pieces of tufa and volcanic slag bonded with mortar. Although the Pantheon did not employ a revolutionary structural system, it represents the high point in Roman concrete technology evolved from well-thought-through construction traditions. .....
Parthenon
134. Athens Greece
Ralph Waldo Emerson said of the Parthenon, earth wears no fairer gem upon her zone. Even if that was going a little too far, we certainly may assert that the great temple, built 447 432 b.c., is the high point of Greek Doric architecture. The Greeks quest for cosmic harmony can be traced in their sculpture and their architecture, especially temples. From archaic shrines the religious equivalent of the royal megarons the building type underwent a refinement of form and detail until it eventually achieved the proportional balance and visual nuances of the Parthenon. Having achieved perfection in the eyes of its creators, Doric architecture then had nowhere left to go. Scholars continue to interpret the Athenian Acropolis, differing over the location of buildings long gone. For centuries, successive shrines to the citys patron goddess, Athena Parthenos (the Virgin Athena), were built there, including the archaic Hekatompedon, which may well have been a sacred enclosure open to the sky. Peisistratos (602 527 b.c.) encouraged the Athena cult by commissioning a temple just north of where the Parthenon would later be built. Embellished by his sons after 520, this old temple was for a while the only one on the Athenian Acropolis, but it was destroyed when the ragtag Persian armies sacked the abandoned city in 480. Within thirteen years Cimon and Themistokles had cleared away the debris and rebuilt the perimeter wall of the Acropolis. The Parthenon was commissioned by Perikles, who was the effective ruler of nominally democratic Athens from 461 until 428. The temple was to house a cult statue of Athena made by his friend Pheidias, the most famous artist of the day. Pheidias was appointed general superintendent of Perikles comprehensive redevelopment of the Acropolis, a fifty-year plan that included the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Ionic Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion. All was funded with money collected from Athens allies the Delian League to finance a second war with Persia that never happened. The architects of the Parthenon were Iktinos and Kallikrates, although their exact roles remain uncertain. Probably the latter was responsible for site management and the technical side of construction, executing Iktinoss design. Overall, the rectangular gable-roofed building was 228 feet (69.5 meters) long, 101 feet (30.9 meters) wide, and 65 feet (20 meters) high. It stood on a three-tiered platform necessary on the uneven terrain formed of 20-inch (50-centimeter) steps the top one formed the floor of the temple. A surrounding colonnade, known as a peristyle, had eight Doric columns at the ends and seventeen along the sides. Each had a base diameter of a little over 6 feet (1.9 meters) and was just over 34 feet (10.4 meters) high. The 22,300 tons (20,300 tonnes) of marble needed for the work was quarried at Mount Pentelicon, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Athens. The blocks for the walls and the drums that made up the columns were carefully dressed to form perfect joints, and no mortar was used in the entire building. The subtlety of refinement that makes the Parthenon a great architectural achievement is, by definition, invisible. There is no truly straight line in the entire building, although many may appear to be straight. Minute curves and adjustments were made to create illusions that would refine the gracefulness of the temple. A number of examples will serve to make the point. To the naked eye, a straight-sided column appears narrower halfway up than at the top or bottom those on the Parthenon had a slight swelling (entasis) so they appeared to be straight. Because corner columns were seen against the sky, they were slightly thicker than those seen against a wall then all would appear to be the same. Even more remarkably, the axes of all the columns were inclined toward the center of the facade projected, they would meet thousands of feet in the sky so they would appear to be vertical. And the platform is slightly convex: on the ends it rises 2.375 inches (60 millimeters) toward the center, and about twice that on the sides, because truly horizontal surfaces would have appeared concave to the eye.The exterior was painted in bright colors and adorned with sculpture, also painted, made under Pheidiass direction. Ninety-two rectangular panels (metopes) above the columns were carved in deep relief with allegorical scenes from various historical and mythological battles: the Trojan War, the Athenians and their enemies, the Lapiths and centaurs, and the gods and giants. Under and peristyle, the walls of the temple were crowned by a 3.25-foot deep (1 meter) continuous frieze, 39 feet (12 meters) above the floor. It portrayed in low relief figures of 350 people and 125 horses participating in the annual Greater Panathenaia, a procession in which the youth of the city accompanied a wheeled ship carrying a new robe (peplos) for an ancient wooden statue of Athena. The sculpted procession took two directions, beginning at the southwest corner and meeting above the central eastern door. Contemporary accounts tell us that very high relief sculptures in the east pediment that decorated the gable end narrated the birth of Athena, flanked by other deities, while the west pediment depicted her battle with Poseidon. Only fragments survive.The ordinary people were not allowed to enter the Parthenon. All religious ceremonies took place in a courtyard (temenos) to the east. Only the priests entered the inner chambers, of which there were two. The smaller (parthenos or opisthodomos), reached from the west portico, housed the temple treasury. Its marble-covered timber roof was supported by four slender Ionic columns, perhaps symbolizing the protective role that Athens then enjoyed among the city-states. At the east end was the sanctuary (naos), 98 feet long by 63 feet wide (29.8 by 19.2 meters). Its roof was supported by a two-story, superimposed Doric colonnade, creating aisles on the long sides of the room. Natural light came through the large central door in the east wall. At the west end of the naos was the 40-foot (12-meter) standing figure of Athena Parthenos. She has long since been lost but descriptions survive. Covering a wooden and metal frame, her body-length tunic was of gold plates, and her exposed face, hands, and feet were of ivory her eyes were made from precious stones. According to the ancient Greek writer Pausanius, her helmet was emblazoned with an image of the Sphinx, and on her breast she wore a head of Medusa carved from ivory. In one hand she held a 6-foot-high (2-meter) statue of Victory and in the other a spear her shield lay at her feet. Perikless political opponents spitefully had Pheidias indicted for stealing some of the materials intended for the statue, and the artist was later forced into exile. In 404 b.c. dominance in the Aegean passed to Sparta after the twenty-eight-year Peloponnesian War, caused in part by Perikles misappropriation of the Delian Leagues money. Despite Athens brief renaissance in the fourth century, Greece came under Macedonian control in 118 b.c. Rome followed Macedon, and by the end of the fourth century Christianity was established as the state religion. Paganism was moribund, and temples, including the Parthenon (which became the Church of St. Mary), were recycled. Pheidiass wonderful statue was looted and taken to Constantinople. Following the Ottoman invasion of Greece the Parthenon was again converted, this time into use as a mosque. The still intact building was next employed as an ammunition dump during the Turkish-Venetian war. In September 1687 a Venetian cannonball struck the gunpowder, causing an explosion that killed 300 men and reduced the Parthenon to ruins. The Turks recaptured the Acropolis and following year and began selling antiquities. In 1801 the British ambassador to Turkey, Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, obtained permission to remove a few blocks of stone with inscriptions and figures, a euphemism that gave him license to pillage the remaining metopes, the frieze, and what remained of the Parthenons pediment sculptures. Fifteen years later, allegedly at a loss, he sold the Elgin marbles to the British Museum. In January 1999 a majority of the European Parliament, as part of a growing international campaign, unsuccessfully petitioned the museum to return the fragments to Greece. The debate continues, not without rancor. The Parthenons other, more destructive enemy is the atmospheric pollution that plagues Athens. That problem, too, has commanded an urgent international movement to save an outstanding piece of world architecture. .....
Pennsylvania Station
135. New York City
Pennsylvania Station, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, New York City, represented the high point of railroad architecture. Built from 1904 to 1910 at a cost of $100 million (about $5.6 billion in todays terms), it was over 30 percent larger than its largest contemporary, Liverpool Street Station in London, England. In its first year of operation 112,000 trains carrying over 10 million passengers passed through Pennsylvania Station. It is not remarkable for its size alone, but also because it epitomized Beaux Arts architecture on the eastern seaboard of the United States just at the time when modernist ideas were challenging it in Europe. At the end of the nineteenth century, rail transport in the United States was dominated by the rich and powerful Pennsylvania Railroad. It carried more passengers and freight than any other company, servicing about 20,000 stations. It also led in technology, management, and operating practices. But the company had no station in New York passengers were obliged to reach the metropolis by ferry from the Pennsylvania Railroad terminus in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1899, the railroads new president Alexander J. Cassett set about to remedy the situation, and the following year he acquired control of the Long Island Railroad. Direct access to Manhattan was critical, and Cassett planned a terminal there to service both railroads, making use of the tunnel then being built under the East River. Twenty-five acres of real estate, bordered by Seventh and Eighth Avenues and Thirty-first and Thirty-third Streets, was secured at a cost of $10 million. Existing buildings were demolished, and Thirty-second Street from Seventh to Ninth Avenues was closed and incorporated into the site. The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White was commissioned and the design work for Pennsylvania Station began in 1902. One architectural historian has written that the outcome was one of McKims most monumental and moving designs, a giant of a building that still retained a human scale. In catching or meeting a train at Pennsylvania Station one became part of a pageant actions and movements gained significance while processing through such grand spaces (Wilson 1983, 211).The Seventh Avenue entrance was approached through a 780-foot-long (239-meter) Roman Doric colonnade with 35-foot-high (10.6-meter) columns, carrying a low, flat-roofed attic story. Within the colonnade was a row of shops, and at either end pedimented porticoes led into carriageways for motor vehicles that gave access to the waiting room. The central pavilion, higher than the rest, carried sculptured eagles and figures of women supporting a large clock. The 430-foot (131-meter) facades to Thirty-First and Thirty-Third Streets were relatively plain, but reduced to human scale with attached architectural orders. The main waiting room was probably the most striking part of the building. Based on the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome, its 320-by-110-foot (98-by-34-meter) area was roofed with three coffered cross vaults soaring 150 feet (46 meters) above the pink marble floor. The walls, interspersed with giant Corinthian orders at the springing of the vaults, were lined with Italian travertine, and the subtlety of the beautiful stone was brought out by the light that streamed through the huge windows beneath the vaults. The entrance landings at either end of the waiting room were framed with Ionic colonnades. Commuters, dwarfed in the magnificent space, reached the street-level entrances by means of broad stairways. The concourse, about twice the area of the waiting room and down one level from it, was as delicate as the other was massive. It was roofed with barrel vaults of glass framed in a filigree of iron, and therefore flooded with light. The twenty-one railroad tracks were on another lower level, 40 feet (12 meters) below the street. Excavation work started in summer 1904 and the station was mostly completed by August 1910. At first dubbed the Manhattan Gateway, Pennsylvania Station soon became the gateway to America. It reached its peak usage toward the end of World War II, with over 109 million passengers in 1944. After that, changes took place in intercity travel. Congress adopted a 40,000-mile (48,000-kilometer) national system of interstate highways in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 although the roads were not built immediately, that eventually led to the automobiles taking precedence over the train, a situation that was exacerbated by the advent of inexpensive air travel. By about 1955 the railroad was eclipsed as Americans preferred form of passenger transport. In 1962, Madison Square Garden purchased the air rights to Pennsylvania Station and in October 1963 began demolition, despite public outcry. All that remains is the underground section its twenty-one tracks carry 600,000 passengers every day. One positive outcome of the loss of the magnificent building was New Yorks Landmarks Preservation Law, enacted in 1965. There is also an increased national awareness of the importance of preserving architectural heritage. New Yorks Grand Central Terminal, a contemporary of Pennsylvania Station, was saved and rehabilitated at a cost of $196 million the work was finished in 1998. In May 1999 the Metropolitan Art Society announced a $484 million proposal to convert New Yorks central post office (also designed by McKim, Mead and White), which once faced Pennsylvania Station across Eighth Avenue, into a new Pennsvlvania Station. The commission was won by architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and their design was made public early in 2000. .....
Persepolis
136. Iran
The ruins of Persepolis (in Persian, Parsa) lie at the foot of Kuh-i-Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy) beside a small river on the Marv Dasht plain of southwestern Iran, about 400 miles (640 kilometers) south of Tehran. Widely held to be one of the greatest architectural complexes of the ancient world, and even claimed to be the most beautiful the world has ever seen, it was probably commissioned by Darius I between 518 and 516 b.c. as the ceremonial center and temporary royal residence of the First Persian (Achaemenian) Empire. Persepolis flourished under later kings. Xerxes I (reigned 486 465 b.c.) built the Throne Hall and the ceremonial gateway. His son Artaxerxes I (464 425) finished the hall, Artaxerxes II (ca. 350) built the so-called Unfinished Palace, and more buildings were added as late as the reign of Artaxerxes III, who died only eight years before the city was looted and burned by Alexander the Greats armies in 330 b.c. Helped by traitors, the Macedonians took Persepolis by surprise, massacred the defenders, and stripped the palaces and the treasury of gold and silver. The earliest Achaemenian capital was established by Cyrus I at Pasargadae, 48 miles (77 kilometers) to the north of the Persepolis site. Soon the administrative center was moved to Susa, a further 230 miles (370 kilometers) north, which was better placed strategically for dealings with Mesopotamia. Darius I then decided, for his own reasons, to create Persepolis perhaps he wanted to build a dynastic shrine in the Achaemenian homeland. Or there may have been a political motive. But Persepolis was never a capital, or even a city in any sense of that word. It was established as a venue where the subject nations would pay homage to the Persian kings. There were no temples, and its palaces were for temporary occupation only. Persepolis stood on a half-constructed, half-natural limestone terrace that measured about 1,475 feet north to south and about 985 feet east to west (450 by 300 meters), rose up to 60 feet (18 meters) above the plain, and was surrounded by a fortified triple wall. Its northern part, with the Gate of Xerxes, the Audience Hall of the Apadana, and the Throne Hall, was the ceremonial precinct, to which access was restricted. The southern part housed the Palaces of Darius (Tachara), Xerxes (Hadish), and Artaxerxes III, the Harem, the Council Hall (Tripylon), treasuries, barracks, and other ancillary buildings such as the royal stables and chariot house. The main ceremonial approach to the platform was at the northwest corner by a 23-foot-wide (7-meter) monumental stairway of over 100 shallow steps it was richly carved in low relief with symbols of the god Ahura Mazda and sculptures of people bringing annual tribute to the Achaemenid kings. The stair led to the only entrance to the terrace, the Gate of Xerxes (called the Gate of All Nations), a square hall built of decorated sun-dried brick, its roof supported by four columns. It had three huge doorways, 36 feet high, with double doors of timber sheathed in decorated metal. The southern door opened into a courtyard before the Apadana, the audience hall of Darius and Xerxes. This vast 198-foot-square space the largest building of the complex was a forest of thirty-six stone columns, rising more than 60 feet (19 meters) from bell-shaped bases and crowned by capitals decorated with double bulls, lions, human, or mythical horned lions heads, supporting a roof frame, built, of cedar imported from Lebanon. The processional way through the eastern door of the Gate of Xerxes led visitors to the east before then turning south toward the Throne Hall (also known as the Hall of a Hundred Columns), a 230-foot-square (70-meter) room containing literally 100 columns. Its principal portico, facing north, was flanked by two huge stone bulls, and its eight stone portals were decorated with low reliefs of the spring festival and scenes of the king fighting monsters. On the Persian New Year, Now Ruz (21 March), delegates from the twenty-eight subject nations would pass to the Throne Hall to pay homage and present their gifts and offerings silver, gold, weapons, textiles, jewelry, and even animals. Later, when the treasury at the southeast corner of the terrace could no longer hold the tributes, the Throne Hall also served to store and display the riches of the Persian Empire. All these buildings glowed with color: green stucco predominated, and the figures in the relief carvings were brightly painted. In much Achaemenian architecture, mud-brick walls were faced with blue, white, yellow, and green glazed bricks with animal and floral ornaments. The forests of pillars, many of them sheathed in gold and embellished with ivory, were hung with embroidered curtains. Precious stones were used in mosaics. The long-forgotten site of Persepolis was rediscovered in 1620, and although many subsequent visitors wrote of it, serious investigation did not commence until 1931. James Breasted of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago commissioned Professor Ernst Herzfeld of Berlin to excavate and (where possible) restore the remains of the city. Herzfeld (working 1931 1934) and Erich Schmidt (1934 1939) thoroughly documented the extensive ruins. UNESCO declared Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979. .....
Petra
137. Jordan
Petra (the name means rock) in southern Jordan lies about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the Dead Sea on the border of the mountainous Wadi Araba Desert. Although there is evidence of earlier occupation of the site, the city was founded around the sixth century b.c. as the practically inaccessible capital of the Nabataean Arabs who dominated the region and controlled international trade routes between Asia, southern Arabia, and the markets of the Mediterranean basin. Wealthy and powerful Petra was partly built, partly carved from the beautiful pink sandstone of its mountain fastness. Its remarkable buildings, representing the hybridization of several cultural sources over almost a millennium, make it one of the great architectural achievements of history. When it was added to UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1985, it was acclaimed as one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, where ancient Eastern traditions blend with Hellenistic architecture. Added to that distinction must be the Nabataeans hydraulic engineering achievements, comprising extensive water-conservation systems and sophisticated measures to avoid flooding of their city. Following unsuccessful attempts by the Seleucid Antiochus and the Judean Herod the Great to absorb Petra into their kingdoms, in 64 and 63 b.c. the Roman general Pompey conquered Nabataea. It remained independent (but taxed), a neutral zone between the desert nomads and Romes territory. Petra burgeoned over the next century. The city was wholly Romanized under Trajan in a.d. 106, when Nabataea became Arabia Petraea. Twenty-five years later, Hadrian renamed the capital Hadriane Petra and installed Sextius Florentinus as governor. Early in the fourth century, great changes swept the Roman Empire: Christianity was recognized by the state and in 330 Constantine moved his capital to Byzantium, renaming it New Rome (now Istanbul). Petra, while devastated by earthquake in the mid-fourth century, flourished until late antiquity, after which it began to decline. Its last contact with the Western world until the nineteenth century was in the 1100s, when Crusaders built and briefly occupied a small fortress there. In 1812 the Swiss orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt learned of Petra from local Bedouins, and in the years that followed many Europeans visited and recorded it. The romance of the place was irresistible, as the theologian Dean John W. Burgon wrote in 1845: Match me such marvel, save in Eastern clime. A rose-red city .....
Pharos of Alexandria
138. Egypt
Taking the name of the long narrow island on which it stood, the Pharos of Alexandria was the most famous lighthouse of antiquity. Situated on a high mound at the end of a long peninsula, 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the city, it was a technological marvel and formed the prototype of the modern lighthouse. Since the sixth century a.d. (when it replaced the walls of Babylon) it has been listed among the seven wonders of the ancient world. In 323 b.c. Alexander the Great died in Babylon, leaving no heir. Forty years of conflict followed as his generals fought for control of the vast Macedonian Empire. By 280 b.c. three major dynasties emerged: the Seleucids in Asia, Asia Minor, and Palestine the Antigonids in Macedonia and Greece and the Ptolemies in Egypt, the wealthiest and most enduring of all, who would reach their peak under Ptolemy II Philadelphos (reigned 285 246 b.c.). His capital was the grand city of Alexandria, designed by Dinocrates, personal architect to Alexander. Around 290 b.c., because of the dangerous sandbanks in the approaches to Alexandrias harbor, Ptolemy I Soter initiated plans for a lighthouse. The work was incomplete when he died five years later. In 281 his son Ptolemy II Philadelphos commissioned the engineer Sostratus of Cnidus to build a great lighthouse on the eastern point of the island of Pharos, reached across a causeway named the Heptastadion. There is a tradition that structural and other calculations were made at the famous Alexandrian library. Hellenistic accounts like those of Strabo and Pliny the Elder describe a tower faced with glistening white marble, crowned with a bronze mirror whose reflection of the sun could be seen 35 miles (56 kilometers) off shore. Apocryphal accounts claim the mirror was also a secret weapon used to burn enemy ships at sea. Indeed, most descriptions are sketchy, and popular images of the Pharos have been based on an interpretation of coins, terra-cottas, and mosaics published by Herman Thiersch in 1909. The most detailed description of the Pharos was made in 1166 by the Arab traveler Abou-Haggag Al-Andaloussi (to whom Thiersch did not have access), portraying a structure composed of three battered tiers: the lowest was square, 183 feet (56 meters) high, with a cylindrical core the middle was a 90-foot-high (27.5-meter) octagon with a side length of 60 feet (18.3 meters) and the third was a cylinder 24 feet (7.3 meters) in height. There are few accounts of the interior of the great tower, except to say that it had many rooms and corridors. Fuel for the nightly bonfire was mechanically lifted through an internal shaft. The fire could be seen for about 100 miles (160 kilometers). Including the foundation pedestal, the lighthouse soared to about 384 feet (117 meters). A wide spiral ramp gave access to the top, where there was a huge statue, possibly representing either Alexander the Great or Ptolemy I Soter in the role of Helios, the sun god. Some later accounts identify the figure as Poseidon, but more recent scholarship suggests it was Zeus Soter (Zeus the Savior). Still others believe there were statues of Castor and Pollux. Whatever its subject matter, the sculpture took the total height above 440 feet (135 meters), about as high as a forty-story office building. The Pharos was the second-tallest building in the world until the Eiffel Tower was constructed 2,000 years later. The monument was dedicated to Ptolemy Soter and his wife Berenice, and an inscription read, Sostratus, the son of Dexiphanes, the Cnidian, dedicated this to the Savior Gods, on behalf of those who sail the seas. The Pharos served the mariners of the Mediterranean for about 1,500 years. In a.d. 642, the Arabs conquered Egypt and moved their capital to Cairo. In 796 the upper story of the lighthouse collapsed. Later, Sultan Ibn Touloun (reigned 868 884) built a mosque on the partly ruined tower. In the middle of the tenth century, an earthquake shook Alexandria and caused another 72 feet (22 meters) of masonry to fall. Despite frequent and sometimes extensive repairs being undertaken by the Arabs, earthquakes continued to have a cumulative effect: no fewer than twenty between 1303 and 1323 meant that the Pharos finally toppled some time before 1349. By then Al-Malik-an-Nasir had begun to build a similar lighthouse beside it but the project was halted at his death. Around 1480 the Egyptian Mameluke Sultan Qait Bey built a fortress over its ruins, using its stones for walls. In the early 1990s the Egyptian government began building a breakwater to protect the fortress from storms. The project was postponed while archeologists from the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and the French Centre detudes Alexandrines searched the harbor. Since 1996 they have found over 2,000 objects, columns, capitals, thirty sphinxes, and most significantly two colossal statues (one of Ptolemy I and another of a female torso) scattered over more than 5 acres (2 hectares) of the seabed near Alexandria. It is believed that the finds include the ruins of the fabled Pharos. In September 1998 the U.S.$70 million Alexandria 21st Century Project was announced by the Fondation Internationale Pierre Cardin, claiming the support of UNESCO and proposing to build a 475-foot-high (145-meter) glass-covered concrete lighthouse on the site of the original Pharos. Happily, it came to very little. .....
Pisa CathedralThe Campanile Leaning Tower
139. Pisa Italy
The city of Pisa stands on the River Arno in the Tuscan region of northern Italy. Its Piazza dei Miracoli is graced by the most beautiful group of Romanesque buildings in the country: the white marble basilican cathedral (begun 1063) the circular, domed baptistery (begun 1153) and the highly original bell tower (campanile), situated between the apse and the southeastern end of the cathedrals transept and now famous as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Quite apart from its innovative cylindrical form, the location is remarkable, because bell towers usually stood near the west front of churches. Of course, the tower was designed to be vertical, but it started to lean very early in its construction. Since 1183 only a decade after it was started repeated and inventive attempts have been made to correct the incline. They continued for 800 years, until the very end of the twentieth century, when modern technology seemed to halt the incremental incline by then it had reached 10 percent and save the life of the tower. Taken together, those remedial actions represent a considerable architectural and engineering feat.The authorship of the tower remains uncertain. Tradition identifies Bonanno Pisano as the architect, but later scholars name Diotisalvi, Biduino, or Guidolotto. Other sources suggest the German Guglielmo of Innsbruck. The Pisa campanile, essentially a hollow cylinder of just over 50 feet (15.5 meters) outside diameter at the base, is 180 feet (55 meters) high. The structure consists of an external wall faced with gray and white San Giuliano limestone ashlar between it and an inner wall of dressed limestone, 293 steps wind to the top. The continuous facade is divided into six by elegant arcades and crowned (of course) by a cylindrical belfry, a little smaller in diameter than the tower. Throughout, the wall surfaces are inlaid with patterned, colored marble in the Tuscan Romanesque manner, reducing the large building to an appreciable human scale and creating a harmonious unity with the cathedral and the baptistery. There are earlier cylindrical bell towers elsewhere in Tuscany and Umbria, and even in Ravenna, but Pisan historians claim that the tower of Pisa is unique and locally inspired. Building work commenced on 9 August 1173 under the auspices of the Opera Campanilis Petrarum Sancte Marie (Stonework of St. Marys Bell Tower). The foundations were set only 10 feet (3.36 meters) deep, on a bed of dry stones. There is no question that poor foundation soil clay and sand strata interlayered with pockets of underground water could not support the highly concentrated loads imposed by the tower this, together with differential sinking of the soils, was the major contributor to the failure of the tower. The problem first appeared within about ten years, probably when the fourth arcade was reached. The building had sunk by more than 1 foot (30 centimeters), causing a lean of about 2 inches (5 centimeters). It was not unique in that: similar problems would be experienced in Holland, for similar reasons, Church towers still standing at Zierikzee and Leeuwarden have substantial leans both were abandoned, and the architect of the latter committed suicide. It seems that the Italian builders were more resolute than their Dutch counterparts, and after some delay, work on the tower of Pisa resumed, probably in the first decades of the thirteenth century. Remedial action was taken in two stages as attempts were made to reduce the lean. It is not known how high the building was when in the early 1270s Giovanni di Simone began to correct the inclination by raising one side of the galleries. By 1284, the six gallery levels were completed: then 156 feet (48 meters) high, the tower inclined about 3 feet (90 centimeters) from the vertical. The work was again suspended but the main part of the building was finished by 1319. The belfry, designed by Tommaso Pisano, was in place by 1350. Major works undertaken in 1838 to save the tower of Pisa changed the proportion of groundwater and resulted in accelerating the inclination it was only after some time that it settled to become about a millimeter a year. For over a century, eccentric suggestions were made to correct the problem, including a proposal to landscape the surrounding area to slope so that the tower would appear to be vertical. Moved to action by the 1989 collapse of the campanile of Pavia Cathedral, the Consorzio Progetto Torre di Pisa (Tower of Pisa Project Consortium) commissioned engineers to stabilize the Leaning Tower, then inclining more than 15 feet (4.6 meters) from true. It was closed to the public in 1990, and rescue work began. After some unsuccessful experiments, the three-part final solution was reached in July 1998. The tower was restrained by steel cables while 990 tons (900 tonnes) of lead were stacked against its base away from the direction of lean. Then excess water and mud were pumped from under the tower, allowing it to settle and in effect correct itself. As the tower straightened, the lead counterweights were regularly reduced. The project, with an overall cost of 54 billion lire (U.S.$27 million), was completed by the end of 2000. The result was that the lean was corrected by about 1 foot (30 centimeters), bringing the tower of Pisa to the condition it was in about three centuries earlier. .....
Pneumatic structures
140. The most familiar inflated membrane structures are airships, from nonrigid blimps to giant vessels such as the proposed 1,003-foot-long (307-meter) ATC SkyCat cargo lifter with a payload of 2,200 tons (2,000 tonnes). The German firm Zeppelin built several rigid-frame airships between 1900 and 1936, including the famous Graf Zeppelin. The new technology had consequences in the building industry. The English aeronautical engineer Frederick W. Lanchester first proposed an air-supported structure in 1917. Immediately after World War II Walter Bird designed and built prototypes of pneumatic domes to house large radar antennae for the U.S. Air Force. Known as radomes, they had many civilian commercial applications and paved the way for a new kind of architecture. Pneumatic or air-supported structures have their form sustained by creating, with the aid of fans, an air pressure differential between the interior of the building and outside atmospheric conditions. The increased air pressure about the difference between the lobby of a high-rise building and the top floor is so slight as to be virtually undetectable and causes no discomfort. The structural system enables the achievement of large spans without columns and beams, providing totally flexible interior spaces. Made from laminated membranes such as fiberglass, nylon, or polyester, coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for weather protection, the electronically welded components are tailored to define the building shape. The durability and heat- and light-filtering properties of the membrane are determined by the careful choice of surface finishes and inner lining. Because of its lightness, the air-supported structure is among the most efficient structural forms, combining high-tensile strength materials with the shell form. The capital cost of an air-supported roof is typically up to one-third that of a conventional building considered on a cost-per-seat basis they are widely used for sporting venues the advantage becomes even more obvious. The United States pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan, was one of several air-supported buildings at the fair. At the time, it was the largest structure of its kind ever attempted, a superellipse 265 feet wide and 465 feet long (81 by 142 meters). Its architects were Davis, Brody and Associates, working with designers Chermayeff, Geismar, de Harak and Associates the engineer was David Geiger. The sloped sides of the pavilion, covered externally with paving tiles, were a 20-foot-high (6-meter) earth berm that supported a concrete ring 1,000 feet long, 4 feet high, and 11.5 feet wide (306 by 1.2 by 3.5 meters). Crisscross steel cables were locked into the ring to retain the roof once it was inflated. The roof of the pavilion was made of a translucent, closely woven fiberglass fabric, coated on both sides with vinyl. The seams were bonded by heat and pressure. Once inflated, the roof behaved almost as predicted. More ambitious examples were bound to follow. In 1975, the 80,000-seat Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, boasted an air-inflated membrane roof measuring 720 by 550 feet (220 by 168 meters). The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, designed by Ellerbe Becket architects and completed in 1982, provided seating for up to 63,000 spectators under an air-supported roof of Teflon-coated fiberglass more than 10 acres (4 hectares) in area. Its claim to be the biggest air-supported domed stadium in the world was challenged the following year by the B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada. In 1988 the Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei and Takenaka, working with engineer David Geiger, designed the Tokyo Dome, with an air-inflated membrane roof of almost 660 feet (201 meters) span. Since about 1990, it seems that there has been a greater demand for sports arenas with openable roofs. .....
Pompidou Center Beaubourg
141. Paris France
The Centre Nationale dArt et de Culture Georges Pompidou, commonly known as the Pompidou Center, is in the Marais district of Paris. Initially given the working title Beaubourg (after its site), the center was formally named for its initiator, French president Georges Pompidou (1911 1974), following his untimely death. In December 1969 he announced an international design competition for a monumental multiuse public library, modern art museum, and contemporary arts center. The winning team, chosen from 681 entries, was directed by two architects the Italian Renzo Piano (b. 1937) and the Englishman Richard Rogers (b. 1933). They were assisted by Gianfranco Franchini (one of Pianos erstwhile fellow students), and Ted Happold and Peter Rice of and structural engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners. Rice had been site engineer on the Sydney Opera House. Opened in February 1977, the Pompidou Center was a bold and innovative building redolent of the radical but unbuilt schemes of the Archigram group. Renowned for its highly flexible plan and the external exposure of its structure and services, the Pompidou Center was immediately acclaimed as the Parisian symbol of late-twentieth-century high-tech architecture.In his first year of office, President Pompidou decided that the library proposed by his predecessor Charles de Gaulle should have a broader function. A passionate champion of the arts, Pompidou envisioned a national center that would act as a focus for the extensive array of cultural activities then evident in Paris. He wanted a building complex that would encourage all forms of artistic expression, promote the connection between the arts and social life, and be widely accessible to the person in the street. Flexible and uninterrupted internal spaces were needed to enable exploitation of its multiuse focus and to meet changing needs. The design team coalesced early in 1971, following Happolds approach to Rogers about the competition they had collaborated before. Rogers was then partner with Piano, and they saw Beaubourg as an opportunity to correct their firms bleak work outlook. Piano, based in Genoa, Italy, was an architect and industrial designer. From the mid-1960s he had been experimenting with lightweight shells. One of his projects was the Olivetti plant in Scarmagno, Italy (1968) he also designed the buildings components. He met the Italian-born Rogers in London in the late 1960s, and they collaborated on the Italian Industry Pavilion at the 1970 Osaka Worlds Fair. Rogers had been a member of Englands Team 4 with Norman Foster. Over the next few years Piano and Rogers together produced the ARAM Medical Center in Washington, D.C. (1970), the Fitzroy Street Commercial Centre in Cambridge, England (1970), and offices for the B and B Upholstery Co. in Como, Italy (1971 1973). In several, aspects a totally flexible plan, an external steel structure as the basis of the esthetic, and the use of strong color the latter foreshadowed the Pompidou Center. The vast Plateau Beaubourg, cleared of dilapidated 1930s housing but surrounded by historic buildings, was selected as the site for Pompidous new arts complex. It was being used as a car park for the nearby food markets at Les Halles, then in the process of demolition. The architects retained about half the Plateau as a pedestrian open space, intended for meetings and street theater, as well as gardens and sculpture. The new building was pushed to the eastern edge alongside an existing street. Construction began in April 1972, and Beaubourg was inaugurated by President Valery Giscard dEstaing on 31 January 1977 it opened to the public two days later. Finished on time and under budget, it cost Fr 993 million (then U.S.$100 million). All the Pompidou Centers mechanical services are on the street side on the side facing the open space, external escalators within clear acrylic vaults give access to the buildings impressive interiors. To create uninterrupted internal spaces suited to unlimited uses, the steel-framed structure is outside the building, supporting an internal envelope enclosed by a glass skin. Six floors, 532 feet (166 meters) long and 192 feet (60 meters) wide, with movable suspended partitions, house a spectrum of functions, including a library, an art museum, and an industrial design center. There are also spaces for exhibitions, theater, dance, and musical productions, as well as a cinema, lecture and meeting rooms, a restaurant, and (more recently) an Internet cafe. The Piano and Rogers office designed the furniture, which was sympathetic to the buildings esthetic. Outside, the unavoidably expressed vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and crisscrossed prefabricated tubular steel structural components form grids and lattices to create the architectural composition of the facades. The frame, together with the escalators and circulation walkways, and the service ducts are painted green, blue, red, yellow, gray, or white, according to their function. The building is raised on pilotis doubtless the influence of Le Corbusier creating a covered undercroft with space for shops. A 700-place car park is provided beneath the Plateau. The architects intention was compromised in the realization of Beaubourg for a variety of reasons: the cooler attitude of Pompidous successor, Giscard dEstaing public reaction to the unconventional design and of course the cost. Fire regulations were also an agent of change because the need to provide fire-isolated sections in such a large building confused the plans for total internal flexibility, achieved (according to the design) by having movable floors and walls. One of the abandoned proposals it had impressed the competition jurors was the display of information from the structural frame in the manner of Oscar Nitzchkes proposal for the unbuilt Maison de la Publicite (1932 1935). A lit screen was investigated but costs were prohibitive. Like the Eiffel Tower (1889), the Pompidou Center, while provoking controversy for its eccentric design, was a highly successful tourist attraction. Daily visitor numbers soon reached 20,000, four times the predicted traffic. Having welcomed some 160 million people in its first twenty years, the Center was closed for renovations from late 1997 until January 2000. Piano and Jean-Francois Bodin, designer of the Musee Matisse in Nice (1987 1993) and the renovated Musee dArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1992 1994), jointly supervised the Fr 576 million (U.S.$92.75 million) project. Essential maintenance including painting was carried out, the building and its infrastructure were modernized, and additional exhibition spaces were created by the removal of offices to an off-site location. A more orderly approach was taken to the use of the internal spaces by rationalizing use patterns. Access to the library from the .....
Qosqo Peru
142. Qosqo (navel or center) in southern central Peru was once the ancient capital of the Inkan Empire. Continuously occupied for three millennia, the oldest living city in the Americas perches 11,150 feet (3,400 meters) above sea level in the Andes Mountains. Strategically located, Qosqo reached out to the entire Tahuantinsuyu (Land of the Four Quarters) by means of an extensive road network. In the days of its glory, the city boasted about 100,000 houses and somewhere between 225,000 and 300,000 citizens, many of whom lived in the neighboring farmland. The population compares with modern Rochester. Jersey City, or Anaheim. It was remarkable for its physical planning, its social organization, and the gold-festooned buildings of massive masonry that adorned it. Farmers and herdsmen of the Marcavalle culture established permanent settlements in the Qosqo Valley around 1000 b.c. The Chanapata followed 200 years later, and successive groups Qotakallis, Sawasias, Antasayas, and Wallas also occupied the site for about six centuries from a.d. 600. There is a tradition that Inkan Qosqo was founded some time in the eleventh or twelfth century by the legendary king Manco C .....
Queens House
143. Greenwich England
The Queens House on the edge of the Royal Park at Greenwich near London was designed by Inigo Jones probably the greatest of all English architects early in the seventeenth century. It was a major architectural feat because it represented, all at once and in a single building, the introduction of a new kind of architecture in the face of a well-established and reactionary building industry. Before Jones (1573 1652) stepped on her architectural stage, England had been trying for almost a century to come to terms with the new forms of the Italian Renaissance. Henry VIIIs attempts to bring Italian craftsmen to England had been resisted by his subjects, and his later breach with most of Catholic Europe had stemmed the inflow of artistic ideas. The cultural standoff was maintained through Elizabeth Is long reign and well into the seventeenth century. Anything of the Renaissance that did reach England came, often in clumsy caricature, through northern European pattern books, and attempts to use supposedly Italian details in English architecture generated the epigram. The Englishman Italianate is the devil Inkarnate. Single-handedly, Jones changed that.His early life is obscure, but in 1603 he was working for the Earl of Rutland. Two years later Anne of Denmark, James Is queen, asked him to design scenery and costumes for a royal masque at the Palace of Whitehall. In 1611 1612 he briefly held the office of Surveyor to the Crown Prince, Henry, and shortly after his masters death, he was promised the position of Surveyor of the Kings Works. The following year Jones traveled in Italy with the Earl of Arundel and visited Venice, Vicenza, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Rome, and Genoa. He was impressed with modern Italian architecture and especially the country houses designed by Andrea Palladio (died 1580). He bought a copy of Palladios The Four Books of Architecture, published in Italian in 1570. Soon after returning to England Jones succeeded Simon Basil as Surveyor. His first royal architectural commission was for the Queens House for Anne of Denmark. James I often went down from London to Greenwich (perhaps for fear of the plague) where Pleasaunce Palace stood on the site of the present Royal Naval College. Anne wanted a villa linking the palace garden and the Royal Park, which were divided by the main road between Deptford and Woolwich. Jones built the house with a two-story wing on each side of the road, joined at the upper level by a bridge, making it possible to pass from the palace gardens into the park without crossing the thoroughfare. When Anne died in 1619 work was halted. The basement and unfinished ground floor walls were covered with straw to protect them from frost, and a decade passed before work resumed. In 1629 Jamess son Charles I gave the house to his queen, Henrietta Maria, and Jones completed it for her. By 1635 the outside was almost finished. Apart from its ingenious siting, the house was un-English in a number of ways, most notably for its carefully proportioned H-shaped plan, that contrasted with the rambling layout of contemporary English houses. Spatial organization within the Queens House was symmetrical, geometrically laid out in keeping with the principles of visual harmony set down by Palladio. The Great Hall at the buildings core was a 40-foot (12-meter) cube, the pattern of its marble floor matching the geometrical composition of the ceiling panels. From one corner of the hall, the so-called Tulip Stair the first cantilevered staircase in England and of the kind recommended by Palladio led to the kings and queens separate apartments on the upper floor. Each suite comprised rooms planned to fit the court routine: a presence chamber, anteroom, privy chamber, antechamber, bedchamber, inner closet, and outer closet. A loggia on the south side of the house looked out across the Royal Park. Another major departure from convention was the outside appearance of the house. The park front had a loggia in the center of the second story, and the proportions of solids and voids can be related to Palladios Palazzo Chiericati at Vicenza (1550 1580). The riverfront had a central full-height projection to relieve its flatness a horseshoe stair led from the palace garden to the podium on which the Queens House stood. The building was crowned with a balustrade. The plain upper walls were set above a ground floor with regular, deep recessed joints. The stories also had windows of different heights, but in the eighteenth, century the ground floor windows were lengthened. All is not what it appears, because the house is built of brick covered with white stucco in imitation of stone and prompting the alternative name the White House. Although Jones believed that the outside of buildings should be solid, proportionable to the rules, masculine and unaffected, the interiors were a different matter, and the Queens House was lavishly decorated and fitted out. The ceiling panels of the Great Hall, showing Peace surrounded by the Muses and Liberal Arts, were painted in 1635 by the Italian father-daughter team Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi. Henrietta Maria furnished the rest of her house so opulently that an impressed visitor exclaimed that it far surpasseth any other of that kind in England. But the fact was there was no other of that kind in England. The interior was possibly incomplete when civil war erupted in 1642. When the kings houses were seized by Parliament in the following year, Joness surveyorship was terminated. In 1645 he was arrested and his property confiscated that was put right a year later. The king was executed in 1649, and Jones died (some say of grief) in 1652. Anti-Catholic feelings compelled the queen to flee the country. Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II intended to live in the Queens House while building a new palace, but Henrietta Maria (now Queen Mother) moved in and remained until her death in 1689. Joness student and nephew John Webb undertook the restoration of the house in 1662, following his uncles meticulous documentation and adding two bridges to make the plan of the upper floor into a perfect square. In 1690 the Queens House became the residence of the Ranger of Greenwich Park, and in 1708 the ground floor windows and original casements were altered, spoiling Joness careful design. The house was painstakingly restored in the 1980s. It is difficult for us to grasp how innovative, even alien, the white, classical Queens House would have appeared in Stuart England. Inigo Jones had categorically departed from every English precedent, and his design was regarded by one critic as some curious device, because no one understood the theory upon which his architecture was based. His lead would not be followed for a hundred years. His architectural feat was achieved for a number of reasons: first, he was a new kind of architect, with royal patronage second, he was no slave to fashion but had a thorough commitment to the principles that underlay Italian Renaissance architecture and third, he was a practical man with consummate drafting skills that allowed him to communicate exactly what he required of the craftsmen, although they were unfamiliar with his kind of architecture. .....
The Red House
144. Bexley Heath England
Designed for William Morris in 1859 by his friend and coworker Philip Webb, the Red House in the London suburb of Bexley Heath has been called a cornerstone in the history of English domestic architecture. Much more than that, although in one sense a piece of eclectic architecture, it was a milestone in the way that architects designed houses, making the house to fit the occupant, rather than (as had been the case) forcing the occupants to fit the house: the earliest glimpse of functionally constrained design. Early in the twentieth century the German critic Hermann Muthesius recognized it as the first house to be conceived as a whole inside and out, the very first example in the history of the modern house. At that moment, the ideas behind it were taken up and developed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and fed back into the European Modern Movement. The now-famous English social reformer, designer, novelist, and poet William Morris (1834 1896) originally intended to become a Church of England priest. While at university he decided to devote himself to art. He then worked briefly for the Gothic Revival architect G. E. Street, but influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, soon turned, also briefly, to painting. In 1857 he met Jane Burden, one of Rossettis models, and two years later they were married in Oxford. Morris was financially independent his annual income of .....
Reichstag
145. Berlin Germany
The restored Reichstag in Berlin, designed by the London architectural firm of Foster and Partners, epitomizes a new kind of architecture one that respects the physical and cultural environment and takes account of the past while assuming responsibility for the future. The institution known as the Reichstag was set up in 1867 by the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to allow the bourgeoisie to have a role in the politics of the new empire, a confederation of princely states under the King of Prussia. From 1871 the Reichstag met in a disused factory until a neo-Renaissance building (1882 1894) was created for it by the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot. After the reunification in 1990, the new Germanys Parliament, comprising the two houses known as the Bundestag and Bundestat, made Berlin the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany in June 1991. It also voted, by a small majority, to move its own seat from Bonn to Berlin, locating it in the historic building. The monument was in a sorry state and held memories of the failure of the Weimar Republic and the disastrous Third Reich. Before the notorious Berlin Wall came down, it was cut off from the old center, just outside the boundary now it is in the middle of the city. The Reichstag building had been patched up in the cold war years, and the facades and the interior underwent desultory restoration in the 1960s. It was used as a historical museum between 1958 and 1972, and spasmodically for meetings of the West German Parliament. In June 1992 an international architectural competition was held to restore the Reichstag, and eighty architects submitted proposals. Following some debate and a second stage of the competition among the three shortlisted entries, Foster and Partners were awarded the commission in July 1993. The consulting engineers were Leonhardt Andra and Partner, the Ove Arup Partnership, and Schlaich Bergermann and Partner. The Foster partnership originally proposed a huge mesh canopy supported on columns to enclose Wallots building and extend it into the Platz der Republik. Axel Schultes and Charlotte Franks urban plan for the Spreebogen district of Berlin, the result of a contemporary competition, set the framework for new buildings and called for a rebriefing and consequent changes to the design. Building work began in July 1995 and the new Reichstag was opened in April 1999 it cost DM 600 million (approximately U.S.$330 million). According to the architects, their final design was constrained by four factors: the history of the Reichstag, which in its earliest days had symbolized liberty the day-to-day processes of the Parliament questions of ecology and energy: and (naturally) the economics of the project. Because Wallots building was to be preserved as far as possible, the Reichstag is a living historical museum that frankly shows the scars of its past pockmarks caused by shells, charred timber, and Russian graffiti from the post World War II occupation are all left visible. Because it was believed that the processes of democracy should be transparent, Wallots formal west entrance was reopened to serve for all users of the building, politicians and public alike. The great steps lead to a tall, top-lit narthex on entering, the visitor is confronted by a glass wall that defines the lobby beyond that, another transparent partition gives a view into the parliamentary chamber. Members of the public may occupy public balconies or follow interlocking spiral ramps to a viewing deck that looks down into the chamber from within the cupola. The functional needs of the Parliament required the demolition of many of the accretions of the earlier refurbishment.Visually and structurally, the design is dominated by a new glass-and-steel hemispherical cupola at the center of the restored building, which replaces and evokes the war-damaged original dome, removed in 1954. But the cupola is more than an esthetic or symbolic choice. At its center a curving, inverted cone of mirrors reflects daylight into the plenary chamber. The cupola is fitted with a movable sunscreen: in summer it tracks and blocks the sun to prevent overheating of the interior in winter it is set aside to allow warming sunshine to penetrate into the building. The cone also acts as a convection chimney fresh air enters the building through air shafts and rises through the floor of the chamber. As it heats up it is drawn into the cone, and an extractor expels it from the building. An aquifer at a depth of 100 feet (30 meters) stores cold water that is circulated through pipes in the Reichstags floors and ceilings in the summer. Warmed in the process, the water is then pumped into another subterranean lake, 1,000 feet (300 meters) beneath Berlin. At that depth it retains its heat, and in winter the process is reversed to heat the building. The Reichstag power plant that drives the pumps is fueled by renewable grape seed oil. In the 1960s the restored Reichstag emitted 7,700 tons (7,000 tonnes) of carbon dioxide a year the new building emits 440 tons. Germany has been a world leader in energy conservation, and the building that now symbolizes national unity fittingly exemplifies that mind-set. .....
Reinforced concrete
146. Concrete is a combination of small aggregate (sand), large aggregate (gravel), a binding agent or matrix, and water. Historically, lime was used as a matrix, mostly for mortars that had no large aggregate. In 1774 the British engineer John Smeaton added crushed iron-slag to the usual quicklime-sand-water mix, making the first modern concrete for the foundations of the Eddystone Lighthouse off the English coast. Fifty years later, a new matrix was discovered. Portland cement, a calcium silicate cement made with a combination of calcium, silicon, aluminum, and iron, is the basis of modern concrete. In 1824, the English stonemason Joseph Aspdin made it by burning (on his kitchen stove) finely ground limestone and clay, then grinding the combined material to a fine powder. It was named for its original use in a stucco that imitated Portland stone. However, the burnt clay yielded silicon compounds that combined with water to form a much stronger bond than lime. It was to revolutionize the architectural and engineering world. For the next thirty years or so, plain concrete, because of its tremendous compressive strength (resistance to crushing), was used for walls. Sometimes it replaced brick as fire-resistant covering for iron-framed structures. Reinforced concrete, developed first by the French, combines concretes compressive strength with the tensile strength (resistance to stretching) of metal at first, iron and later steel reinforcing bars or wire. The first person to employ such construction was the Parisian builder Fran .....
Renault Distribution Center
147. Swindon England
High-technology (usually contracted to high-tech) architecture was a movement born in the 1960s and sustained through the 1980s. It sought to express zeitgeist the spirit of the age defined by its followers as resting in the technological advances of industry, communications, and travel, including aerospace developments. These advances offered an alternative building approach. High-tech architects produced machinelike structures of flexible plan, applying lightweight materials such as sheet metal, glass, and plastic to innovative structural techniques they employed easily assembled, sometimes mass-produced, building components. Usually, the structure was made explicit (often reinforced by colorful paintwork). Sometimes the services were exposed. Constructed between 1980 and 1983, the Renault Distribution Center at Swindon, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of London, was and continues to be regarded as the archetypal high-tech building. The brief called for a building that established a progressive corporate identity and stood out from the featureless industrial shed typical of the area. It was to suit multiple functions, be quickly constructed, and capable of later extension. Architect Norman Foster of Foster Associates, together with the engineering firm of Ove Arup and Partners, responded with a design for a visually arresting, structurally self-explicit building that dominated what has been described as an otherwise bleak landscape. Foster was born in 1935 in Manchester, England. He trained as an architect and town planner at the University of Manchester (1956 1961) before undertaking a masters degree in architecture at Yale University (1961 1962). Soon after, following a brief period with Richard Buckminster Fuller, he returned to England to set up practice with his wife Wendy and Richard and-Su Rogers. They worked as Team 4 between 1964 and 1967 until the partnership was superseded by Foster Associates, now Foster and Partners. In the late 1960s Foster and Richard Rogers made a significant architectural statement at Swindon with the Reliance Controls Factory (1967), one of the last Team 4 projects. Its elegance, use of off-the-shelf components, exposed steel structural bracing, metal cladding, wall-high glazing, flexible plan, and focus on improved employee working conditions all challenged the conventional wisdom about industrial buildings. Reliance Controls was an early example of high tech. Almost two decades later the Swindon landscape was again confronted this time by the unconventional form of the Renault Center. Brilliant yellow (Renaults corporate color) cable-stayed tubular steel masts supported a reinforced polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane roof that covered spaces for spare parts warehousing, visitor reception, distribution and regional offices, vehicle showroom, after-sales maintenance training, and staff dining. Its expressive, detailed outline and functional, worker-friendly spatial arrangements were characteristically Fosteresque, balancing the high-tech approach with client and social needs. In its marketing literature, Renault enthusiastically reproduced images of its marqueelike center, regarding it as the quintessence of its corporate image. When presented with plans for the sloping 16-acre (6.5-hectare) site, the local authority consented enthusiastically to the unexpected design and to the proposed 67 percent land coverage (the usual limit was 50 percent). The prefabricated rectangular building was formed as a series of suspended modules forty-two in total comprising 52-foot-high (16-meter) masts, connected to pin-jointed portal frames. Each module measured 91 feet (24 meters) square and was 25 feet (7.5 meters) high at the edge and 31 feet (9.5 meters) in the center. As extensions were required, modules could be unbolted and new ones added. Initially, thirty-six modules were devoted to warehousing, the rest located at the narrower end of the site where the building tapered to a generous entry and porte cochere. The fully exposed, repetitive mast arrangement flowed graciously beyond the external walls, glazed for showroom and dining but sealed elsewhere with steel skins. Ample natural lighting was achieved by clear glass panels inserted where the mast pierced the roof membrane and by a louvered roof light at the apex of each module the louvers could be opened for ventilation. The building was centrally heated and lit according to the function of the space. Foster Associates designed the furniture. The Renault Distribution Center has been described as ushering in the firms Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank headquarters (1979 1986) in Hong Kong, also noted for its extrinsic structural expression. However, unlike the sprawling Renault building, the bank headquarters is a soaring triple-layered tower (the tallest forty-one stories) with immense tubular steel trusses from which the floors are suspended. Many consider tins Fosters magnum opus. .....
Retractable roofs
148. The Houston Astrodome in Texas, opened in 1966, was the first stadium with a roof over the playing area. It set a trend for sports fields for the next twenty years. Its roof, designed to resist 135-mph (216-kph) winds, has a clear span of 642 feet (196 meters) it is 208 feet (64 meters) high at the apex. It was not, however, the first arena to have a roof. It was predated by almost 2,000 years by the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome, better known as the Colosseum. The Colosseum measured 620 by 510 feet (189 by 156 meters), and the perimeter of the fourth story had stone brackets supporting wooden masts from which an awning (velarium) was suspended across the interior to shield spectators from the sun. The velarium, was not fixed teams of sailors handled the rope-and-pulley system that allowed it to be opened and closed depending on the weather. The Toronto SkyDome, designed by architects Rod Robbie and Michael Allen and inaugurated in June 1989, was the first modern stadium with a fully retractable roof. SkyDome provides 2 million square feet (186,000 square meters) of usable floor space for up to 30,000 spectators. The 8-acre (3.24-hectare), 11,000-ton (10,000-tonne) roof rises 282 feet (86 meters) above the field level. It consists of a fixed panel and three movable panels, framed with steel trusses and covered with a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane laminated to an insulated steel sheet, moving on a system of tracks and bogies. The roof can open in twenty minutes to uncover the entire field area and over 90 percent of the seating. Since SkyDome, many similar structures have developed the new technology that enables very large buildings, once considered static, to become (at least in part) flexible an architectural feat. Amsterdam Arena, the Netherlands, was opened in September 1996, the first retractable roof stadium in Europe. The stadium is 540 feet (165 meters) wide and 770 feet (235 meters) long the roof, soaring 255 feet (78 meters) above the playing field, consists of two movable panels that retract across the short span. The designer was Rob Schuurman. Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona, designed by Ellerbe Becket, was completed in early 1998. Two 200-horsepower motors open or close the retractable roof over the 48,000-seat stadium in under five minutes. Each half of the roof consists of three movable trusses that telescope over a fixed end truss. Either side can be opened to any position, independently of the other. The 52,000-seat Colonial Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, was opened in 2000. Its 540-foot-span (165-meter) retractable roof, employing a lightweight space-truss structure, opens or closes in less than eight minutes. Other arenas, such as the Sports Park Main Stadium of the Oita Prefecture, Japan, and Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were completed in 2001. The former, designed by Kurokawa Kisho Architectural Urban Design and the Takenaka Corporation, has a retractable 895-foot-diameter (274-meter) hemispherical steel-framed shell roof Miller Park has a seven-panel roof. .....
Roman concrete construction
149. Concrete is made by mixing broken stone or gravel and sand (aggregate), a bonding agent, and water, and allowing the mixture to harden through chemical process into a solid mass. So-called cementitious materials had been used in ancient Egypt about 3,000 years earlier and later by the Chinese, Minoans, and Mycenaeans, but this synthetic stone a new building material was developed and exploited by the Romans from about the third centuryb.c. Ambrose advised his protege Augustine: When in Rome, live as the Romans do when elsewhere, live as they do elsewhere. Throughout the Roman Empire, the architecture they built was a weighty presence imposed upon the subject peoples a consistency probably more to serve the colonizers, isolated from the familiar things of home, rather than for the colonized. Throughout history architecture has provided a social anchor for migrant peoples. The Roman way was to come, to see, to build, and there was, especially in the days of imperial expansion, a need to build quickly and in a familiar way. That was made possible by the use of concrete. The Romans used concrete (opus caementicium) for all parts of their structures: foundations, walls, and roofs. It was made by combining pozzolana (a volcanic earth found in many places in southern Europe) with lime, broken stones, bricks, tufa, and sometimes pumice. Such a mixture could set even underwater. Lime was obtained by crushing limestone or seashells, or sometimes replaced by gypsum as a binding agent. The Romans placed a very dry mix of pozzolana and wet lime, layer for layer, over rock fragments, and carefully tamped it into place. Its structural strength depended upon what is now called the water-cement ratio: the higher the proportion of bonding agent to water, the stronger the concrete. The combination of a dry mix and thorough consolidation made the material extremely durable. At first, concrete was limited to places where it would not be seen. For foundations, it was placed between wooden form boards that were stripped once the mixture had hardened. For building above the ground, its brutal appearance, once the formwork was removed, presented an esthetic problem. Because the many advantages strength, versatility, economy, availability, and speed of erection more than offset that single disadvantage, the Romans simply used more presentable materials to face the concrete, usually as a lost formwork. For example, as late as 20 b.c. the architectural theorist Vitruvius recommended building two face walls of squared stone (opus quadratum), 2 feet (0.6 meter) thick, tying them together with iron cramps, and filling the cavity with tamped concrete. But that was for prestigious buildings, and a number of alternative wall constructions had already been developed. From around 200 b.c., slabs of volcanic tufa were used as permanent facings far more common was the technique known as opus incertum, which employed small, random pieces of tufa, carefully packed together. Over time the shapes were made increasingly regular, and by about 50 b.c. 4-inch-square (10-centimeter) pyramidal tufa blocks were employed. Set diagonally, their sharp apexes penetrated about 10 inches (25 centimeters) into the concrete infill, providing an excellent bond. Because of its netlike appearance, the method was called opus reticulatum. By then, fired clay bricks were also being used for facing. Over the next two centuries the predominant technique was opus testaceum, flat slice-of-pie-shaped bricks, tied at intervals with bonding courses through the wall. The late empire saw a further variation, called opus mixtum, consisting of alternate courses of brickwork and small squared stones. It is stressed that these systems provided only a presentable surface: the real work of the wall was done by the immensely strong concrete mass, which normally supported innovative superstructures, also made of concrete. Unfinished concrete was not only unattractive to the eye but it also presented an architecture that was, to the Roman mind, inappropriate in appearance. They therefore covered it, whether brick faced or not, with a variety of decorative surfaces: stucco (a mixture of marble dust and lime) perhaps 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) thick in up to five layers, and molded, patterned, painted, and sometimes veneered with mosaics of marble and even glass tesserae. The most important buildings had marble veneers, held in place by bronze pins and nonstructural architectural orders applied as pilasters or half-columns that masked the concrete structure and reduced the visual scale. Roman public architecture existed to move in and through, rather than around. Such urban buildings as the thermae (bathhouses) and basilicas (law courts) demanded interior spaces uncluttered by columns that could accommodate huge gatherings of people. In order to achieve vast interior spaces, the Romans exploited the semicircular arch, a technology inherited from their Etruscan forebears. The arch and its three-dimensional extensions, the vault (a prismatically extended arch) and the dome (a rotated arch), could span large distances without intermediate supports. With characteristic directness, Roman engineers found expedient solutions. A small rectangular room could be covered by a semicircular barrel vault carried on continuous parallel side walls. A square room could be roofed by a cross vault (two barrel vaults placed at right angles), supported by piers at the corners and allowing the space to be lit from all sides. Larger rectangular spaces could be enclosed by a procession of such vaults built side by side. A polygonal space received a hemispherical dome and an apse a half-dome, carried on drums above the base walls. By using concrete for these roof structures, the Romans enclosed volumes that would not be equaled for over 1,000 years. The simplest barrel vaults consisted of a series of parallel brick arches cross-tied as in opus testaceum and filled between with concrete that is, the concrete was packed into brick compartments. The whole structure was supported by wooden centering until the mortar had set. Other vaults and domes were directly formed in mass concrete. The technique had two main advantages: once the centering was designed and placed, it employed unskilled labor, and it enabled complex plan forms to be roofed without the cost of dressed stone construction. Often, the weight was reduced by using hollow clay boxes or even wine jars, especially in the groins of cross vaults alternatively, vaults were lightened by forming recesses or coffers in their undersides. Domes were generally much thicker toward their base and therefore appeared externally as inverted saucers, while inside they were hemispherical. As they rose, lighter materials, such as pumice a stone that floats were used for aggregate. In order to underline the achievement of the Roman engineers and architects, it is helpful to consider the size of some concrete structures a couple of examples may suffice. The concrete barrel vaults that spanned the 76-foot-wide (23-meter) side aisles of the fourth-century-a.d. Basilica of Maxentius in Rome were 8 feet (2.45 meters) thick. The 142-foot (43-meter) concrete dome of the Pantheon, also in Rome, is 4 feet thick (1.3 meters) at its apex and 20 feet at its base. The massive loads of these roofs were carried to the ground through huge piers or thick walls, and their horizontal thrusts resisted by buttressing elements integrated with the architectural design. .....
Royal Albert Bridge
150. Saltash England
The Royal Albert Bridge at Saltash, completed in 1859, was Isambard Kingdom Brunels last bridge and probably his finest work. Certainly, it was one of the great engineering feats of the nineteenth century, because (it is widely agreed) of its size, its economy of design, its revolutionary superstructure, and not least because of the way in which Brunel solved difficult logistical problems. It was one of the first bridge projects on which compressed air was used to allow underwater foundation work to proceed. Dividing Cornwall from the rest of England, the tidal reaches of the River Tamar were once a major maritime thoroughfare. The twelfth-century port of Saltash lies on the west shore of the Tamar Estuary near the English Channel coast, nearly facing Plymouth on the opposite side. A railroad into Cornwall, the county in the extreme southwest of England, was first proposed in 1844. The Cornwall Railway Company was formed in 1845, and it successfully applied for the necessary act of Parliament to provide either a steam ferry to transport trains across the 1,100-foot-wide (336-meter) 85-foot-deep (26-meter) river or to build a bridge. The project was delayed because the Admiralty was concerned about restricted access to the Devonport naval base, close to Saltash. Finally, in 1852 Brunels proposal for a bridge with two main spans was adopted because a single pier in the river would offer least hindrance to water traffic. During the construction the plans were changed for financial reasons Brunel designed the bridge for a single-track railroad. The authorities demanded a clearance of 100 feet (31 meters) under the bridge at high tide.The Royal Albert Bridge is 2,240 feet (683 meters) long. Each of the two main spans is 455 feet (140 meters), and the 17 side spans of the long, curving approach viaducts vary between 70 and 90 feet (21 and 28 meters). Brunel first proposed a single-span bridge but because of difficult ground conditions changed the design. Brunel found a firm base on rock in the middle of the river for the center pier, at a depth of more than 87 feet (27 meters) below high-water mark. Debris had to be cleared to expose a good foundation. To that end, a. 95-foot-tall (29-meter) iron cylinder, 35 feet (11 meters) in diameter, was fabricated onshore. A dome was constructed about 20 feet (6 meters) above its lower end, and a 4-foot-wide (1.2-meter) gallery, divided into 11 compartments, was built around the cylinder below the dome. The cylinder was floated into position and sunk to the riverbed in June 1854. Compressed air was fed into only those compartments where men were working, obviating the need to supply it to the whole space under the dome all the time. The foundation was cleared, and the rock was leveled with a 16-foot-thick (5-meter) base layer. By the end of 1856 the circular granite center pier was completed to a height of 12 feet (3.7 meters) above river level. Four hollow octagonal cast-iron columns, 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter and stiffened by cross-bracing, rise from the center pier to the same height as the tapering masonry piers at the ends of the approach viaducts. Two columns support each of the huge main trusses. Those trusses were fabricated on the riverbank. Each comprises a curved, wrought-iron elliptical tube 16.75 feet (5.1 meters) wide constrained by the single-track railroad and 12.25 feet (3.7 meters) high, forming a flat arch that carries the weight of the superstructure. The arch is connected to massive catenary iron chains at eleven equidistant points by pairs of vertical standards, braced by diagonal bars the chains support the girders under the railroad deck, 110 feet (34 meters) above high-water mark. Beginning on 1 September 1857, the first 1,200-ton (1,016-tonne) truss was floated into position on four pontoons. Through the combined efforts of 500 men on shore and on five vessels at strategic points in the river, it was put into place with great accuracy. As the masonry pier progressed, the truss was raised a little at a time by hydraulic jacks. By July 1858 it had reached its full height, and the second was ready for floating into position. The process was repeated for the second truss. At their landward ends, the trusses are carried by piers, with arched openings through which the railroad passes. The bridge was opened by Queen Victorias consort, Prince Albert hence the name on 3 May 1859, just a few months before its creator, Brunel, died. Its construction made possible a continuous rail journey between London and Truro. A branch line to Falmouth opened in 1863 and was later extended to the new docks then being built. A neighboring suspension bridge carrying the A38 road over the Tamar was completed in 1961. Early in 1998 the Royal Albert Bridge was refurbished. The .....
The Royal Pavilion
151. Brighton England
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton (1817 1822), a grand oriental fantasy with Indian domes and minarets and Chinese interiors, is a fascinating example of the diverse architectural styles allowed in the Regency period, which was otherwise dominated by refined neoclassical architecture. Two elements were necessary for its realization: an esthetically adaptable architect in this case, John Nash (1752 1835) and a client powerful enough to get what he wanted the Prince Regent (later King George IV, 1762 1830), More importantly, it is probably the first attempt by any architect, freed from classical and Gothic precedents, to use cast iron to make legitimate architecture. George, Prince of Wales, first visited the coastal resort of Brighton (then Brighthelmstone) in 1783. He was already deep in gambling debts, a heavy drinker, and a notorious womanizer. In 1784 he again visited Brighton and in the same year fell in love with the twice-widowed Maria Fitzherbert. When she refused to become his mistress he agreed to marry her, but secretly, because English law prohibited royalty from marrying Catholics. Two years later his comptroller, Louis Weltje, obtained from Thomas Kemp, Member of Parliament for Lewes, a three-year lease with an option to purchase on a timber house facing the sea at Brighton. He relet it to the prince, undertaking to rebuild it. Between May and July 1787 the architect Henry Holland enlarged and converted the modest but respectable farmhouse to the Marine Pavilion, a double-fronted Palladian affair with a domed Ionic rotunda. Maria was provided with a nearby villa. In 1795, attempting to persuade Parliament to pay his accrued debts of .....
Sagrada Familia Church of the Holy Family
152. Barcelona, Spain
The 328-foot-tall (100-meter) spires of the Church of the Sagrada Familia dominate the skyline of Barcelona, the chief city of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain. This unique church, which, in the tradition of the medieval cathedrals of Europe, remains unfinished more than a century after it was started, is one of the great pieces of world architecture. Its fantastic forms defy our vocabulary and confound any attempt at stylistic classification. It marks the fin de siecle rejection of historical revivalism perhaps it is the last true Gothic church but unlike the willful forms of the contemporary Art Nouveau (a category to which some historians have consigned it), it is respectful of the past in its local context and the broader sphere. To repeat, it is unique. Around 1874, Jose Mar .....
St Chapelle
153. Paris, France
St. Chapelle, at 6 boulevard du Palais, is now surrounded by the Palace of Justice on the Ile de la Cite, Paris, near Notre Dame. It was built as a palatine chapel for King Louis IX of France (known as St. Louis, reigned 1226 1270) between 1242 and 1247, and consecrated on 26 April 1248. During Louis IXs reign, Gothic architecture in France entered the rayonnant phase, its name derived from the radiating spokes of the large rose windows that characterized the style. Refining the stone-framed architecture of the age, architects further reduced the amount of solid wall in favor of expansive traceried stained-glass windows. The masonry that remained was in the form of narrow but very thick buttresses that dealt with the thrusts imposed by vaulted stone ceilings. St. Chapelle, with its luminous glass curtains, represents the highest degree of this structural refinement and is probably the most beautiful surviving example of the French Gothic of any phase. In 1239 Louis IX purchased (at extravagant cost) a number of relics of the crucifixion of Christ from his bankrupt cousin, Jean de Brienne, the Emperor of Constantinople. The most important of them was the crown of thorns; there was also a piece of iron from the lance used by the soldiers and the sponge on which Jesus was offered sour wine. From de Briennes successor, Baudouin II, Louis bought a piece of the true cross. To purchase them and fashion a reliquary a bejeweled chest that was destroyed during the French Revolution it is said that Louis spent two and a half times what it cost to build St. Chapelle. Soon after acquiring the relics, he commissioned a private chapel within the royal palace on the Ile de la Cite to hold them. There is some debate about the identity of the architect; many sources identify Pierre de Montreuil, who had worked on Notre Dame, Paris, and St. Denis, but St. Chapelle may have been the work of Robert de Luzarches or Thomas de Cormont.The building in fact houses two chapels. The lower, entered from the courtyard, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was for the use of servants of the royal household. It is relatively low its vaults are 22 feet (6.6 meters) high and rather dimly lit. Two small spiral staircases within the walls connect it to the upper chapel, for which it may have been designed as a foil; certainly, there is a breathtaking contrast in the quality of the respective spaces. The official access to the upper chapel, which was dedicated to the Holy Crown and the Holy Cross and reserved for the use of the sovereign, was by a gallery directly linking it with the royal apartments. Entering through a sculpture-enriched double portal, the visitor is greeted by an explosion of color and light. Fifteen lofty stained-glass windows, rising 65 feet (20 meters) from just above floor level to the gilded arches of the vaults, fill the entire area between the buttresses in total, 6,600 square feet (620 square meters) to create a space that has been described as Gothic architecture at its most daring and successful .....
St Denis Abbey Church
154. St. Denis, France
The Abbey of St. Denis is situated in a small municipality (now a suburb) of the same name, about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) north of Paris. Its thirty-sixth abbot, Suger (1081 1151), commissioned the present church from about 1140. It is a milestone in the history of architecture because, like Durham Cathedral in England, it has in it the seeds of a new way of building for Europe: the highly inventive structural system that we know as the Gothic. In particular, Sugers choir at St. Denis, the first application of pointed arches in a major building, marks one aspect of the transition from the Romanesque style, which was quite hobbled by the use of round-headed arches; that is, the transition from wall architecture to framed architecture. Denis, first bishop of Lutetia, and his missionary companions were martyred in 258, and buried at St. Denis. When the persecutions ended in the fourth century, a small chapel was built that became a popular shrine for pilgrims by the end of the sixth century. The Merovingian king Dagobert founded a Benedictine monastery there in 630, replacing the chapel with a large basilica and enriching the new royal abbey. He also bestowed many rights and privileges on the little town, not least the honor of building his tomb. Eventually, the abbey was to house seventy royal sepulchers. Charlemagne, king of the Franks, commissioned a new church in 750 and much of the earlier building was subsumed. Systemic reforms were introduced by Abbot Hilduin (815 830; ca. 831 840) during his second term of office, and the Abbey of St. Denis, because of the relics it held, grew in significance and prosperity. In about 1127 Suger assumed the position of abbot, to which he had been elected in Rome five years earlier. Between 1123 and 1127, as adviser to Louis VI (reigned 1108 1137), he was engrossed in affairs of state but soon after he set out to thoroughly reform his monastery, first of all establishing a more rigorous discipline for the monks and dealing with its financial problems. Then he turned to the building. The old abbey church had been completed in 775, and by the middle of the twelfth century it had become dilapidated; from 1135 Abbot Suger initiated an extensive renovation program. His motives have been widely discussed by historians; it is clear that he was moved by religious and esthetic sensibilities, but because St. Denis was the royal abbey (and thus a symbol of royal power), its renovation was also a political statement at a time of unrest in France. In fact, the only loyal region to Louis VI was the Ile-de-France, and it was in the kings interest to patronize the rebuilding of the church. Suger wrote an account of his renovation program titled A Little Book on the Consecration of the Church of Saint Denis. The first major phase was the reconstruction of the west facade and the narthex: dismantling a certain addition said to have been built by Charlemagne we .....
St Genevieve Library
155. Paris, France
The St. Genevieve Library in the place du Pantheon, Paris, was designed in 1843 by Henri Labrouste (1801 1875) and built between 1844 and 1851. It is the first public building to have a frankly exposed structural iron frame. Wrought iron and cast iron, used to great structural and esthetic effect in engineering works since the late eighteenth century, were still widely regarded as unsuitable for legitimate architecture (except for decorative details like balustrades or ornamental hardware), simply because the classical and medieval styles that informed contemporary design provided no precedent for the manner of their use. That was despite their many advantages: they were incredibly strong in compression, noncombustible, and inexpensive; moreover, they could be prefabricated and mechanically fixed, thus avoiding wet work .....
St Katharine Dock
156. London, England
Toward the end of the twentieth century, because of technological changes in world shipping, the St. Katharine Dock area near Londons Tower Bridge was forced to alter its function after more than a thousand years as a trade center. That adaptation of building use foreshadowed a universal trend in which former warehouses became (usually luxury) apartments. For that reason, and because of the model cargo handling and storage design that it represented in the nineteenth century, St. Katharine Dock is worthy of a place in any list of architectural achievements. The Saxon King Edgar (reigned 959 975) granted 13 acres (about 5 hectares) on the site to several knights. Because they were permitted to use the land for profit, that gift laid the foundation for foreign trade. In 1125 the property and its small dock passed to a convent and a hospital was established; twenty-five years later Queen Matilda endorsed the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine. Wharves were later built along the tidal inlet, and the area became known as St. Katharine Dock late in the sixteenth century. It was in the eighteenth century that the Thames was changed from a relatively quiet river into the major commercial thoroughfare into the heart of London, center of world trade. Some sources claim that up to 800 vessels at a time were moored in the Pool of London, and market forces generated the 8.5 square miles (22 square kilometers) of the citys Docklands. Made at great social cost, the transformation was empowered by legislation: the West India Dock Act of 1799 authorized the first enclosed docks; the London Dock Act followed, authorizing a dock at Wapping. Between 1802 and 1806, the West India, London, and East India Docks became operational. The St. Katharine Dock Act was passed in 1825, and the following year the St. Katharine Dock was opened between the London Dock and the Tower of London. The engineer Thomas Telford was commissioned to build the new dock and faced the constraint of a very small site. Assisted by Thomas Rhodes, he designed a unique system of two connected basins the East Dock and the West Dock that provided maximum wharf frontage. They were linked to the Thames through a 180-foot-long, 45-foot-wide (45-by-14-meter) lock with three gates, and steam engines maintained the dock water level above that of the river. One of the largest engineering projects ever seen in London, at times employing 2,500 men, St. Katharine Dock took two years to construct. The neoclassical dock offices and especially the six-story warehouses, designed by the architect Philip Hardwick, were also revolutionary. Constructed virtually at the wharfside, they enabled cargo to be unloaded directly from ship to storage, saving time and reducing pilfering. Because they backed on the access roads, the warehouses also did away with the need for a boundary wall around much of the dock. The West Dock warehouses were completed by 1828 and those around the East Dock a year later. The largest were 470 feet long and 140 feet deep (144 by 43 meters). In all of them, squat, cast-iron Doric ground-floor columns supported vaulted brick and iron floors and the superstructure; the walls were of gray London bricks. The window frames were also of cast iron. St. Katharine Dock was officially opened on 25 October 1828. Although it was celebrated as an engineering, architectural, and commercial triumph, not everyone would have agreed. The London Times reported that the acquisition and clearing of the land for this magnificent speculation .....
St Pancras Station
157. London, England
Built between 1863 and 1865 for the Midland Railway, St. Pancras Station has been described as the epitome of the railroad buildings that evolved following advances in iron technology in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was one of a number of London stations, including Victoria and Charing Cross, erected during the 1860s railroad boom, when national and international travel was becoming more popular. St. Pancras established Midlands footing in the capital; coming as it did after other companies had erected their London terminals, it was deliberately intended to impress by its scale and architectural style. Its substantial train shed, designed by company engineer William Henry Barlow (1812 1902) with R. M. Ordish, achieved the widest single-arch span then built. This daring engineering accomplishment was unrivaled. Several years later, a grand Victorian Gothic, Revival hotel and terminus building was added to the front of the shed. Named the Midland Grand, it was designed by the eminent Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott (1811 1878) and constructed between 1868 and 1876. St. Pancras was built next to Kings Cross Station (1851 1852), the Great Northern Railways terminus designed by architect Lewis Cubitt. The dissimilar approach to the design of each station reveals a dilemma of the age the functional station building was celebrated as an engineering triumph and a demonstration of technological and structural progress but was not popularly, or professionally, accepted as real .....
St Pauls Cathedral
158. London, England
St. Pauls Cathedral in the city of London, created by the astronomer, mathematician, and designer Sir Christopher Wren (1632 1723), is the crowning work in the large oeuvre of one of the greatest English architects of his time, perhaps of all time. With it, English architecture regained the tradition of construction that it had developed for 400 years, and that had been displaced temporarily by Italian theories of proportion and emphasis upon appearance. Although it clearly drew upon classical and Italian models, Wrens great church was primarily concerned with space and the structural systems that achieved it. The earliest church on the site was a wooden structure built in a.d. 604 by King Ethelbert of Kent for Mellitus, first bishop of the East Saxons. It burned down in 675 and was replaced by Bishop Erkenwald in 685, only to be destroyed by Viking raiders seven years later. Again rebuilt, it was again destroyed by fire in 1087. A new Norman church, now known as Old St. Pauls, was completed in 1240 after 150 years in the building. It was consecrated in 1300. A Gothic choir was added by 1313, and the following year a 489-foot (150-meter) spire was completed. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the cathedral had fallen into disrepair and disuse. In 1633 Inigo Jones, Surveyor of the Royal Works, was instructed to restore it. He had renovated the transepts and nave in the modern .....
St Peters Basilica
159. Vatican City, Italy
St. Peters Basilica is the central place of the Roman Catholic Church. From its inception, it took 225 years to complete. No fewer than sixteen architects were responsible for it, under the patronage of twenty-two popes. Nevertheless, the great building presents a degree of integrity, of harmony (perhaps helped by the mellowing passage of the centuries) that might seem improbable given its heterogeneous and sometimes philosophically conflicting sources; that ultimate unity of form and detail is in itself no small architectural feat. In a.d 323, the first Christian Roman, emperor, Constantine the Great (died 337), commissioned a magnificent basilica on the Vatican Hill, south of the River Tiber. It was built with difficulty on the sloping site, its altar supposedly above the spot where St. Peter was believed to have been buried around a.d. 64, and dedicated to him. Twelve centuries passed from the building of Constantines basilica to the first phase of its demolition. Between 1309 and 1377, for political reasons, the papal residence was at Avignon, France. Rome became derelict; according to some sources, packs of wolves roamed the streets. Its churches were neglected, and the old St. Peters descended into decay, its walls leaning and its frescoes encrusted with dust and grime. With the popes again in residence, around the middle of the fifteenth century Rome succeeded Florence as the center of the Italian Renaissance, and in 1452 Pope Nicholas V (reigned 1447 1455) commissioned the architect Bernardo Rossellino (1409 1464) to build a new apse for St. Peters west of the old one. Rossellino, who had already restored the church of San Francesco, Assisi, and many other buildings in Italy, proposed to surround the choir and transept, continuing the elongated Latin-cross plan. But only the tribune and foundations had been built when Nicholas V died and work stopped. Pope Paul II (1464 1471) passed the project to Giuliano da Sangallo in 1470, but none of the subsequent three popes pursued it. Early in 1505 the warrior-pope Julius II (1505 1513) was considering what form his own tomb might take. The sculptor Michelangelo Buonarotti designed an imposing monument, but it called for an appropriate setting. Julius decided to rebuild St. Peters, and late in 1505, a competition was held for the design. The winner was Donato Bramante, who, inspired by the ancient Pantheon in Rome, proposed a Greek cross (all of the arms of which are equal), with towers at the corners and a central dome raised on a drum. Julius laid the foundation stone on 18 April 1506. Despite the theological and esthetic arguments for a centrally planned church, the Greek cross was impractical for the Roman liturgy and thus unacceptable to the clergy. Bramante lengthened one arm to form the traditional Latin cross. Much of Julius IIs money was diverted to wars with the French, and when his architect died in 1514, only the four main piers of St. Peters were completed. They determined all further developments. Juliuss successor, the Borgia Leo X (1513 1521), commissioned Rafaello da Urbino, assisted by Giuliano da Sangallo and Fra Giocondo da Verona. The latter two modified Bramantes plan to a slightly elongated central nave with three aisles on either side. They died in 1516 and 1515, respectively, and Rafaello simplified their plan, seemingly to little effect. After his death in 1520 the new architects, Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Baldassarre Peruzzi, and Andrea Sansovino, without fixed plans and [attempting] all manner of experiments, .....
St Pierre Cathedral
160. Beauvais, France
Beauvais is capital of the French departement of Oise, north of Paris. It already was an important center in pre-Roman Gaul. The Romans called it Bellovacum, and tradition has it that Lucianus, Maxianus, and Julianus founded Christianity there at the cost of their lives in about a.d. 275. Beauvais became a countship in the ninth century. Power passed to the bishops in 1013, although the date of the foundation of the diocese is unknown. The first cathedral was built in the tenth century alongside the Romanesque church still known as the Basse Oeuvre, and dedicated to Peter, the patron, saint of Beauvais. That cathedral was damaged by fire in 1180 and again in 1225, and reconstruction was undertaken. The second cathedral, never finished, is regarded by many as the most ambitious structure in Gothic architecture, one of the wonders of medieval France. Because it is among the last Gothic churches, the architects of Beauvais Cathedral were able to draw widely on the experience of other builders. The High Gothic phase (1225 1232) a five-aisle church with wide transepts and towers was commissioned by Bishop Miles de Nanteuil. But little was built before his funds were exhausted. Changes were made when work resumed in 1238 for Bishop Robert de Cressonsac; although more modest than de Nanteuils project, his church (had it been completed) would have been much grander than most of its contemporaries. But more significant changes were yet to be made. The final phase was built for Bishop William de Grez from about 1247. In order to allow more light to enter the churches, the High Gothic mason-architects pushed the structural boundaries to the limit by increasing the height of the vaults. Their architecture is distinguished by its emphasis on verticality and the apparent slenderness of the structural elements. In the rayonnant style the name comes from the spokes of its characteristic rose windows which became popular during the reign of Louis IX (1226 1270), the emphasis on height was displaced by the refinement of the masonry frame; the consequently larger window area produced the same net effect as greater height: more light penetrated into the church. Beauvais Cathedral synthesizes the High Gothic and the rayonnant. The piers were more widely spaced, thus reducing masonry and gaining more stained glass. Moreover, by superimposing a tall clerestory on the already lofty arcade of the choir, Williams architects added more than 16 feet (5 meters) to the height of the building, whose soaring vaults then reached 157 feet (48 meters) about three and a half times their span. The choir was completed in 1272. Its vaulting collapsed only twelve years later. When it was rebuilt (to the same height) between 1337 and 1347, additional piers placed between the existing ones strengthened the structure and allowed the builders to replace the quadripartite vaults with a more conservative sexpartite system. The flying buttresses were reinforced at the same time, and iron tie rods were introduced for extra security. Transepts were added in 1500 1548, and in 1558 1568 a 495-foot-tall (151-meter) tower was built over the crossing. It collapsed in 1773 and was never rebuilt. Even today, Beauvais Cathedral is without a nave. Debate continues about the reasons for the collapse of the choir. One theory suggests that the vaulting system was underdesigned, with too widely spaced piers, while another blames uneven and too rapid settlement of the foundation soil beneath the highly concentrated loads that weakened the buttresses and superstructure. Yet another attributes the failure to interruptions to the work and changes to the plans when the building was partly completed. Current experience presents a plausible alternative: the buttresses swayed (as they still do) in the gale-force winds that come off the English Channel, affecting the overall stability of the church. It seems likely that the choir ceiling fell through the combined effect of all these factors. The town of Beauvais was heavily bombed in 1940, and after World War II it was reconstructed to the original plan. Although the cathedral escaped the bombing, its structural stability is still compromised, for all of the reasons stated. Some well-meaning efforts at preservation have only exacerbated the problem. Informed and urgent action is necessary to save the highest medieval church in Europe. Beauvais Cathedral was included on the World Monuments Watch 2000 List of 100 Most Endangered Sites; in June of that year a grant to meet the engineering costs related to a structural-modeling project was received from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. .....
San Paolo fuori la Mura St Pauls outside the Walls
161. Rome, Italy
Perhaps the most demanding question that can be asked of any architect is to invent a building to suit a new purpose, and the provision of an adequate, even seemly, answer is indeed an architectural feat. From the beginning of the fourth century a.d., congregational worship by large numbers of people needed a hall, and the Roman basilica a civil law court became one model for churches in western Europe. The early Christian architects ingeniously combined the vast, articulated open spaces of the basilica with the familiar layout of the Roman domus to produce a new architectural type: the basilican church. San Paolo fuori la Mura, begun soon after 314 and completed in the thirteenth century, although completely rebuilt after 1823, is the clearest example, simply because the others have been modernized .....
Seikan Tunnel Seikan Tonneru
162. Japan
After two decades of planning and construction, the 33.5-mile-long (53.85-kilometer) Seikan submarine tunnel was opened to traffic on 13 March 1988. Part of a railroad between Aomori City and Hakodate City, it links Honshu, the main Japanese island, with Hokkaido to the north, passing under the 459-foot-deep (140-meter) Tsugaru Strait. The tunnel runs 328 feet (100 meters) beneath the ocean bed for 14.5 miles (23.35 kilometers); thus, at 787 feet (240 meters) below sea level, it is the deepest railroad line in the world. The journey between the terminals takes two and a half hours. It has been called one of the most formidable engineering feats of the twentieth century. .....
Semmering Railway
163. Austria
The 26-mile-long (41.8-kilometer) Semmering Railway climbs through an altitude of 1,400 feet (439 meters) over the Semmering alpine pass, at an elevation of 2,930 feet (898 meters), between Gloggnitz and M .....
Shell concrete
164. In 1919 Dr. Walter Bauersfeld of the Carl Zeiss optical works in Jena, Germany, proposed a planetarium. Following his 1922 success with a 52-foot-diameter (16-meter) iron-rod dome built on the roof of the companys building the first lightweight steel structural framework in the world Bauersfeld consulted the structural engineers Dyckerhoff and Widmann about a larger version. Then, together with their designers Franz Dischinger and Ulrich Finsterwalder, he built the worlds first lightweight thin-shell concrete dome for Zeisss sister company, Schott and Partners. It was 131 feet (40 meters) in diameter and only 2.4 inches (6 centimeters) thick. The new structural technology, honed in later structures, made possible clear spans of lighter weight than had ever been imagined. Because concrete shells depend on configuration rather than mass for their strength, and because they exploit the fact that concrete is essentially a fluid, they have been characterized as the ultimate concrete form. Some of the most exciting examples have come from Spanish engineer-architects. Eduardo Torroja y Miret (1899 1961) was perhaps the most innovative engineer of the early twentieth century, notable for shell concrete roof designs that employed continuous surfaces and eliminated the need for ribs. Three examples should suffice. Torrojas first thin-shelled concrete roof was for the Market Hall in Algeciras, Spain (1933 1934), designed in conjunction with the architect Manuel Sanchez. The low-rise dome, supported at six points on its perimeter, spans 156 feet (48 meters); it is only 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) thick. In 1935, working with the architects Carlos Arniches Molt .....
Shibam
165. Yemen
Surrounded by a 23-foot-high (7-meter) mud-brick wall, the Yemeni city of Shibam lies at the southern edge of the Rubal-Khali Desert at the junction of several wadis and the Hadramawt Valley. Popularly known as the Manhattan of the Desert, .....
Shwedagon Pagoda
166. Yangon, Myanmar
The most spectacular building in Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is the Shwedagon Pagoda, a great bell-shaped, solid brick stupa covered with an estimated 55 tons (50 tonnes) of gold. It rises 368 feet (112 meters) on Theinguttara Hill, above the city. The sixteenth-century English adventurer Ralph Fitch wrote that it is of a wonderful bigness, and all gilded from the foot to the top .....
Sigiriya Lion Mountain
167. Sri Lanka
Sigiriya (Lion Mountain), about 130 miles (210 kilometers) from Colombo in central Sri Lanka, is a ruined ancient stronghold built on a sheer-sided rock pillar. It rises 1,144 feet (349 meters) above sea level and 600 feet (180 meters) above the surrounding plain. On the summit King Kasyapa I (reigned a.d. 477 495) built a palace. Together with the surrounding gardens, it is the best-preserved first-millennium city in Asia, combining symmetrical and asymmetrical elements, changes of level, and axial and radial planning. The central rock is flanked by rectangular precincts on the east 234 acres (90 hectares) and the west 104 acres (40 hectares), all surrounded by a double moat and three ramparts. The city plan, based on a square module, extends 2 miles (about 3 kilometers) from east to west and over 1,000 yards (1 kilometer) from north to south, with precincts set aside for hunters, scavengers, foreigners, and even heretics. There were separate cemeteries for high and low castes, hostels, and hospitals. As well as the city within the inner and outer ramparts, suburban houses spread beyond the walls. Sigiriya demonstrated a sophisticated level of urban design at a time when Europe was in its Dark Ages. The origins of this remarkable architectural achievement are obscured by legend. A romantic if grisly tradition has it that Kasyapa murdered his father Dhatusena and usurped the throne. Seven years later, full of paranoia, arrogance and delusions of divinity, .....
Skellig Michael
168. Ireland
Skellig Michael (Sceilig Mhichil), or Great Skellig, is the larger of a pair of forbidding limestone pinnacles the other is Small Skellig jutting from the Atlantic Ocean about 7 miles (12 kilometers) off the Valentia peninsula at the southwest tip of Ireland. Skellig Michael, only 44 acres (17 hectares) in area, is dominated by two crags, one of 712 feet (218 meters) and another of 597 feet (183 meters). On top of the latter, reached via steep, winding stairways cut from the rock, there is an artificial platform with a cluster of six circular drystone huts (clochans), two boat-shaped oratories, some stone crosses, and a cemetery all that remains of a monastery established, possibly by St. Fion .....
Skyscrapers
169. Chicago
Only seldom for ideological, political or pragmatic reasons has a society called for a new building type. Ecclesiastes asserts There is nothing new under the sun, .....
Snowy Mountains Scheme
170. Australia
The Snowy Mountains Scheme, one of the largest engineering and construction projects in the world, extends over 2,700 square miles (7,000 square kilometers) in Australias Snowy Mountain Range. The Snowies, .....
Solomons Temple
171. Jerusalem, Israel
No archeological remnant of Solomons Temple survives. The Bible provides descriptions, and since it is generally believed that the architectural style was constrained by regional influences, the biblical account is augmented by knowledge of contemporary buildings in the region. It is very possible that it was the most expensive structure ever built, because the gold alone, valued at 2001 prices, was worth something in the order of U.S.$62 billion. Cost aside, the temple is an architectural achievement because during the seven-year course of its construction no sound of hammer, axe, or any other tool [was heard] at the building site. .....
Statue of Liberty
172. New York City
Originally titled Liberty Enlightening the World, the colossal statue on Liberty Island in New York Harbor stands nearly 307 feet (93.5 meters) high. It represents a woman of pre-Raphaelite appearance, draped in voluminous robes and crowned with a spiked diadem. Her right hand raises a flaming torch at arms length; her left carries a book emblazoned with, July 4, 1776 .....
Stockton and Darlington Railway
173. England
The Stockton and Darlington line, the worlds first public railroad, was opened on 27 September 1825. As well as carrying coal, the train drawn by Locomotion No. 1 .....
Storm Surge Barrier
174. Rotterdam, the Netherlands
More than half the Netherlands lies below sea level, and the little country is protected from flooding by about 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) of dikes. The process of global warming and the consequent rise in sea levels will challenge their adequacy, and many of them will need to be raised and reinforced. The extensive Deltaworks project, completed in 1986, secured the province of Zeeland by sealing off its sea inlets. Its northern neighbor, South Holland, remained under threat. Responses to disastrous floods in 1953 had included plans to raise the dikes in the region, but by the 1970s there was public resistance to a scheme that entailed demolishing many historic precincts. The alternative was the construction of a movable storm surge barrier in the man-made approach to Rotterdam Europoort. It is the busiest harbor in the world, and an average of ten ships pass through the New Waterway every hour. Technological and economic feasibility studies led to the construction of the Storm Surge Barrier, one of the engineering marvels of the late twentieth century. Otherwise known as the Maeslant Kering, it is located between the Hook of Holland and the town of Maassluis, a little under 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the North Sea. Built at a cost of 1 billion guilders (U.S.$500 million), it was opened on 10 May 1997. In response to the Dutch governments call for submissions, the Bouwkombinatie Maeslant Kering consortiums tender was accepted from among six competitors. Contracts were signed in October 1989, and the first pile for the hinge foundation was driven in November 1991. The barrier has a guaranteed life of 100 years. It consists of a pair of 50-foot-thick (15-meter) hollow, arc-shaped steel gates, each 73 feet (22 meters) high and 700 feet (210 meters) long and weighing 16,500 tons (15,000 tonnes). Each is attached by means of 795-foot-long (238-meter) latticed steel arms to a steel ball joint seated in a massive concrete socket on the riverbank. The 33-foot-diameter (10-meter) ball joints each weigh 760 tons (690 tonnes) and work with a tolerance of 0.04 inch (1 millimeter). The figures are almost meaningless, but in terms of comparative size, each half of the barrier the gate, the two three-dimensional trusses, and one ball joint weighs as much as two Eiffel Towers. Normally, the gates are parked .....
Suez Canal
175. Egypt
The Suez Canal, an artificial waterway across the Isthmus of Suez in northeastern Egypt, connects Port Said on the Mediterranean coast with Port Tawfiq on the Gulf of Suez, an inlet of the Red Sea. The 101-mile (163-kilometer) canal has no locks, making it the longest of its kind, sea level being the same at both ends. Because it exploits three natural bodies of water Lake Manzala in the north; Lake Timsah, almost exactly at the midpoint; and a chain known as the Great Bitter Lake in the south, accounting for about 18 percent of its length it does not follow the shortest possible route. For most of the canal, traffic is limited to a single lane, but there are passing bays, as well as two-lane bypasses in the Great Bitter Lake. A railway on the west bank runs parallel to the canal from end to end. It took a force of an estimated 1.5 million Egyptian laborers, often working under appalling conditions, eight years to dig the Suez Canal; more than 125,000 lost their lives. In every way, the project is comparable with the architectural and engineering feats of pharaonic Egypt. In fact, the idea of a navigable link between the Mediterranean and Red Seas dates from dynastic Egypt. Earlier canals joined the Red Sea to the Nile, with obvious economic advantages for the land of the Nile. The first, said to have been commissioned by Ramses I around 2000 b.c., linked the Red Sea and the Nile, and a second component was formed by a branch of the Pelusian River that extended to the Mediterranean. Other sources claim that the first canal was constructed in the reign of Tuthmosis III (1512 1448 b.c.), and still others that Necho II (reigned 610 595 b.c.) initiated it, but lack of maintenance meant that it later became unnavigable. Whatever the case, the Persian king Darius I (558 486 b.c.) ordered the work to be completed. His canal, linking the Gulf of Suez to the Great Bitter Lake and the lake to the Nile Delta, remained in good repair through the Macedonian era. It was redug in the time of the Roman emperor Trajan (a.d. 53 117) and again by the Arab ruler Amr Ibn-Al-Aas. When a trade route around Africa was discovered, it again fell into disuse until about 1800. About then, Napoleon Bonapartes engineers proposed a shorter route to India by digging a north-south canal through the Isthmus of Suez. But they wrongly believed that there was a difference in sea level of about 32 feet (10 meters), an error that undermined the feasibility of the project. The Egyptian khedive Mohammed-Ali (reigned 1811 1848) showed little interest in the scheme, and it lapsed for almost half a century. On 15 November 1854 the French diplomat and engineer Vicomte Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps, who had long championed a canal across the isthmus, approached Egypts new ruler, his old friend khedive Said, with a plan privately devised by a French engineer in Mohammed-Alis service. A. Linant de Bellefonds proposed a canal between Suez and Peluse, crossing the Great Bitter Lake and Lake Timsah. By the end of the month de Lesseps was granted a decree allowing him to dig the canal and manage it for ninety-nine years. A second agreement, signed in January 1856, ensured that the Suez Canal would be open to shipping of all nationalities and accessible for a transit fee. By December 1858 the Frenchman established the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez, and shares were quickly bought by investors from all over Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Construction work started on the Suez Canal in April 1859. Even during its construction, the canal was at the center of a political storm because of its critical military and economic importance. Before work started, the British and particularly the prime minister, Lord Palmerston were afraid that the French project would threaten their interests in India, and they tried to have the khedives decree set aside. When that failed, they used political pressure in an attempt to have the digging stopped, only six months after it had started. Such interference continued into the 1860s, after Said was succeeded by the khedive Ismael, who was persuaded to sell his shares in the Compagnie Universelle to Britain, making it the largest single shareholder. The Suez Canal was completed in August 1869. In the course of its construction, three new towns had been built Suez, Ismailia, and Port Said and millions of hectares of farmland had been created. Built at immense human and economic cost (about $330 million in modern values), it was officially opened at Port Said by the French empress Eugenie on November 1869. The great waterway originally had a width of 72 feet (22 meters) at the bottom and 190 feet (58 meters) on the surface. The channel was 26 feet (8 meters) deep. It has been enlarged and deepened many times. A couple of incidents have highlighted, at great economic cost, the Suez Canals critical strategic importance. In July 1956 Egypts President Nasser, in response to the British, French, and U.S. refusal of loans for the Aswan High Dam, nationalized the canal. That provoked the so-called Suez Crisis, beginning with the British and French invasion of Egypt in October. The Egyptians scuttled forty ships that were then in the canal. By the following March the United Nations had prevailed upon Egypt to clear and reopen the waterway. Ten years later, following the Six-Day War, when Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula, the canal was again closed to shipping. The Egyptians reclaimed it after the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, and, cleared of mines and obstructions, it was reopened in 1975. In 2001, about 6 percent of the worlds seaborne trade passes through it. Of course, it dramatically reduces the east-west voyage distance for vessels; for example, the route between Tokyo and Europoort in the Netherlands is only three-quarters of the distance of that around the Cape of Good Hope. The canal is a major source of income for Egypt, and the Suez Canal Authority continually makes improvements to it. The worlds largest bulk carriers vessels that are 1,600 feet long and 230 feet wide (500 by 70 meters), with drafts up to 70 feet (21.4 meters) can now navigate the Suez Canal. The duration of the passage is normally about twelve hours. Its present annual traffic capacity is over 25,000 vessels. Tanker traffic has declined, mostly because of competition from the 200-mile (320-kilometer) Sumed oil pipeline between the Gulf and the Mediterranean. .....
Sultan Ahmet Mosque
176. Istanbul, Turkey
The deeply religious Ottoman sultan of Istanbul Ahmet I (reigned a.d. 1603 1617) was enthroned at the age of fourteen. Six years later he commissioned his architect Sedefkar Mehmet Agha to build a mosque that would compete for size and splendor with the sixth-century Byzantine church of Hagia Sofia. A site was chosen facing the church across what is now Sultanahmet Square, and Ayse Sultan, whose palace stood on it, was duly compensated for its demolition. Construction started in 1609 on the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, probably the greatest achievement of Ottoman architecture. Its architect had been a pupil of Sinan, considered by many to be the best architect of the early Ottoman Empire. Mehmet Agha worked in the tradition of his former master, and one of the precedents for his design was Sinans Suleymaniye Mosque (1550 1557) on the west bank of the Golden Horn. The other was Hagia Sofia itself, on which the Suleymaniye Mosque was based anyway. All, Islamic or Christian, grew around the same major element: an almost square, vast central space crowned with a dome. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque occupies an area of 209 by 235 feet (64 by 72 meters). Its central dome, 77 feet (23.5 meters) in diameter and reaching a height of 140 feet (43 meters), is carried on pendentives above four pointed arches, themselves supported on round, fluted piers. The central structure is stiffened by a hemidome on each of its four sides and by cupola-covered piers at the corners; then, in the manner of much Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, the loads and thrusts are transmitted to the ground by a cascade of flanking ancillary structures.In front of the mosque stands a wide courtyard, enclosed by an openwork wall and entered on three sides through any of eight monumental gateways with bronze doors. The marble-paved inner court, with a central domed fountain for ritual ablutions, is surrounded by an arcade of slender columns of pink granite, marble, and porphyry, each bay-roofed with a cupola. Four marble minarets with pointed spires rise from the corners of the mosque; and two others, not as tall, at the outer corners of the court make the building, with six minarets, unique in Istanbul. They have a total of sixteen balconies, from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer, honoring the sixteen Ottoman sultans. Around the mosque was the extensive kulliye, a collection of buildings and functions including the Imperial Lodge (hunkar) on its north side, a hospital, a caravansary, a primary school, public kitchen and service kiosk, a bazaar for the trades guilds, two-storied shops, and a college (medrese). The architectural excellence of the Blue Mosque lies not in its structural ingenuity, because it was in fact highly derivative, nor in its challenge to the grandeur of Hagia Sofia, because it was much smaller than the ancient church. Rather, Sultan Ahmets building is remarkable for the splendor of its extraordinary decoration, especially the beautiful blue tiles that give the mosque its alternative name. Daylight is admitted through no fewer than 260 carefully placed windows, once glazed with stained glass, and when conditions are right the interior of the mosque is endowed with an ethereal blue haze. These tiles there are more than 21,000 of them were produced in nearby Iznik just when the industry was enjoying its highest level of achievement. There is an unsubstantiated tradition that the production of so many hand-decorated tiles completely exhausted the ceramicists, and the Iznik workshops began to decline. The tiles are painted with traditional floral and plant motifs, including roses, carnations, tulips, lilies, and cypresses, all in soft shades of green and blue on a white ground, and they cover the interior walls and piers to about a third of their height. The stunning effect of tiles and light is enhanced by other decorative details, including painted floral and geometrical arabesques on the domes and upper parts of the walls, although these are now for the most part modern replicas of traditional seventeenth-century designs. The graceful calligraphy everywhere is the work of Ameti Kasim Gubari. The wooden doors and window shutters, designed by Mehmet Agha, are inlaid with shell, mother-of-pearl, and ivory, and the pulpit (mimbar) as well as the niche indicating the direction of Mecca (mihrab) are both made of white Proconnesian marble, fine examples of Ottoman stone carving. Sultan Ahmet I died of typhus only a year after his mosque was finished, and his nearby tomb and that of his wife Kosem Sultan was completed by his son Osman II. .....
Sydney Harbour Bridge
177. Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, irreverently known as the coat hanger .....
Sydney Opera House
178. Sydney, Australia
The Opera House stands on Bennelong Point, which reaches out into Sydney Harbour, close to the famous bridge. It was designed by the Danish architect J .....
Taj Mahal
179. Agra, India
The Taj Mahal, Indias most recognizable icon, was built on the banks of the River Jamuna at Agra by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned a.d.1628 1666), in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begam, known as Mumtaz Mahal (Elect of the Palace), who died in childbirth in 1631. There is a tradition that, on her deathbed, she entreated her husband to build a tomb that would preserve her name forever. The funerary mosque, faced with white marble, was completed in 1653 after twenty-two years in the building. When it was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1983, the Taj Mahal was acclaimed as the most perfect jewel of Moslem art in India and .....
Temple of Amun The Hypostyle Hall
180. Thebes, Egypt
On the east bank of the Nile at Thebes, 440 miles (700 kilometers) south of the site of modern Cairo, stood the most extensive temple complex in ancient Egypt. From the time of the New Kingdom (1550 1069 b.c.), the northern end of this religious compound (near the modern village of Karnak) was dominated by the great temple devoted exclusively to the worship of Amun-Ra, King of the Gods .....
Temple of the Inscriptions
181. Palenque, Mexico
The modern town of Palenque is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Villahermosa and 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of the Gulf of Mexico in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco. The ruins of the ancient Maya city are a little to the south, perched in dense forests on a shelf carved from the Sierra Oriental de Chiapas and overlooking the basin of the Usamacinta River. The Spanish conquistadors named it Palenque because of the surrounding wooden palisade, but its Mayan appellation remains unknown. The city reached its greatest glory between a.d. 600 and 800, and Mayan stone architecture found its highest expression there in such imposing buildings as the several pyramidal temples, the palace, and of course the towering Temple of the Inscriptions. In December 1784 the mayor of Palenque, Jose Antonio Calderon, accompanied by an Italian architect named Antonio Bernaconi, found the ruins of the rumored lost city. The first serious investigation of the ancient site was made eighteen months later by Don Antonio del Rio, whose Mayan laborers cleared the jungle around the palace. Having demolished its interiors in search of gold, he found none. But his accurate report, published in 1822, motivated further study of Mayan civilization. Meanwhile, in 1807 the Spanish commissioned, one Guillermo Dupaix to investigate ancient Mexican sites, and his draftsman, Jose Luciano Castaneda, made drawings of Palenque that remained unpublished until 1834. The Mayan civilization dates from 700 b.c.; within a millennium it extended from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador through the lowlands south of Oaxaca into the Yucatan Peninsula. Architecture and all the arts flourished between a.d. 300 and 800. In this Classic Period their great cities were built upon the remains of earlier settlements. Their civilization began to collapse around 750, and after about 830 construction and development had come to a halt. In another 120 years the cities south of Oaxaca were suddenly abandoned. Many reasons have been given: climatic change, food shortages caused by overpopulation, epidemic disease, invasion, or a peasant revolution. In 1542 the Spanish conquest completed its demise. Because of the Mayas highly developed agricultural technology and the fertility of the region, an estimated five months a year were free from farm-work. The ruling classes shrewdly used this social surplus to build cities, pyramids, and temples, without resort to draft animals or the wheel. They could also support a separate class of specialist artists and craftsmen. The architecture of Palenque epitomizes the Classic Periods Western regional variant. The city became an important population center under Pacal (reigned 615 683). In 647 he built the so-called Forgotten Temple, .....
Tension and suspension buildings
182. Historically, post-and-beam construction and the arch (with its three-dimensional extensions) were regarded as the only ways to build. Both were constrained by a belief in the necessary permanence of architecture. Because the only available durable materials masonry of various kinds were strong in compression, structural systems exploited that property. A third way of building, the structure that used stretched filaments and membranes, was limited to short-life buildings like Arab tents because it was made from nondurable materials wood and animal or vegetable fibers. Two events would change that: the advent of structural steel and reinforced concrete after 1865, and synthetic membranes, after about 1950, combined to create architectural opportunities. Together, these new means to support and enclose provided architects with extensive esthetic possibilities; at last they were able to use the long-span systems that had long been available to bridge builders. The German architect-engineer Frei Otto advocated tensile-stress construction in a 1954 book Das hangende Dach (The Hung Roof). The following year the Australian architects Barry Patten and Angel Dimitroff of the firm Yuncken Freeman began design work for the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (completed 1959), an open-air theater in the city of Melbourne. Its structure comprises a network of steel cables supporting a roof of aluminum-plywood sandwich panels. The main cable is anchored on each side of the open end to large reinforced concrete blocks and draped between two 75-foot-high (22.8-meter) steel masts, 110 feet (33.5 meters) apart. Secondary cables span about 195 feet (60 meters) from the primary cable to converge on a reinforced concrete ground anchor, and the transverse tertiary cables that carry the roof cladding are draped over them and fixed to individual ground anchors. This early experiment in suspended roof construction is presently (2001) undergoing extensive restoration. Another early and important innovator was the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (1910 1961). In 1958 he designed, in conjunction with structural engineer Fred Severud, the 3,300-seat David S. Ingalls Ice Hockey Rink at Yale University. Saarinen used a 300-foot (92-meter) concrete arch that undulates (supposedly with the grace of a skater) on the long axis, crossing the arena and the entrance. From this structural backbone, which reaches 76 feet (23 meters) at its highest point, steel cables stretch to the building perimeter and carry a wood slat and an aluminum roof. Saarinens second essay in tensile construction, hailed as the third most significant building in U.S. history, was the dramatic main terminal at Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Virginia, built in 1962. Assisted by the structural engineer Joseph Vellozzi, Saarinen covered the 50-foot-high (15-meter) glass-walled space with a curved roof of insulated precast concrete panels covered with a ply membrane, high at the front, lower in the middle, slightly higher at the back. .....
Thames Tunnel
183. London, England
The Thames Tunnel was designed by the French-born engineer Marc Isambard Brunel and supervised by his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel between 1825 and 1843. The approximately 1,200-foot-long (365-meter) structure runs under the River Thames between Wapping on the north bank and Rotherhithe on the south in east London. Originally used for foot traffic, it now forms part of the London Underground system. The first tunnel ever built through the soft ground under a river, and the forerunner of modern tunneling techniques (including that used for the Channel Tunnel), it is widely recognized as a landmark feat of civil engineering. In 1798 one Ralph Todd had tried to build a tunnel under the Thames, further downstream between Gravesend and Tilbury, but the venture failed for financial and other reasons. In 1807, Robert Vazie and Richard Trevithick also attempted to construct a timbered tunnel. In January 1808 the river broke through. The hole was plugged with clay, the tunnel cleared, and work restarted, but a similar accident occurred a month later, when excavation was almost complete. Fearing that more clay dumping would endanger shipping, the authorities called a halt to the project. By about 1815 most of Londons docks were near Rotherhithe, while industry was springing up around Wapping. The nearest fixed crossing was London Bridge, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) upstream, and by about 1815 nearly 4,000 people a day were ferried in small boats; goods had to be taken on a costly, time-wasting detour over the bridge. In 1818 Marc Brunel patented his tunneling shield, enabling tunnels to be excavated by a technique commonly employed in coal mines, that is, by sinking vertical shafts and digging from within the shield. The 88-ton (80-tonne) cast-iron structure, built by Henry Maudley, consisted of twelve 3-foot-wide (0.9-meter) sections, each with, three compartments in which a man could work. It had a closed face, and at the front, angled jacks held horizontal timber boards in place. The tunneler removed the boards one by one and dug out 4.5 inches (11 centimeters) of soil, replacing the jacks against the board in a forward position. When the entire face had been excavated, the shield assembly was edged forward by the use of screw jacks, and brickwork lining was built behind it. Most contemporary tunnels were built using the cut and cover .....
Theater of the Asklepieion
184. Epidaurus, Greece
Every modem visitor to the fourth-century-b.c. Theater of the Asklepieion at Epidaurus marvels at its remarkable acoustics. The tearing of a slip of paper, a whisper, or the sound made by a struck match in the orchestra can be heard with perfect clarity everywhere in the theater, even at the very top, 250 feet (80 meters) distant. The theater epitomizes the skill of the ancient Greeks in the creation of a building type. That fact was already recognized in antiquity, when the traveler Pausanias praised its symmetry and beauty. The building is generally attributed to Polykleitos the Younger, and features of the design suggest an original date of around 300 b.c. For about eight centuries the Asklepieion was the preeminent healing center of the classical world. The cult of the god Asklepieos was active in the region as early as the sixth century b.c., and such was its success that the original sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas became too small for public worship. The fame of the place led to financial prosperity. In the fourth and third centuries b.c. an ambitious program to create monumental religious buildings was implemented: first the temple and altar of Asklepieos, the tholos, and the abaton, and a little later the Hestiatoreion, the baths, the palaestra, and the theater. The theater, whose overall diameter was 387 feet (118 meters), was built in two stages: the orchestra, the lower section of seating, and the stage building (skene, from which our word scenery .....
Three Gorges Dam Yangtze River
185. Peoples Republic of China
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River near Chongqing in Chinas central Hubei Province is the largest hydroelectric project in history, with twenty-six generators designed to deliver over 18,000 megawatts, 11 percent of the nations needs. Started in 1994 and scheduled for completion by 2014, it will provide electricity to rural provinces and facilitate flood management and improved navigation for the upper Yangtze. The controversial dam has been widely criticized within and outside China as a socially and environmentally harmful project. The 3,450-mile (5,500-kilometer) Yangtze is the worlds third-longest river. Midway on its journey from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea, it passes through a 120-mile-long (193-kilometer), exquisitely beautiful stretch known as the Three Gorges the precipitous Qutang, Wuxia, and Xiling one of Chinas most scenic regions. It will be submerged through the building of the dam. The huge dam five times wider than the U.S. Hoover Dam will create a 575-foot-deep (176-meter) reservoir nearly 400 miles (640 kilometers) long and an average of 3,600 feet (1,200 meters) wide. According to official Chinese sources, the lake will completely inundate 2 cities, 11 counties, 140 towns, 326 townships, and 1,351 villages; other figures are consistently and considerably higher. About 59,000 acres (23,800 hectares) of rich agricultural land and numerous some experts say nearly 1,300 important archeological sites will be lost, and an estimated 1.98 million people will be displaced and relocated. Other critics claim the project will increase the risk of earthquakes and landslides. It will also threaten fish stocks and such endangered species as the Yangtze dolphin, the giant panda, and others. As of 2001, the published estimated cost was U.S.$27 billion; the budget has soared from U.S.$10.57 billion in 1992 to a figure that unofficial sources place around U.S.$76 billion. The dam was proposed as early as 1919 by Dr. Sun Yat Sen (Sun Yi Xian), and it was revived when the Peoples Republic of China exploded into being in 1949. Chinese and international engineers and scientists were involved in planning and design. Despite public opposition, The Three Gorges Project Feasibility Study Report emerged in May 1989 and became a major issue in the Tiananmen Square incident in June, after which Premier Li Peng, mostly for political reasons, became the schemes principal sponsor. Following more feasibility studies, in April 1992 the National Peoples Congress approved construction, but about a third of the delegates either abstained or voted against it. The project remains the focus of a political tussle, the outcome of which will shift the balance of power in Chinas Communist Party. The main parts of the Three Gorges Project are the dam, the powerhouses, and the navigation facilities. The 7,550-foot-wide (2,310-meter) concrete gravity-type dam is over 600 feet (175 meters) high; its 1,580-foot-long (483-meter) spillway is located in the middle of the original river channel, flanked by intake dam and nonoverflow dam sections. If the dam is finished, two powerhouses will be built at the toe of the intake dams, one on each side; there will be fourteen generator units in the left powerhouse and twelve in the right, connected to fifteen transmission lines to Central China, East Sichuan, and East China. The completed ship lock on the left bank will consist of two-way, five-step flight locks, through which 10,000-ton (9,100-tonne) barges will be able to pass. The one-step vertical ship lift will be able to raise a 3,000-ton (2,700-tonne) vessel. Responsibility for all aspects of the construction and the eventual management of the project is vested in the state-owned China Yangtze Three Gorges Project Development Corporation, established in September 1993. Most of the cost is being met from within China, mainly through the Three Gorges Construction Fund, loans from the State Development Bank, and power revenues from the Gezhouba Hydropower Plant and (when Phase 1 is completed in 2003) from the Three Gorges project itself. Foreign financial institutions are conservative because of the dams ecological implications; for example, the U.S. Export-Import Bank opposed the dam in May 1996, responding to recommendations of the National Security Council. They refused to guarantee loans to U.S. companies tendering for work on the dam. Some finance comes from Canada and Germany. Excavation for the dams foundations were in progress by mid-1993, and the project was formally opened in December. The Yangtze was dammed in November 1997 and diverted through a channel to drain the building site on the riverbed. A new high-way and airport were built, as well as apartment buildings for the 18,000 workers employed on the project. In January 2000 official Chinese sources claimed that the Three Gorges Dam project was on schedule, and work was accelerating. As a last word, it must be added that some engineering experts have warned about the eventual success of the project. The promised power generation, flood control, and improved navigation all depend on the Three Gorges Project Development Corporation solving the potential problem of sedimentation in the reservoir. Because of the hugeness of the dam, there is no experience on which to draw to predict the rate of sedimentation, and it may seriously reduce the projects life and effectiveness. .....
Timgad Algeria
186. The Roman town now known as Timgad was founded in A.D. 100 on command of the emperor Trajan (reigned 98 117) and named Colonia Marciana Trajana Thamugas for his sister. It was built on a high plateau north of the Aures Mountains in Algeria (then Numidia), 94 miles (150 kilometers) south of the modern town of Constantine. The Third Augusta Legion, effectively the Roman police force in North Africa, was garrisoned nearby, and Timgad, designed for veterans, was the archetypal Roman colony. The regular well-ordered layout became one of the principal sources of city plans in Europe and the New World from the fifteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It is therefore significant in the development of Western architecture and urban design. In turn, the inspiration for Timgad comes from the Roman army encampment, the castrum. Perhaps because it was easy to set out, or perhaps because it suited military purposes, the right-angled grid formed the structure of the castrum, which might have served as a garrison for months or even years during a campaign. Two main streets, the Via Principia and the Via Praetoria, intersected at the legions command post. Both extended through fortified gates beyond the enclosing ditch and palisade. Many permanent towns later grew from a castrum; for example, most English cities with chester .....
Tower Bridge
187. London, England
Tower Bridge (1886 1894) is immediately and universally recognizable as an icon of London. Even during its construction, it was nicknamed Wonder Bridge .....
Treasury of Atreus
188. Mycenae, Greece
Between 1400 and 1200 b.c. Mycenae was the most powerful ancient Greek city-state. Its ruins now stand above the Plain of Argolis in the Peloponnese, near the modern village of Mik .....
Unite dHabitation
189. Marseilles, France
It has been accurately claimed that Le Corbusiers most influential late work was his Unite dHabitation in Marseilles. The eighteen-story apartment building, universally admired by architects but unloved by the people who live in it, is the first realization it was followed by three others elsewhere in France and one in Berlin, Germany of the famous Swiss architects theories of urban design formulated twenty years earlier. It also expressed the socialist housing ideals of CIAM (in English, International Congresses of Modern Architecture), developed after 1928, and spawned imitations throughout the world. It was, although perhaps for the wrong reasons, an important architectural event. Between the early 1920s and the end of World War II, Le Corbusiers most significant work albeit theoretical was in urban planning. In published plans like La Ville Contemporaine for a population of 3 million (1922), the Plan Voisin de Paris (1925) that proposed replacing the historic city with eighteen superskyscrapers, and a spate of classless .....
U S interstate highway system
190. The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways, inaugurated in June 1956 by the Federal-Aid Highway Act, is a 41,000-mile (66,000-kilometer) network linking 90 percent of the major cities whose population exceeds 50,000 and many other urban centers in the mainland United States. The bill earmarked $25 billion to be spent between 1957 and 1969, and the system was to be completed by 1972. Sinclair Weeks, then secretary of commerce, somewhat extravagantly claimed it to be the greatest public works project in history. .....
Vehicle Assembly Building John F Kennedy Space Center
191. Merritt Island, Florida
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded in 1958 with a brief to plan and conduct nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities and to develop international space programs. The 140,000-acre (56,658-hectare) John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island near Cape Canaveral, Florida, was originally established to support the Apollo lunar landing project. It is now operated by NASA as the main U.S. launching site for satellites and spaceflights. In terms of volume, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Space Center is the second largest building in the world, exceeded only by Boeings 747 aircraft factory in Seattle, Washington. Originally used to assemble Apollo and Saturn space vehicles, it was later modified to serve space-shuttle operations. It is an architectural feat because of its overwhelming size, but more because it was a building type without historic precedent. The new and difficult architectural design problems it presented (and addressed) have been clearly stated: The design of the assembly building had to allow for stacking the (110-meter) Apollo-Saturn space vehicle on top of its 14-meter-high movable launch platform .....
Venice Italy
192. Venice is one of the worlds densest urban places a compression of churches, great and small houses, and other buildings crowded around hundreds of piazzi and campi, little relieved with planting and having only two public gardens. Floating on a cluster of more than 100 low islands about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) off the Veneto region of the Italian mainland, the historical center of this remarkable city is surrounded by the shallow, crescent-shaped Laguna Veneta (Venetian Lagoon) and permeated by a network of over 150 canals, 400 bridges, and countless narrow streets known as calli. It is protected from the Adriatic Sea by the Pallestrina, Lido, and Cavallino littorals, a total of 30 miles (48 kilometers) of narrow strips of sand with seaward entrances to the lagoon. In fact, Venice is built in the sea, hardly a suitable place for a city, and it therefore provides a remarkable example of how humanity rises to meet a challenge. Why did the citys founders choose such a location? When he became sole ruler of the Huns in a.d. 446, Attila set out to extend his domain from the River Rhine across the north of the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. With the Franks and Vandals, five years later he attacked western Europe, only to be driven back by Roman and Visigoth armies. In 452 he invaded Italy, displacing entire communities, many of which fled to islands along the Adriatic coast, then inhabited only by hunters and fishermen. When Attila withdrew a year later the refugees returned to the mainland but not all. Some historians identify this relocation as the key to the eventual foundation of Venice. After Attilas death in 453, the Lombards rose to dominate what is now Hungary. Around 568 their king Alboin led an army of Lombards, Gepids, Sarmatians, and others into Italy, overrunning much of the Veneto. He would soon conquer Milan and the Po Valley; Tuscany would follow and, by 575, Rome. The people of the Veneto had again retreated to the lagoons. Because the Lombards remained in Italy, the refugees no longer had homes to which they could return and they remained on the islands. Late in the seventh century their numbers were augmented by more exiles from the harsh Lombard rule. In the lagoon, a loose confederation of communities emerged, owing allegiance to Byzantium. Each had its economic, religious, and organizational distinctives because it governed islands whose population originated in a specific part of the Veneto. By 726 the Iconoclastic movement a religious phenomenon demanding the destruction of holy images reached the Byzantine outposts in Italy. Although the rest of the Eastern Empire was loyal to the Orthodox Church, these Italian communities were bound to Rome. Prompted by the pope, they briefly asserted independence from Byzantium, only to think better of it later except Venice. The Venetians elected Orso Ipato as doge (leader) in 727, the first head of a polity that would last almost 1,100 years, the most enduring republic in history. When Orsos son Teodato succeeded him in 742, the seat of government was moved to Malamocco on the Lido, and Venice was recognized as an independent city within the Byzantine Empire. In 755 the pope urged the Frankish king Pepin the Short to invade Italy, ending Lombard rule; they were finally defeated in 773 by his successor Charlemagne. Charlemagnes son Pepin II sent a force against the islands of the lagoon in 810. It overran Chioggia and Pallestrina, the southernmost littoral island, before turning on Malamocco. Although the Franks were repelled with heavy losses, the confederation moved its capital to islands near the center of the lagoon that were protected from naval attack by sandbars. Formed by sediment from the Brenta River (the Grand Canal marks its former course), those islands were known as Rivo Alto or RiAlto (high bank). After the Franks withdrew, the capital remained there, and 828 saw the establishment of the city that has been known for eight centuries as Venice, with its famous Rialto bridge. Venice was built on its unlikely clutch of islands by gradually reclaiming land from the lagoon or by forming new land behind seawalls and dikes, backfilled with soil brought by boat from the mainland. Timber oak and pine for piles and larch for the boards was cut in the northern Veneto forests and floated across the lagoon. Multiple rows of piles were driven into the hard clay substrata under the muddy islands. In this way the natural waterways between them were turned into defined canals, and new ones were formed by blocking the ends, excavating the waterway, forming a bed of sand-clay mixture and then flooding it. Typically, since space has always been at a premium, the buildings of Venice stand literally on the edge of the canals, creating the citys unique appearance. Platforms of larch boards were laid on the tops of piles, supporting foundation courses of water-resistant Istrian stone. The superstructure of the buildings was usually brick, sometimes stuccoed or (for greater prestige) faced with decorative marbles and architectural moldings. Each island had its campo (field), an open space too small to be dignified with piazza. The campo had a communal reservoir, fed with rainwater from the surrounding buildings, and (usually) a church, sometimes with a freestanding bell tower called a campanile. These open spaces were the center of community life, the location for markets, shops, and warehouses in the ground floors of the surrounding larger houses. The parts of the island remote from the campo were reached through unpaved streets and alleys. From the beginning of the twelfth century, narrow thoroughfares and the corners of canals and bridges were provided with street lighting the first in any European city. Venice was divided into siestieri, or sixths, one of which the labyrinthine Santa Croce was eventually merged with two others, Dorsoduro and San Polo, the citys commercial core since the eleventh century. The others were Cannaregio, Castello, and San Marco, which has been the seat of political power since the age of La Serrenissima the Serene Republic of Venice. The glorious and sometimes bloody history of that republic is beyond our present scope. Suffice it to say that mostly through canny business skills and judicious conflicts, by the end of the first millennium a.d., Venice had secured the northern end of the Adriatic and soon after that established herself as a key maritime trade center, not only in the Mediterranean but also across the world to distant China. During the Crusades and after 1204, her territories were extended to the Aegean islands, Crete, southern Greece, and even part of Constantinople. Competition with other Italian seafaring states, especially Genoa, simply served to increase her commercial dominance, and in the fifteenth century she expanded on the Italian Peninsula, claiming (among other cities) Treviso, Padua, Vicenza, and Verona. The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, and the discovery of the New World in 1492, heralded her commercial and political demise. At Sapienza in 1499 the Venetian navy was defeated by the Turks, who took control of the Adriatic. At that moment, Vasco da Gama returned to Lisbon with news of a faster route to the Orient. Venice was forced to relinquish her long-held trade supremacy to the Portuguese, Dutch, and English. In 1797 the Treaty of Campoformio gave Venice to Austria; she next came under Napoleonic rule (1805 1814), and after several revolutions and wars of independence, in 1866 she was absorbed into the kingdom of Italy. Venice is again in danger. The enemies are both natural and man-induced: eustacy (variation in sea levels due to global climate changes); seasonal high tides and water surges as well as subsidence, caused largely by mismanagement of subterranean water sources; and pollution. The combined result of the three means that, in effect, the city in the sea is drowning. In the twentieth century it sank about 10 inches (25 centimeters), about twice the average rate of the previous fourteen centuries. Only half of that was due to uncontrollable changes in sea level. Pollution is of several kinds: Venice has no drains; vast quantities of human and industrial waste of all sorts flow into the lagoon, and its self-cleansing capacity has long been overtaxed. Although authorities recognize the need to address these problems, there is a paradox: the resident population has been displaced by millions of tourists, changing the citys economic profile. Although a series of defensive measures has been planned since 1994, the municipality of Venice finds it increasingly difficult to meet the cost of maintaining its precious monuments. That is despite an April 1973 resolution of the Italian central government, which declared .....
Villa Savoye
193. Poissy, France
The Villa Savoye at 82 rue de Villiers, Poissy, has been described as a house so important that architects travel from all over the world to experience its presence .....
Washington Monument
194. Washington, D.C.
The largest freestanding stone structure in the world is the obelisk built in honor of George Washington that stands about halfway between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. By legislation, it will remain the tallest structure in the U.S. capital The 91,000-ton (82,700-tonne) monument is 555 feet, 5 inches (166.7 meters) high and 55 feet, 5 inches (16.67 meters) square at the base. Its load-bearing granite walls are 15 feet (4.5 meters) thick at the bottom and 18 inches (45 centimeters) thick at the top, reflecting the 10:1 proportion of the overall dimensions. The granite structure is faced with white marble; because it came from different quarries first from Maryland and later Massachusetts there is a perceptible variation in color at about one-third of the height. Around the internal stair, 200 memorial stone plaques are set, presented by individuals, societies, cities, states, and foreign countries. At first, Washington acceded to the Congresss 1783 proposal to erect an equestrian statue of him in the planned federal capital. Faced with the problem of raising funds to build the city, he soon changed his mind. He died in 1799 and the following year, by agreement with his widow, Martha, Congress contemplated interring his remains in a marble pyramid beneath the dome of the Capitol Building, started six years earlier. Without money, the project was postponed until 1832, the centenary year of Washingtons birth. When his executors decided that his body should remain on his Mount Vernon property, the idea was abandoned. Possibly reacting to official indecision, a group of influential Washington citizens established the Washington National Monument Society in 1833; Chief Justice John Maxwell was its president. Publicizing its intention in the press and by direct appeal to churches, societies, and individuals, the society set about fund-raising. All U.S. citizens were invited to contribute $1, for which a certificate would be issued, but it was not until 1836 that enough money had been collected to finance a design competition for American architects. That resulted in a stylistic potpourri of ideas, including a (larger) variation on the pyramid theme and at least a couple of Gothic Revival proposals. Meanwhile, the fund was growing while the society waited for the government to fix a location, which it did in 1848. Robert Mills, said to be the first U.S.-born qualified architect, won the competition. He had been in government service for some years, designing among other public buildings the Patent Office and the Treasury in Washington, D.C. And about twenty years earlier he had produced a more modest Washington monument for Baltimore. His extravagant proposal for the national monument comprised a 500-foot (150-meter) obelisk, whose flattish pyramidal peak was adorned with a star; it rose from the center of a circular 110-foot-tall (33-meter) classical temple, between whose thirty-two Doric columns he proposed statues of Americas founding fathers. Above a central portico an enormous toga-draped figure of George Washington held the reins of a four-horse chariot. Construction began on Millss obelisk in the middle of 1848. On 4 July the 12-ton (11-tonne) cornerstone of Maryland marble was laid according to Freemasonic ritual by the District of Columbia Grand Lodge, launching a long association with the brotherhood of which George Washington had been a member. The society actively solicited contributions to the building fund from Masonic lodges throughout the nation, an appeal it repeated in 1853. It also asked other fraternities for money, but even including the sponsorship of the states the fund was almost depleted by 1854. Work slowed to a crawl. Worse came to worst. In 1854 the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing Party seized control of the societys records and elected its own members to office. The takeover was occasioned by Pope Pius IXs gift of a block of stone from the Temple of Concord in Rome that was stolen and destroyed by party members. Under the two-year Know-Nothing regime, the stream of private gifts, already reduced to a trickle, dried up completely. The obelisk rose just a few feet, poor work at that, before it stopped altogether. A more serious hiatus followed, caused by the Civil War; for more than 20 years, the Washington Monument stood unfinished at a height of about 156 feet (47 meters). In 1874, society secretary John Carrol Brent again pursued Masonic and other groups, this time with resounding, immediate success. Congress was less responsive, but the occasion of the American Centennial in 1876 raised national sentiment and funds were set aside. In August President Ulysses S. Grant authorized the government to complete the monument and to persuade the society to donate it to the American people. Public interest had waned by then, and Millss design was challenged. The temple was omitted, and there was strong criticism of the entire proposal. For example, American Architect and Building News described it as a monstrous obelisk, so cheap to design but so costly to execute, so poor in thought but so ostentatious in size .....
Watts Towers
195. Los Angeles, California
The Watts Towers comprise a group of imaginative structures at 1765 East 107th Street in south-central Los Angeles. Once threatened with demolition, they are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and enjoy the dual status of a State of California Historic Park and Historic-Cultural Monument and a National Historic Landmark (a distinction bestowed in 1990). Someone has described them as a unique monument to the human spirit and the persistence of a singular vision. .....
Weissenhofsiedlung
196. Stuttgart, Germany
An acute accommodation shortage after World War I led many European cities to develop low-cost public housing programs. In Stuttgart, Germany, the W .....
World Trade Center Towers
197. New York City
On the morning of 11 September 2001, terrorists targeted the World Trade Center in Manhattan, first crashing a hijacked commercial jetliner into the upper levels of One World Trade Center, one of its twin 110-story iconic skyscrapers. A few minutes later a second hijacked aircraft sliced through the middle levels of Two World Trade Center, the other tower. (A third airliner crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., while a fourth crash landed in a field in Pennsylvania, its intended target undetermined.) The effects were predictably devastating: both buildings burned fiercely before totally collapsing in clouds of dust and rubble that darkened the sky above Manhattan. A third building in the complex, a forty-seven-story office block (Seven World Trade Center), damaged by flying debris, followed soon after. In an earlier raid in February 1993 Arab terrorists exploded a 1,200-pound (550-kilogram) truck bomb in the Centers parking garage, creating a 150-foot diameter (46-meter) crater. Six people died, and over 1,000 were injured. Floors were destroyed for three levels below the point of detonation, but because of the load-bearing exterior walls, the structural stability of the building was largely unaffected. Tenants returned to their offices by the end of March. The cost of repairs was $250 million. The World Trade Center occupied a 16-acre (6.5 hectare) site a few blocks from Wall Street at the southwestern tip of Manhattan Island, near the bank of the Hudson River. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates and supervised by Emery Roth and Sons, it was the core of an urban renewal scheme sponsored by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to attract international firms to downtown Manhattan.The surviving parts of the complex are a twenty-two story, 818-room hotel (Three World Trade Center); two nine-story office buildings (Four and Five World Trade Center); and an eight-story Customs House (Six World Trade Center). With the destroyed buildings, they were grouped around the 5-acre (2 hectare) landscaped Austin J. Tobin Plaza. Beneath it is The Mall, with about sixty specialty shops, banks, restaurants, and function spaces. Before the tragedy, about 500 international companies were located in the center, employing 50,000 people. It had its own subway stations and its own zip code. In March 1999 U.S. construction executives named the World Trade Center among the top ten construction achievements of the twentieth century. For a short while the One and Two World Trade Center towers, at around 1,353 feet (411 meters), were the worlds tallest buildings, but they were superseded in 1974 by the 1,442-foot (450-meter) Sears Tower in Chicago. In 1998 the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, reached 1,483 feet (452 meters). Even higher buildings have been projected: for example, the Taipei Financial Center, to be completed in August 2002, will stand 1,660 feet (508 meters) tall and Hong Kongs Kowloon MTR Tower will be 1,903 feet (580 meters). As technically demanding as it is, great height does not qualify a building as an architectural feat. It was their structural system and the consequent creation of usable space that made the New York World Trade Centers towers remarkable. Ironically, it also was a contributor to their collapse. Yamasakis team was selected over a dozen other American architects. During the preliminary design phase, more than 100 proposals were reviewed, ranging from a single 150-story tower (its scale was far too large) to a series of lower towers (which looked too much like a housing project .....
Chourishi Systems