The first dome that could be called “geodesic” in every respect was designed after World War I by Walther Bauersfeld chief engineer of the Carl Zeiss optical company, for a planetarium to house his planetarium projector. The dome was patented, constructed by the firm of Dykerhoff and Wydmann on the roof of the Zeiss plant in Jena, Germany and opened to the public in July 1926. Some 20 years later, R.Buckminster fuller named the dome “geodesic” from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in 1948 and 1949. Snelson and Fuller worked developing what they termed “tensegrity,” an engineering principle of continuous tension and discontinuous compression that allowed domes to deploy a lightweight lattice of interlocking icosahedrons that could be skinned with a protective cover. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he developed the intrinsic mathematics of the dome, thereby allowing popularization of the idea — for which he received U.S. patent 2,682,235 29 June 1954.
The Empire State Building is built on a full city block. Much of it was occupied by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which opened in November 1897 as the city’s largest hotel with 1050 rooms. It was one the most prestigious in New York and attracted an upper-class clientele. At the end of the 1920s however, the grand and plush design of the hotel had gone out of style and Waldorf-Astoria decided to build a new larger hotel uptown. After the site was cleared, construction started on March 17, 1930. Thanks to an efficient design and standardized work – similar to an assembly line – the building would rise at an average of about four and a half floors a week, faster than any other skyscraper at the time. The building was officially inaugurated on May 1, 1931 in the presence of governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.
More than any other building in the world, the Empire State Building represents the ambition of humans to build towers that reach for the skies. The skyscraper is probably New York’s best known building and can be seen on many postcards.
Burj Khalifa, known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 m.
Burj Khalifa lifts the world’s head proudly skywards, surpassing limits and expectations. Rising gracefully from the desert and honouring Dubai with a new glow. Burj Khalifa is at the heart of Dubai and its people; the centre for the world’s finest shopping, dining and entertainment and home for the world’s elite.
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The MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts is a national museum dedicated to contemporary creativity, located in the Flaminio neighbourhood of Rome, Italy. It is managed by a foundation created by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. It was designed as a multidisciplinary space by Zaha Hadid and committed to experimentation and innovation in the arts and architecture.
The building is a composition of bending oblong tubes, overlapping, intersecting and piling over each other, resembling a piece of massive transport infrastructure. The MAXXI consists of two museums: “MAXXI art” and “MAXXI architecture”. In addition to the two museums, the MAXXI also features an auditorium, a library and media library specialized in art and architecture, a bookshop, a cafeteria, a bar/restaurant, galleries for temporary exhibition, performances, educational activities. The large public square designed in front of the museum is planned to host art works and live events.
It is an extraordinary building. Built on the old shipyard that dominated the centre of Bilbao until the industrial collapse of the 1980s, Gehry’s structure clearly echoes the ships that were built there, with its metallic skin, its central mast and lookout, its prow and stern, and its mixture of curvaceous and angular shapes. It also seems to float on the river, its moat-like lake connecting with the river water.
The outside is covered in titanium tiles, thin as paper but very strong and rustproof, which glimmer spectacularly in the sunlight, and look incredible against the blue skies which we so often have here.
The Guggenheim is built around the lower parts of the structure of the bridge, and the bending tower helps to link the bridge to the museum, creating a kind of gateway into both the town and the museum. This effect is heightened by the bold red archway which was also built over the bridge.
Leading architectural and historic buildings expert Dan Cruickshank showcases the famous Villa Savoye in France, designed by the renowned Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Designed in the 1920s, the Villa Savoye is an example of one of the first attempts at influencing design principles by taking into account the use of light and space for healthier living and introducing open plan as a concept. Dan Cruickshank shows us around the Villa and explains Le Corbusier’s desire to design a house as a machine for living in.
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