5 of the biggest architectural blunders

Image credit: GorianEmpathy, CC by 4.0

1. Kemper Arena, Missouri, US

In 1979, the Kemper arena boasted a roof designed to hold water and release it slowly. the building wasn’t equipped to deal with a rainstorm, however, and the weight of the pooled water soon proved too great and the roof collapsed.

Image credit: Public domain

2. Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Washington, US

To save on cost, the engineers of the tacoma Narrows Bridge used cheaper and insufficient materials during construction. this made the structure very unstable in high winds, and it soon collapsed after a particularly gusty day in 1940.

Image credit: Doctorindy, CC by 3.0

3. Tropicana Field stadium,
Florida, US

Tropicana Field is home to the tampa Bay rays baseball team. Somewhat bizarrely, the stadium has a fixed roof, meaning that baseballs sometimes collide with the lighting, obstructing potential home runs and showering players or fans with shards of glass.

Image by jplenio from Pixabay

4. Walkie Talkie skyscraper, UK

London’s well-known ‘walkie talkie’ building is eye-catching due to its concave shape. Unfortunately, this design choice concentrates sunlight onto the ground below, generating enough heat to melt the bumper of a Jaguar.

Image credit: Public domain

5. John Hancock Tower, Boston, US

John Hancock’s namesake acquired a poor reputation shortly after construction was completed when its windows began falling out onto the streets below. It wasn’t long before huge swaths of the window panes were empty and had to be filled with plywood.

 This article was originally published in How It Works issue 099, written by James Horton 

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