architecture

Wallace Sabine and the Field of Architectural Acoustics

Wallace Sabine and the Field of Architectural Acoustics

On June 13, 1868, American physicist Wallace Clement Sabine was born. Sabine founded the field of architectural acoustics as the outcome of his investigations on the effect of absorption on reverberation time. Sabine was acoustical architect of Boston’s Symphony Hall, widely considered one of the two or three best concert halls in the world for its acoustics. Wallace Sabine graduated from Ohio State University in 1886 and pursued graduate study at Harvard University. Afterwards,…
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The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

The Broughton Suspension Bridge and the Resonance Disaster

On April 12, 1831, the Broughton Suspension bridge collapsed, reportedly due to mechanical resonance induced by troops marching in step. But, also wind can be the cause for mechanical resonance which leads to disaster, such as for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940. But, also buildings can be affected, such as the 39-story shopping mall called the “Techno-Mart” in Seoul, Korea, that had to be evacuated because of people synchronously exercising Tae Bo. The…
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Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

Jean-Rondolphe Perronet and the Bridges of Paris

Jean-Rodolphe Perronet (1708-1794) On October 27, 1708, French architect and structural engineer Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was born. He is best known for his many stone arch bridges, among them his most popular work, the Paris Pont de la Concorde. Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was born in Suresnes, a suburb of Paris, the son of a Swiss Guardsman. At 17 he entered the architectural practice of Jean Beausire, “first architect” to the city of Paris, as…
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Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

Squire Whipple – The Father of the Iron Bridge

On September 16, 1804, US-American civil engineer Squire Whipple was born. He who provided the first scientifically based rules for bridge construction and has become known as the father of iron bridge building in America. The civil engineer was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts in 1804 the son of a farmer. He was exposed to construction sites and materials from early age, since his father designed, built and ran a cotton-spinning mill in…
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El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

El Escorial – The World’s largest Renaissance Building

A distant view of the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial Image by Ecemaml On September 13, 1584, the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometers northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, is finished. El Escorial is the world largest Renaissance building. Philip II of Spain appointed the Spanish architect, Juan Bautista de Toledo, to be his collaborator in the design of El Escorial. The architect…
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Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

Louis Henry Sullivan – the ‘Father’ of the Skyscaper

Chicago Auditorium Building by Sullivan and Adler On September 3, 1856, American architect Louis Henry Sullivan was born. Sullivan is identified with the aesthetics and innovation of early skyscraper design. Called the “Father of Modernism”. Sullivan studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting at the age of only 16. Already one year later, he moved to Philadelphia and was hired by architect Frank Furness. Sullivan continued his career in Chicago, where he…
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Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey(1855 – 1925) On September 10, 1855, famous German architect and self-trained archeologal historian Robert Johann Koldewey was born. He is best known for his discovery of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq, where he excavated the foundations of the ziggurat Marduk, and the famous Ishtar Gate. Robert Koldewey studied architecture, archeology, and art history in Berlin, Munich and Vienna but dropped out without graduating. Koldewey left for…
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Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle – The Impossible Dream of a Mad King

Neuschwanstein Castle, photo: Tauno Räsänen (wikipedia) On September 5, 1869, the foundation stone of the most prominent fantasy castle in the world was laid, Neuschwanstein. Commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat, the 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace is located on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany, and served as an inspiration for for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Intended as a personal refuge…
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The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

The Hyperbolic World of Vladimir Shukhov

Vladimir Shukhov(1853 – 1939) On August 28, 1853, Russian engineer-polymath, scientist and architect Vladimir Grigoryevich Shukhov was born. He is renowned for his pioneering works on new methods of analysis for structural engineering that led to breakthroughs in industrial design. He was one of the most outstanding designers and constructors of the 19th and 20th century. Moreover, he is considered as one of Russia’s most important engineers. Vladimir Shukhov was always known…
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The Cologne Cathedral – More than 600 Years of Construction

The Cologne Cathedral – More than 600 Years of Construction

On August 14, 1880, after more than 600 years the construction of the Cologne Cathedral, the most famous landmark in Cologne, Germany, was completed. The World Heritage Site is Germany‘s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest facade of any church in the world. The Cathedral as we know it today…
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