Eiffel Tower – Mysterious facts behind designing historyPosted by Continental Tour Guide in Guide | 0 comments
A symbol of best engineering structure the Eiffel Tower, designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was completed for the 1889 World Fair, which happened to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
When it comes to explore the most popuar iconic landmarks of the world, eiffel tower has the great place among them, a best example of the enginnering structure. It attracts the large amount of mass from the every conrner of the world. The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris. It is the tallest structure in Paris and among the most recognized symbols in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is a premier tourist destination. For the Universal Exhibition of 1889, a date that marked the centenary of the French Revolution, the Journal Officiel launched a major competition to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars. The tower would have a square base, 125 metres on each side and 300 meters high.” The project proposal by entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier and architect Stephen Sauvestre was chosen out of a total of 107. Fifty engineers and designers produced 5,300 drawings, and over 100 workers built more than 18,000 different parts of the tower in a workshop. Another 132 workers assembed them on site. Had it not been M. Gustave Eiffel who won the $800 first-place prize in the design competition for 1889’s Exposition Universelle, the Paris skyline would look very different today.
Why it was built?
It may a mystery and hidden secret for some people, what is the major reseason to build eiffel tower. It was built to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Organizers of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution, staged an open competition to design a spectacular centerpiece to their world’s fair. Out of 107 proposals, they selected the design submitted by Eiffel along with architect Stephen Sauvestre and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.
Eiffel designed part of another famous landmark
When the initial designer of the Statue of Liberty’s interior elements died suddenly in 1879, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi hired Eiffel as his replacement. Already renowned as a structural engineer and railway bridge designer, Eiffel designed the skeletal support system to which the statue’s copper skin is affixed. Today, a scale model of the Statue of Liberty stands on an island in the River Seine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
Metal framework weight: 7,300 tons
Total weight: 10,100 tons
The force of the wind causes the top of the Tower to sway 6 to 7 cm. Heat also causes the tower top to move, with a curve of movement measuring 18cm (7.09 inches).
1889 (height with flag): 312.27m (1024.5 ft)
1991 (height with antenna): 317.96m (1043.18 ft)
1994 (height with antenna): 318.70m (1045.60 ft)
2000 (height with antenna): 324.00m (1062.99 ft)
The Design of the Eiffel Tower
The plan to build a tower 300 metres high was conceived as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889. Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, the two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. It was to be designed like a large pylon with four columns of lattice work girders, separated at the base and coming together at the top, and joined to each other by more metal girders at regular intervals. The company had by this time mastered perfectly the principle of building bridge supports. The tower project was a bold extension of this principle up to a height of 300 metres – equivalent to the symbolic figure of 1000 feet. On September 18 1884 Eiffel registered a patent “for a new configuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 metres”
In order to make the project more acceptable to public opinion, Nouguier and Koechlin commissioned the architect Stephen Sauvestre to work on the project’s appearance. Sauvestre proposed stonework pedestals to dress the legs, monumental arches to link the columns and the first level, large glass-walled halls on each level, a bulb-shaped design for the top and various other ornamental features to decorate the whole of the structure. In the end the project was simplified, but certain elements such as the large arches at the base were retained, which in part give it its very characteristic appearance.
The curvature of the uprights is mathematically determined to offer the most efficient wind resistance possible. As Eiffel himself explains: “All the cutting force of the wind passes into the interior of the leading edge uprights. Lines drawn tangential to each upright with the point of each tangent at the same height, will always intersect at a second point, which is exactly the point through which passes the flow resultant from the action of the wind on that part of the tower support situated above the two points in question. Before coming together at the high pinnacle, the uprights appear to burst out of the ground, and in a way to be shaped by the action of the wind”.
Work on the foundations started in January 1887. The tower is comprised of 18, 038 pieces of wrought iron and 2 and half million rivets. No drilling or shaping was done on site. If any part did not fit it was sent back to the factory for alteration. The critical stage of joining the four legs at the first level was complete by March 1888. Although the metalwork had been prepared with the utmost precision, provision had been made to carry out small adjustments in order to precisely align the legs: hydraulic jacks were fitted to the shoes at the base of each leg, each capable of exerting a force of 800 tonnes, and in addition the legs had been intentionally constructed at a slightly steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the scaffold.
No more than three hundred workers were employed on site, and because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died during construction. The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889. Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years. It was to be dismantled in 1909. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit.
Other facts and secrets
- Explore some other best things to know which may maysterious for some guys:
- It is named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company was in charge of the project.
- The Eiffel Tower is 320 metres (1050 feet) in height and was the tallest man made structure in the world for 41 years before being surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York.
- The Eiffel Tower is made of iron and weighs around 10000 tonnes.
- Around 50 tonnes of paint are added to the Eiffel Tower every 7 years to protect it from rust.
- Despite its height, the Eiffel Tower was designed to be wind resistant, swaying only a few inches in the wind. It actually moves further when the iron on the sun facing side heats and expands, moving the top up to 7 inches (18 centimetres) away from the sun.
- Temperature also alters the height of the Eiffel Tower by up to 6 inches (15 centimetres).
- Millions of people climb the Eiffel Tower every year and it has had over 250 million visitors since its opening.
- Visitors can climb up stairs to the first two levels or take a lift which also has access to the third and highest level.
- Being so popular, the Eiffel Tower design has been recreated around the world, including the half scale replica at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel in Nevada, USA and the
full scale Tokyo Tower in Japan.
- Not everyone liked the Eiffel Tower when it was first built, with many criticizing its bold design.
- The French name for the Eiffel Tower is La Tour Eiffel, it also has the nickname La dame de fer which means the iron lady.