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Falling Glass: An Analysis of Building Failures

Patrick Loughran

  • Format: Book

  • Pages: 160

  • Publisher: Birkhauser

  • Date Published: Apr 2003

  • Stock Code: 31998

  • ISBN: 9783764367121

  • Binding: Hardback

Description

Problems in construction have existed for as long as architecture itself has enclosed our spaces, and the types of defects and their causes are as varied as the architecture itself. Particularly in glass structures there have been some catastrophic problems in recent years. In a sense it would seem that modern architecture with its complex technologies and ingenious details is especially prone to defects. It would almost be true to say that the more daring the design, the greater the risk of flaws.

For this very reason, this selection of examples includes such renowned projects as Waterloo Station in London, the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the Galeries Lafayette in Berlin, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Bibliothque de France in Paris.

However, the author is not appealing for a return to more conventional building styles, rather he aims to demonstrate how typical defects can be avoided. The book can be seen as a catalogue of facade failure modes, examining defects due to water leakage, corrosion, combinations of incompatible materials, insufficient redundancy, climatic influences, and wear and tear of materials. Each chapter is devoted to a particular form of damage, providing an analytical description of the basics of the phenomenon, illustrating it with one or more examples, and concluding with helpful strategies designed to avoid repetition of defects. In addition to pointing out problems, the author also examines enclosures that have been successful.

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