Millennium tower building London was one of the greatest architectural ideas that never materialized to become a building. The owner of the building, Trafalgar House had requested Forster and Partners to design the building for them. The building would have been the tallest building in Europe by then. Forster designed the ninety two-storey building to be three hundred and eighty six meters tall. The plan was one of the most peculiar designs at the time. It joined two asymmetrical eclipses at one of its ends. One of the main sponsors of the building English Heritage withdrew from the project following objections by the Heathrow Airport. The airport was concerned on the effects of the building in blocking some of its flight paths. This withdrawal led to the failure of the company in putting up the building (Foster & Jenkins, 2002). The structure of the building was very symbolic. It was greatly influenced by the need to keep in shape with the current trends.
One aspect that decided the structure of the building is the architectural fashion. For many years in the past, most architectural designs consisted of concrete or marble walls. The trends have been changing over the years. The building had adapted modern materials and styles of the building, which included concrete and glass walls, well-furnished marble tiles for the floor among many other things. The glass walls would not only increase the lighting and transparency of the building but also give the building a rare connection with the environment. The glass walls act as connection between the interior of the building and the surrounding environment. It would also reduce the use of electricity, as people would use natural lighting during the day. Research shows that glass walls provide a serene working environment compared to heavy concrete walls. The glass walls would allow people to view the city from inside the building thus enjoy the view of the city. The glass walls also make the building spectacular from the outside (Foster & Jenkins, 2002). Glass walls are one of the modern building accessories to beautify the building. Deconstructivism is the use of fragments in distorting the architectural shape. (Salingaros & Alexander, 2007). It provided the model with unique features that would make it outstanding from other buildings in the world. The building would employ deconstructivism in joining the two asymmetrical eclipses at one end.
The other factor that influences the design of the building is the relationship with the outside environment. One of the ways in which the superiority of a city is by the buildings it contains. One of the main functions of the building is that it would have been a landmark building in London. The London Millennium tower was to replace the former Baltic exchange building, which was bombed in 1992. Therefore, the building was supposed to be iconic and outdo the previous building. Located in the heart of London city the building would have to be attractive not only as the tallest building in Europe but also as one of the most modern (Krusweszki, T, 2012). The building hence was to be highly accessorized to fit its status in London. The building would be monumental and attract various tourism activities in the city. The design of the building and its height would be one of the identity features of London city.
The other factor that influenced the design of the building is its intended functions. The building would contain many businesses in it. Some of the businesses in the building would include hotels, restaurants, offices, conference halls among many other functions. These functions influenced the building’s design. The interior of the building would vary in different floors depending on the intended function of each floor (Handa & Potter, 2011). The building would incorporate the works of engineers to ensure that it was equipped with the latest technologies. These latest technologies would help in ensuring utmost comfort for various users of the building in their different activities. The building would accommodate people from different cultures and religions. Therefore the building from did not draw its inspiration from any religion. This neutral position in spirituality would ensure that the building accommodates people from all over the world.
Architecture is not just a method of building an art. It allows one to express his creativity and feelings through buildings. Buildings may much information about a certain city and express imaginations in the architects mind. The millennium tower would not only serve the purpose of being a business harbor in London but also express the superiority of the city. The superiority of the building would express the superiority of the city. Instead of the millennium tower the 30 St Mary Axe was. The 30 St Mary Axe would be a smaller building but equally elegant on its functions. Unlike the proposed millennium building, the 30 St Mary Axe is a 41 storey building with some of the world’s most sophisticated features. The building contains energy saving systems, which help in improving cost of operating business in the building. The 30S St Mary Axe building is an indication of how modern and sophisticated the London Millennium tower would have been if it were built. The company Foster and Partners have been one of the greatest influences in the world’s architecture. The evolution of the buildings gives a promising future in terms of designing quality buildings in the company (Foster & Jenkins 2002).
Gulf of execution refers to the difference between what systems allow users to do, how the systems support them, and the intentions of the users. Gulf of execution describes the goal of the user for action, and the means in which the goal is. This is the period between the setting up of an idea and its actual implementation. This period is essential for the success of any plan. Gulf of evaluation refers to the degree in which presentations are made by the system, which can be interpreted and perceived according to the intentions and expectations of the user. This refers to the evaluation of the success of a plan.
For a design to be termed as intelligent, the building should be equipped with good information systems (Krusweszki, T, 2012). The system should be flexible, economical, and secure too. Good buildings have modern designs. Hereby, fashion considered the form of life, which in a way guarantees a compromise between the trends in society. In the construction of buildings, the use of design provides a chance for the constructors to use the simple raw materials that are easily available and cheap, to construct modern buildings. Example, in the traditional buildings, glass was used, to let in light. In the modern construction, glass has not only to light the houses, but also as a construction element. Glass is in construction of floors and staircases. Glass is transparent and due to this reason; the building looks impressive. Light available in the buildings reduces stress to the people who use the buildings for studies.
An example is the British Cranfield University library. This is the example of a good idea. The roof around the building is of transparent glass. This makes it possible for light to enter into the library. The library is shell shaped, having rectangles of silver aluminum. The building is and due to this reason, the light absorbed in the daytime is during the night. The design and shape of the library makes it glow (Krusweszki, T, 2012).
Figure 1: Philologische Bibliothek – Freie Universität Berlin. Photo: D. Ausserhofer (Krusweszki, Tomasz 76)
An example that causes a problem is the John Hancock tower in Boston, which is one of the biggest architectural works. The building recently won an award for being the tallest building in Boston for over thirty years. The building was completed in 1976 and was one of the biggest works of architecture then. The building was among the first glass building ever. The building boasts of a legacy that it was among the first glass buildings (Pryor, R, 2003). Located near the shore the blue glass panes provide a good link between the building and the environment. The building contains blue glass panes, which contrast well with the sky during a clear day. Despite its successful completion, the building remains one of the biggest architectural failures. An overview into the construction of the building shows how poor evaluation techniques could deny the world its most prestigious buildings on earth.
The building designed intended to have a monolithic structure. The architect had a perfect plan for the building. However, mistakes in the gulf of execution led to collapse and failure of the building (Pryor, R, 2003). The initial budget for putting up the building was seventy-five million dollars. By the end of the project, the building had consumed a hundred and seventy-five million dollars. One of the failures during the construction of the building was in the excavation of the foundation. The company had built temporally steel walls to hold the mud and clay effectively. However, the steel walls bend allowing the mud into the vicinity damaging the footpaths and a neighboring building. The company had to repair the footpaths and compensate the neighboring building for their losses. The other problem was the recurrent problem of falling glass panes in the footpaths. The architects failed in choosing an appropriate size of glass and ways to hold them up. Whenever wind came in high speeds, the glass panes fell off crushing on the ground. The building became a threat to people using the footpaths around it. The police had to close the footpaths whenever there was wind moving above seventy miles per hour. The falling glass panes led to people questioning the integrity of the building as a whole. Investigations into the matter revealed that the falling off the glass panes was caused by poor quality of the glass used. The threat was quite high, and the building could have collapsed with increased speeds of the wind. The company had to use huge funds to reinforce the building.
Figure 2: Hancock plane of the Charles River, (adopted from John Hancock Tower website)
The success of a good idea in architecture lies in its implementation. For this reason, the gulf of execution is one of the most important things in the building industry. If activities in the gulf of execution are conducted in the correct manner, then there is likely to be a success in the building industry (Brien, P. K, 2001). The John Hancock tower of the in Boston is a good example of how bad management in the gulf of execution may ruin a good idea. The building was on the verge of collapse and ended up using more than twice the initial budget. The British Cranfield University library is a good example of how a well-executed plan can work. The gulf of execution is a factor in the implementation of good plans.
Brien, P. K. (2001). Urban achievement in early modern Europe: golden ages in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and London. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Foster, N., & Jenkins, D. (2002). Norman Foster: works. Munich: Prestel.
Handa, R., & Potter, J. (2011). Conjuring the Real the Role of Architecture in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Fiction.. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press
Klingmann, A. (2007). Brandscapes: architecture in the experience economy. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Krusweszki, T. (2012, Feb. - Mar.). Tomasz Kruszewski* The symbolic motifs in contemporary architecture of libraries – most frequent trends. architectus,1(31), 75-82.
Pryor, R. J., May, E. E., Hart, W. E., Rintoul, M. D., Johnston, A. M., & Watson, J. (2003). Detection and reconstruction of error control codes for engineered and biological regulatory systems. Washington, D.C.: United States. Dept. of Energy
Salingaros, N. A., & Alexander, C. (2007). Anti-architecture and deconstruction (2nd enl. ed.). Solingen, Germany?: Umbau-Verlag.