The Eiffel tower is an iron lattice located on the Champ de mars in Paris. The building was erected in the year 1889 and was named after a contractor as well as engineer who was among the most influential people in its construction, by the name Gustave Eiffel (Greene 56). It is the tallest building in Paris having 108 stories. It was the tallest man-made structure until the Chrysler building was built in New York in 1930. However, the addition of the antenna at the top of Eiffel tower in 1957 has now made it taller than Chrysler building by 5.2 meters. Exclusive of the broadcast antennae, this tower is the second tallest structure in France, the leading being Millau Viaduct. The tower has become a global cultural icon of France across the world, being the tallest structure in Paris. It also is the most visited monument in the world and has tourism has its main source of revenue.
Tokyo tower is an Eiffel tower inspired lattice tower which was built in 1958. It is a communications and observation tower located in the Shiba-Koen district in Tokyo in Japan (Jonnes 112). On its construction, it overtook Eiffel tower and was rated the tallest man-made structure in the world until 2010 April when it was overtaken by the new Tokyo Skytree. It is the second tallest structure in Japan. Unlike the Eiffel tower which was originally constructed to demonstrate the new engineering skills and other innovations, the Tokyo Tower was constructed to serve as a symbol of Japan’s re-birth as a major economic power and for radio and television broadcasting. The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna for radio and television broadcasting. However, just like the Eiffel tower, this monument too attracts tourists and has thus got its main sources of revenue being tourism and antenna leasing.
In terms of decoration, the Eiffel towers comprise majorly of brown and yellow shades of color. The paint used is graduated in tone so as to suppress the effects of atmospheric perspective. The color of the paint is also altered periodically and is changed at every repainting. The Tokyo Tower comprises majorly of white and international orange colors. It is in compliance with the air safety regulations. Just like the Eiffel Tower, this one is also periodically repainted to maintain its aesthetic value. Its lighting is usually changed to different shades depending on the nature of events.
Observatories and elevators
Eiffel Tower has got three levels for its visitors. The first and second levels have got restaurants for visitors. There are observatories in its three levels, the third level observatory being 276 meters above the ground. To ascend the levels by stairs or elevator, one can buy tickets. One may use the stairs only up to the second level, but the stairs to the third level are closed to the public and thus that the level can only be accessed by an elevator.
Unlike Eiffel Tower, Tokyo Tower has got two observatories; one main observatory in its second floor and a special observatory in its last floor. In order to access the main observatory, one boards the elevators that are located at the first floor of the foot town. In order to move from the main observatory to the special observatory, one has to buy tickets and board an elevator from the second floor of the main observatory.
Height and weight
Eiffel tower is 324 meters tall, which is the equivalent of 1063 ft tall and weighs approximately 10,000 tones (Mosman 45). As at its construction in 1889, this tower was the world’s tallest structure. However, with the construction of other new buildings, it has since lost its position as the tallest lattice tower as well as the tallest structure in France. Tokyo Tower overtook the position of Eiffel tower as the tallest man made structure, on its construction. It has got a height of 333 meters, which is the equivalent of 1,093 ft. However, the tower is much lighter than Eiffel tower despite being taller, and it weighs about 4,000 tones. Tokyo tower is up to date the tallest self-supporting steel structure in the world.
The shape of the Eiffel tower is similar to the geometric shape of a four sided pyramid. The triangular design of the tower gives it the rigidity of the triangular shape. The towers frame is majorly made of a web of triangles. The base comprises of four large semi-circles of either side of the tower. The curvature of the tower’s legs is such that it offers maximum resistance to wind. The tower throughout its structure has got hundreds of triangles and parallelograms as well as perfect rectangles formed by the railings.
Eiffel tower was constructed such that it slightly sways in the wind. However, the sun affects it more since when the sun-facing side of the tower heats up, the top moves as much as seven inches away from the sun. The sun too causes the tower to enlarge by about six inches. The shape of the Tokyo Tower is similar to that of Eiffel tower. Both of them have got a triangular shape. It confers stability to both the structures. Their stands are also such that they offer substantial resistance to wind.
In popular culture
Under this aspect, both towers have got a marked similarity. In Paris France, the Eiffel tower is used in popular culture, to locate a particular scene. In Tokyo, the Tokyo tower is also used in a similar way.
Construction methods of Eiffel tower
1. Piles and pillars:
The building of Eiffel tower was started in 1887. The people who worked at the initial stages of constructing the tower started the construction with the erection of pillars by injecting concrete under great pressure into waterproof forms. The stones used in laying the base were of the hard variety. Eiffel employed the use of metal water boxes that enabled the workers to work under water level on the banks of the Seine. Having established the pillars, piles were constructed. These are the four stands of the tower that merged at the second floor at a height of 115.73 meters off the ground (Caldecott 92). They thus resulted in one pillar from the second to the third floor.
2. Assembling of beams
A new technique improvised by Eiffel was used in joining of the beams. The technique involved three distinct steps. The brooch served to loosen the structure and bolts were used to keep the beams together without leaving any gaps. The bolts were then replaced by rivets that were fixed to designed holes having been thoroughly heated. The heads of the rivets were then crushed and the metal could be molded to keep them firmly in place.
3. Jacks and scaffolds
During the assembling of the first floor, it was noted that a number of centimeters were missing. So as to compensate for this, two 800-to hydraulic jacks were positioned under the pillars to lift them a bit. Another technique used at this level involved the use of bags filled with sand. These were placed between some beams to allow for adjusting of these beams. The beams so handled were slightly raised above their original levels, sand from the bags gradually drained and the beams eventually fixed. Specifically fitted scaffolds were designed before assembling the first floor. Four of them were established to support each pillar. One scaffold 50 meters in height were erected in the center of the tower so as to provide support to the first floor.
4. The Eiffel tower’s catching wind
Eiffel implemented a new technique to reduce the towers susceptibility to the wind. It was done by establishing a very wide base and ending the tower in a summit. It served to minimize the surface of contact between the tower and the wind. The beams were also designed so that the wind had minimal effect on them as it was pushed to either side of the beams. Eiffel having constructed this structure using only beams made of metal, the wind gets through the tower and areas of contact are limited. It, however, does not hinder the up to six centimeters movement of the tower when the wind blows.
As a decoration, the Eiffel tower is painted in different colors. And to keep it from rusting, this painting has to be regularly done. After completion of the construction of the tower, it took the painters a period of seven years completely to paint the entire tower. When the painting was finished, the painters again had to begin where they had started. As such, the tower is painted every seven years. The base of the building is painted in a dark color which appears brown with some traces of red. The color then becomes lighter higher up the tower and ends in a yellow shade at the summit. The regular painting of the structure makes it appear ever new.
Construction techniques of Tokyo Tower
The general structure of Tokyo Tower is a replica of Eiffel Tower. The difference between them majorly is the material used, whereby Eiffel used wrought iron while Tokyo Tower used steel. Tokyo Tower just like Eiffel tower too was constructed using the piles and pillars. The base of Tokyo tower has got four main pillars that support the entire structure. Rivets too were used in joining of beams and various steel rods in its construction. The technique used was similar to that of Eiffel towers since both of them were structured so that their susceptibility to wind is minimized.
Tokyo tower also bears an additional structure at its base that is known as the foot town (Nakanishi 74). It is a four story building with various features and activities going on in the different floors. Any visitor visiting the Tokyo Tower must first pass through the foot town which homes the elevators used to get to the various floors of Tokyo Tower.
The first floor has got a reception shop, an aquarium gallery, reception hall with a capacity of 400 people as well as a number of souvenir shops. This floor contains three elevators that lead to the main observatory. As such, these three elevators comprise the main tourist attraction feature at this floor. The second floor comprises of food and restaurant shops. There also are shopping sections. The third floor too houses several tourist attractions, the main one being the Guinness World Records museum that has a wide variety of monuments and archived objects.
The main material used in the construction of Eiffel tower is wrought iron, as opposed to steel that is commonly used in most construction activities. Eiffel settled on the use of this material in constructing the tower because he was well versed with this material that was also much cheaper than steel. The tower is made of 2.5 million rivets, 15,000 pieces of iron and 40 tones of paint. Approximately 50 tones of paint are added every seven years to protect the tower from rust. The Eiffel tower weighs approximately 10,000 tones, 7.3 thousand of them being the metal.
The Tokyo tower, on the other hand, unlike the Eiffel tower was constructed of steel. A third of the steel used was obtained from scrap steel of the US tanks damaged in the Korean War (Rowthorn 85). For maintenance purposes of the steel structure of Tokyo tower, it is repainted every five years unlike Eiffel tower that is repainted every seven years. The painting process takes twelve months. This tower requires approximately 28,000 liters of paint to paint the entire structure.
Eiffel tower was constructed as the world’s first skyscraper. It was majorly constructed to showcase the country’s innovations as lifts as well as their engineering techniques (Huang 37). In the present, it has got three platforms having two restaurants, several buffets, a banquet hall, a number of unique gift shops as well as a champagne bar. It also is a monument that has attracted tourists across the world, both for educational, as well as recreational purposes. The tower too is used as a radio and television broadcasting tower, hosting many broadcasting stations, as well as an observation tower courtesy of its height.
Unlike the Eiffel tower, the Tokyo Tower was built originally for purposes of television broadcasting (Firestone 112). Radio antennas were established in 1961 for communication purposes, but the tower is now used in signal broadcasting for some Japanese media outlets. The tower presently houses radio and television broadcasting antenna as well as several different attractions. In the present times, the tower broadcasts, digital television, digital radio, analogue television and analogue radio. The tower too has got two observatories, the main one at 150 meters off the ground, and the special one at 250 meters off the ground. From these points, visitors can view virtually the entire landscape of Tokyo.
A similarity in function of the two towers is that both are used as tourist attraction monuments. People across the world travel to their specific locations for academic, as well as recreational reasons. The tourism activities are the ones that comprise the main source of income for both monuments. The two towers currently also serve as points from which both radio and television stations broadcast their signals.
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