August 17, 2014

"So Mr Joy, you say our tower is totally dodgy and might fall down, what is your solution?"

"An enormous angry owl."

From "Great Mistakes in English Medieval architecture." Via Metafilter.


tim maguire said...

I think it makes these acheivements even more amazing knowing that they had all same same flaws and dealt with all the same faults and mishaps that big construction projects deal with today.

rhhardin said...

Escher could have designed the fix for them.

Anonymous said...

"I wouldn't worry. Someday everyone will go in for open plans and they'll take a sledgehammer to the enormous angry owl. If the tower falls, it'll be on them."

eddie willers said...

As FLW said: "Plant ivy".

Fernandinande said...

It's amazing that they built those buildings without using electricity or internal combustion engines.

tim maguire said...

They lacked not only most of today's tools, but much of the math as well. And as it took decades to build, few worked on more than one and almost none saw both the start and the finish.

Imagine constructing Notre Dame under those conditions.

John henry said...

I've heard it said that most of these cathedrals could not be constructed today. We just don't have the knowledge of stoneworking.

We also don't have the patience for 100 year projects.

And getting building permits would be a bear.
"Well, mr building inspector, we have no actual engineering plans, we are just sort of figuring it out as we go along."

Yeah, that'll fly.

Related: I had read Ken Follett's book Pillars of the Earth years ago. It is a novel about building a large cathedral in the 1200's.

A year or two back BBC did an 8 part miniseries of the book. I saw it on Netflix last month. Terrific!

When you see what actually goes into this, cutting each stone by hand, moving huge blocks of stone with nothing more than oxen, lifting them God only knows how, it makes it even more amazing.

John Henry

Michael K said...

Ran out of money or marble .

Bologna cathedral.

John Lynch said...

It's easy to make fun of these medieval buildings, until we realize they've been standing for eight or nine hundred years.

Do you think anything we've built lately will still be standing in eight centuries?

Peter said...

"Do you think anything we've built lately will still be standing in eight centuries?"

Not if it relies on reinforced concrete for structural integrity.

Because, concrete always cracks. And when it does, water gets inside and rusts the rebar, which expands and breaks away from the concrete.

And that's a good thing. Would you want those Brutalist monstrosities to endure for 8-900 years?