The Eiffel Tower
It is an epitome for an age, an epitome for the city of Paris, and the whole of France. The structure of such allegorical magnitude, imprinted so deeply into the human society, is truly hard to find. Envisioned as a monument to the technological progress of the time, the centerpiece of the 1889 World‘s Fair, at its 986ft height, it stood the tallest structure in the world until the Empire State building was built. Complex space truss, made of 18000 pieces of puddled iron has such immense scale that it becomes a steel lace, spanning over the colossal frame.
The way it had overshadowed the city was fiercely criticized by the cultural elite of the time of its building, and yet, half a century later, the images of the city were unimaginable without it. The artist community that has first opposed the installment of the tower was the one to later turn it into a symbol. At the time, it was also seen a triumph of engineering over architecture as the gap between the two had been widened.
Today, the inevitable spike of the Paris skyline contour, the structure visited by millions, mentioned by thousands of musicians, writers, seen in hundreds of movies, proves that visionary endeavors of architecture or engineering can make permanent, profound impact on the culture, beyond borders and generations.
Love architecture? Purchase this exclusive photo of the Guggenheim by Stephen Je