In the spring of 2002, I wrote a book entitled
Falling Glass: Problems and Solutions in
Contemporary Architecture. The research for
Falling Glass helped me understand how
glass failures could be avoided and enlightened
me as to which innovations were being
explored within the glass industry. Originally,
the book was to include the investigation of
a variety of building materials. Ria Stein, the
book’s editor, encouraged me to concentrate
on glass with an offer to investigate other
materials in future publications. Failed Stone
represents a continuation of my research
on building materials, specifically concrete,
masonry, and stone.
Concrete and stone seem made to last forever. But the fact is they develop structural damage over time. While not always as dramatic as the collapse of a roof section at the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in 2004, gradual changes also occur that may compromise a building's appearance and structure. These changes include efflorescence, thermal stress, material incompatibilities, corrosion, and impact. Failed Stone systematically analyzes cases of damage in contemporary international architecture and offers strategies for minimizing the risk of damage. Examples include such high-visibility structures as Finlandia Hall in Helsinki by Alvar Aalto, Renzo Piano's Parco della Musica in Rome, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington. In nine chapters, typical kinds of damage are explained and illustrated with real-world examples.
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