The Strangest Oversights In Building Design

When it comes to construction, it always pays to be prepared, working closely with construction experts, architects and surveyors to ensure that an ambitious design works as intended.

Oversights have affected some of the most ambitious and famous buildings in the world, such as how an oversight with construction foundations led to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

However, this is not the only time an oversight has caused a strange or potentially dangerous situation, as the following stories will show.

20 Fenchurch Street

Often known as the Walkie-Talkie, the gigantic bulbous skyscraper that has been described as amongst the worst planning disasters in London’s history was criticised enough for its somewhat ostentatious design.

What made it worse was an oversight with the top-heavy design that caused the building to curve outward and form what was effectively a concave mirror, which during a 2013 heatwave caused light to focus on street level to such an extreme level that cars melted and doormats set on fire.

When asked about the issue, Rafael Vinoly, who had seen a similar issue with the Vdara Hotel project in Las Vegas, noted that he did not expect London to be so sunny.

Stata Centre

The Ray and Maria Stata Centre at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were designed in an ambitious deconstructionist style, similar to successful buildings like the Imperial War Museum in Trafford or the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Whilst the building was intentionally controversial from a design perspective, the biggest issue it had was that the strange design choices were made with aesthetics in mind over practicality, which led to water damage, cracked masonry, mould, failing drainage and emergency exits blocked during icy winters.

This led to a lawsuit calling the design “deficient” but was ultimately settled out of court once the more major issues had been fixed.

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