2 Successful Design and Design Failures

This chapter contains examples of successful design and instances in which design failed. It is written entirely by students at NUI Galway. 


Citigroup Center

By Joseph Harkin

Citigroup skyscraper
Base of the Citigroup skyscraper in midtown Manhattan.

The Citigroup Center also known as 601 Lexington Avenue was both a design thinking failure and success. This 279m tall skyscraper was almost New York City’s first to fall. This was caused by St. Peter’s Church. One of the conditions for the developers was to let the church stay where it had stood for decades.  This forced the architects and engineers to move the building’s stilts to the centre of the building. This required the chevron pattern of the buildings internal skeleton to be welded. But during construction without the engineer’s consent the developers decide to bolt the building. Normally this would not be an issue, but a New Jersey student of engineering phoned the engineer about a discrepancy with the building. They discovered that a diagonal wind of 112Km/h(70mph) would cause the structure to fail. They ended up hiring as many welders as they could find, making the repairs over 3 months during the night. This story was not brought to the public’s attention for nearly 20 years.




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