In the evening of the 9th of May, a large crawler crane collapsed in Varese, Italy while lifting a large section of a new viaduct at the Arcisate Stabio railway yards. The piece of concrete bridge was never put into place, as the Vernazza-owned crane lost its stability and overturned, dumping its load on the ground. Although several people were on site watching the operation, luckily no one was injured. The crane’s operator is also safe, as he managed to get out of the cabin in time, jumping from a height of nearly three meters.
Designed by architects Alison and Peter Smithson during the 1960s and completed in 1972, Robin Hood Gardens is considered by some people as one of the most important post-war Britain's social housing development. However, it is set to be demolished in the coming weeks to make way for a suite of new housing blocks.
The Russian Duma recently approved the bill (in its final form) concerning Moscow’s residential face-lift. Up to 7,900 aging apartment blocks (a full 10% of the city’s housing) is set to be torn down and replaced with high-rise apartments. Most of them are the so-called “Khrushchevka” flats (after the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev), prefabricated five-story buildings, built during the Soviet housing boom of the 1950s and 1960s. These are apartments with thin walls, low ceilings and generally poor architectural design. The project, which is considered one of the largest urban resettlement programs in history as 1.6 million people will be resettled, is estimated to cost around 300 billion rubles ($5.3 billion) over three years. However, officials project the longer-term cost of relocating and rehousing the residents over 20 years will be at least $53 billion.
It was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade spun, making landfall in Texas. Harvey developed from a tropical wave to a Category 4 storm, coming ashore on August 25th and causing historic flooding. At peak intensity, the hurricane’s wind speed reached 130 mph. Check below structures that didn’t cope with these powerful winds and the major flooding in the area.
On the afternoon of October 16th, the roof of Douglas Community School’s PE hall in Cork, Dublin City in Ireland was ripped off by the extreme winds of storm Ophelia. Being a hurricane as it crossed the Atlantic, Ophelia has reached the UK and Ireland yesterday, exactly 30 years after the Great Storm of 1987 that killed 18 people. It was anticipated to be the worst storm to hit the country in more than half a century, so many schools were closed and troops were placed on standby.
On this day in 1977, a small embankment dam located above Toccoa Falls Bible College in Georgia failed, releasing a wall of water that killed 39 people. This dam failure along with several others in the 1970s brought drastic changes in dam safety, such as the establishment of the National Dam Safety Program and many relevant state programs around the country. There are more than 90,000 dams in the US, out of which more than 15,000 are classified as high-hazard-potential structures, meaning that their failure would likely cause loss of life.
Construction work in China is taking place at a frenzied pace the last few years, but since all that new infrastructure requires space, in many occasions buildings have to be torn down and residents to move in order to make room for new projects. There are however, dwellings that stand alone like a nail that refuses to be hammered down, the so-called ‘nail houses’, when owners resist dispossession of their land by developers or hold out for better compensations.