Amazing photograph of the P&O Building in London getting dismantled bottom up. It reveals how the whole building is actually supported by the structural utility core, and that volume does not equate to weight. [Daily Mail via BLDGBLOG]
The angle and composition of the photo reminds me of two painting, one by René Magritte and another by M.C. Escher exploring similar themes of volume and mass.
It also reminds me of how Buckminster Fuller – architect, engineer, innovator, inventor – was always concerned about how much a building weighed. He went on to construct the world’s first geodesic dome building in 1949, which was a building that could sustain its own weight with no practical limits. He gave practical meaning to the phase “less is more” when he said in 1980:
For the first time in history it is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known. Only ten years ago the more with less technology reached the point where this could be done. All humanity now has the option to become enduringly successful.
We see Bucky Fuller’s influence live on in sustainable architecture projects, best know of which is Habitat for Humanity.
A weight of a building, we now know, has more somber consequences in the aftermath of 9/11.