August 10, 2013

"In what will surely go down in history as one the greatest architectural blunders..."

"... the town of Benidorm in Alicante, Spain, had almost completed its 47-story skyscraper when it realized it excluded plans for elevator shafts."

And I thought the blunder was that the building looks like a giant pair of pants. No elevators, eh?

ADDED: Apparently, the blunder is only looking like a giant pair of pants.

65 comments:

AaronS said...

Somewhere Mayor Bloomberg is smiling. On the other hand the advertising potential of this design is impressive. Haggar and Dockers are in a bidding war right now.

Tank said...

Can I show you something nice in a 40th floor walk up?

AlanKH said...

David Letterman, call your real estate agent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwide_Pants_Incorporated

traditionalguy said...

Again the uselessness and total waste of what was being built was never a factor to its planners.

Like Obama's Bullet Trains going everywhere, the project was just a pretty picture to mesmerize the voters while the Officials looted the place using borrowed money dumped into massive kick back schemes for "friends" of the officials.

The same method is being used now on Windmill Farms, Solar Panel Farms, and Obama's Electric Car Industry which are all as useless as high rise buildings without elevators...but so what...the true goal is being met.

PBGolfer said...

It's just an advertisement for enlarged prostate drugs.

Bob Boyd said...

On the subject of Spanish design flaws, their new, 2 Billion Euro submarine is 70 tons too heavy. If it submerged it wouldn't be able to resurface.
Its named the Peral.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336953/Spains-1-75bn-submarine-programme-torpedoed-realising-near-complete-vessel-70-tonnes-heavy.html
Is that a face palm by the Naval officer in the picture?

Steve Austin said...

Wow. Yes the incompetence in socialist Spain runs high. This is the country that Jim Doyle and Tom Barrett thought we needed to model here in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately I see some situations like this in our future. I believe there is a large new building in Vegas that was not built to code specs and will need to be torn down.

Google Harmon Hotel. What a mess. Will be torn down. Brand new.

tim maguire said...

How is it possible that the construction workers didn't notice?

Paddy O said...

Call it The Wrong Trousers.

One Eye said...

Wool

elkh1 said...

The building that was set to be a "standard for the future" has instead become a terrible reminder of the present age of decadence and excess... corruption,
incompetence, and fraud.

FORWARD!

Christy said...

The architects I know are terrific, but the superstar architects who gain accolades strike me as entirely style over function. Gehry and Koohaas, for example. Do you not think this 47 story blunder is a fine example of narrative trumping truth, magical thinking...?

ErnieG said...

"This is a great apartment if you're into cardio."

Big Mike said...

The architects are going to have to mount the elevators on the outside of the building, if the structure can bear the load.

But even in Spain you'd think there would be layers of review where someone would actually look at the drawings and ask the question.

wendybar said...

American Thinker calls this the Obamacare building!!

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/the_obamacare_building.html

Tibore said...

What is it with Spain? First, the Ciudad Real "Ghost" airport (abandoned after only 3 years... but costing billions to build), now this. That government has every sign of total incompetence.

Bob_R said...

External elevators will look like something crawling up the pant legs for an extra dose of creepiness. At least they aren't shorts.

peoplearenotstupid.com said...

Necessity being the mother of invention, this "oversight" might be an opportunity in disguise.

"What floor, sir?"

"18th"

"And how much do you weigh, sir?"

"175 pounds."

"Let's see, 12 and a half stone. That'll be the green bungee, sir. Should be one coming down from the 36th floor any moment now."

And suddenly the problem of awkward elevator silences has been solved.

Sam L. said...

Well, then sue the pants off the architechtural firm.

lemondog said...

Looks like it’s made out of Legos.

I guess they could add an elevator shaft to the outside the each ‘leg_o’.

lemondog said...

Looks like it’s made out of Legos.

I guess they could add an elevator shaft to the outside the each ‘leg_o’.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

From the linked article:

The initial backer of the project, Caixa Galicia, stopped paying workers for four months around the time it realized — after about 23 floors had been completed — that a service elevator hadn't been installed for the 41 workers who had been hauling materials up 23 flights of stairs.

You'd think that that little snafu might have prompted someone on the project to ponder the subject of elevators more generally, yes? But, noooooo. Reality trumps The Onion, again.

Captain Curt said...

This story hit an engineering forum I frequent a few days ago and some of the denizens there did some digging. They concluded that this claim was likely an overstatement.

It seems that no work elevator was installed during most of the construction, so workers had to haul many supplies by hand up steps. It also seems that such elevators as are there are only adequate for the use of a 20-story building.

William said...

How did they get that crane to the top of the building?

tsj said...

"Spain, had almost completed its 47-story skyscraper when it realized it excluded plans for elevator shafts."

Silly sentence leading off silly reporting. Spain is a geographic entity that realizes nothing. Many people, however, realized that the building had no elevator shafts, yet the building proceeded, not apace but behind schedule and over budget.

"The building that was set to be a 'standard for the future' has instead become a terrible reminder of the present age of decadence and excess."

A silly sentence to end a silly article. The problem is not decadence and excess. The problem is crony capitalism. Whenever government and business get in bed to serve the people, the people usually get the shaft. In this case, they didn't get even that.

David said...

The building does look like a pair of pants.

Complete with Codpiece.

They could run the elevator down between the legs.

It could light up at night, just like a real penis.

Edward Lunny said...

I have read another report on this snafu that indicated that the architects had recently walked off the job. Perhaps those funding the building should be suing said architects for their particularly egregious incompetence. Geez.

Indigo Red said...

On the other hand, it could be the building of a stronger, healthier future.

cubanbob said...

Of course all of the architectural and engineering plans were submitting and approved by the relevant regulators.

In my youth I traveled a lot to Benidorm and the surrounding areas. Intelligence and common sense were uncommon traits in those areas back then. As we Cubans say " Gallegos al fin. Brutos".

Still it's a very pretty area. A beautiful long beach chock-a-block covered with Nothern European titties you could hopscotch from end to end. Then afterwards you can enjoy a lovely seafood paella with a good bottle of white wine in a beach side restaurant while enjoying the views. Follow that with a nice long siesta to get rested for a night of serious partying in the clubs. Good times.

Edmund said...

There is an old tale that a 6 story apartment block was built in the USSR without an elevator. The assigned residents sued in court. The architects and builders were round guilty of incompetence and sentenced to live on the top floor.

Mary Beth said...

I think it had elevators, it's just that when they decided to make the building that was planned to be 20-stories tall 47 stories, they just extended the shafts. It seems they needed to increase the room for the larger motors needed to lift it the extra 27 stories.

Source: http://economia.elpais.com/economia/2013/07/20/actualidad/1374340685_911593.html

Beorn said...

Nice...codpiece?

PDS said...

And ugly pants at that.

Carol said...

The hubby who is expert in all things construction, says they had to have a freight elevator to take up the internals..so the workers schlepped stuff 23 floors before anyone noticed?
Some weird management dynamic going on there.

chrisnavin.com said...

After a long day of drinking beer and wearing speedos on the beach, many German tourists could use the exercise.

Hail the Euro-State!

John A said...

The original plans were for a twenty-story building, and had elevators. A different company was contracted to add another seventeen storys: what odds it was some politico's relative?

jr565 said...

Michael Bloomberg approved of the design of this building, I'd guess.

Freeman Hunt said...

Blunder? Unlikely. More likely part of a scam.

Mamie said...

The Brits love to vacation there. In fact, they’ve got a hit sitcom named Benidorm. Its writers must appreciate this bonus.

jimbino said...

They need to declare the building just another type of Yoga; there will be flocks of Amerikans that will buy into it just to enjoy the exercise.

Jay Vogt said...

Interesting that if I read the linked article correctly the inaccessible added floors were funded by SAREB (Spain's functional equivalent of our TARP - the contents of which reside in the Fed's "Other Assets").

I wonder what we'd find it we could ever get an audit of the Fed? Awww . . . probably nothin'.

Tom said...

They must have studied with Frank Lloyd Wrong!

Laika's Last Woof said...

All pants and no zipper.

harkin said...

When I built a mailbox I had a checkoff sheet for everything that had to conform, you'd think they'd be more diligent about a skyscraper than I am with my mailbox.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

How is it possible that the construction workers didn't notice?

Generally, the various construction contractors install temporary exterior elevators, and of course hoist materials via the hammerhead crane which elevates itself throughout the job.

But , building codes have specific requirements for freight and passenger elevators (capacity, placement etc), and whoever issued the permits for this travesty bears much responsibility.

Of course, public agencies issue the permits, and the 'bearing of responsibility' will fall unfortunately to the local taxpayers who pay the permit guys.

But watch the lawyers get creative with this epic! The court battles should drag on for years.

renowebb said...

I call bullshit, am a Ironworker we woulds see the problem at the very start call it out and have a great laugh.


Foobarista said...

Let's annoy the good professor and make a building that looks like a pair of shorts...

AlanKH said...

If Anthony Weiner were an architect...

John Nowak said...

Captain Curt and Mary Beth, many thanks for your additions which made this story credible.

I think we need a new word for "leaving off key details so a story fits on a bumper sticker." Maybe "journalism."

stlcdr said...

As has already been noted, there are not 'no elevators'. A small bit of digging (and thanks to Google translation) reveals a lot more of the story.

So, really, this story is about media 'lies of omission' and the way the blogosphere runs with something juicy.

As the old adage goes: "don't believe everything you read in the papers". But I guess that's just so antiquated and not relevant in the modern age.

Even a handful of comments of sanity demonstrating the distortion for what it is, is not enough for people to latch on that distortion as the truth.

stlcdr said...

...or, to fit the modern internet meme:

"cool story, bro"

Bill R said...

Re:
It could light up at night, just like a real penis.

Good one David. And uh, congratulations.

Paul said...

The lack of elevators is a feature, not a flaw.

It allows for healthy living by exercise daily and cuts down energy use. It is very 'green'.

At least that is how I'd sell it instead of a monument to incompetence.

Cargosquid said...

The FIRST mistake was deciding to build that monstrosity in the first place and ruin Benidorm's skyline. Its a little sea side resort....wonderful place.

Val Prieto said...

Compounding to the "looks like a pair of pants" blunder, the most practical location to retrofit a new elevator "shaft" is right down the middle.

Will said...

Hey if this is the Obamacare Building then (a) If you like getting your shaft, you can keep getting the shaft (b) condos will cost $2500 less per year (c ) 30 million homeless will magically evaporate once they build it (d) no worries, they can just "deem" the building does have elevators (f) Tenents will be airlifted to their unit's terrace by Osprey combination plane/helicopter just like Bo the dog (f) the building will forever be known as The Mom Pants building

Bryan C said...

"And I thought the blunder was that the building looks like a giant pair of pants."

At least it doesn't look like a pair of shorts.

el zopilote said...

I read somewhere that the planners
of the new engineering building
at the University of Southern
California, forgot to add air
conditioning.

Engineering at its best.

el zopilote said...

I read somewhere that the new
engineering building at the
University of Southern California
was built without air conditioning.
The planners left it out as did
the Spanish planners.

Roderic Fabian said...

"I thought you checked the plans."

"No, I thought you checked the plans."

Phil B said...

I understand that Michelle Obama wants to incorporate the building's principles into her latest fitness program. Schools would be built on their sides and the lunchroom would be located on the 47th floor.

Phil B said...

I understand that Michelle Obama wants to incorporate the building's principles into her latest fitness program. Schools would be built on their side and the lunchroom would be located on the 47th floor.

Dan Hanson said...

The notion that they 'forgot' the elevators is simply not credible. Elevator design is one of the key issues in very tall buildings, and no one would miss that - not even incompetents. Any worker who had experience on high rise buildings would immediately notice the lack of proper elevator shafts.

This is kind of like saying a company built an airplane and then forgot to add wings or an engine.

Even the amended story, that the elevator shafts are there but designed for a 20 story building and unmodified for a 47 story building is hard to believe. A freshman architecture student already understands how much capacity is required for elevators with different building heights and no one would ignore that problem or 'forget' about it.

I suspect the story here is still untold. Something else was going on to cause this snafu. Corruption, extortion, something. It's simply impossible to believe that this was an accident.

The other possibility is that this story is simply false or exaggerated. For example, perhaps the plan all along was to supplement the internal elevators with external ones, and some bureaucrat or committee refused to fund it after the project ran over budget and then blamed the architects for 'forgetting' about elevators.

Rich said...

We had to build the skyscraper to find out what's in it.

Tibore said...

Ooops. Turns out this was an error (not an outright, intentional hoax, but rather bad language translations and misinterpretations just snowballing):
http://barcepundit-english.blogspot.com/2013/08/that-story-about-spanish-skycraper.html

The elevators are there. The claim is refuted.

But, I admit, I fell for it. Thank goodness for people willing to set the record straight.