Eiffel tower, taken from beside the structure

Eiffel Tower

  • Ah, bien je prétends que les courbes des quatre areêtes du monument, telles que le calcul les a fournies, donneront une grand impression de force et de beauté.
  • Well, I think the curves of the four pillars of the monument, as the calculations have provided them, give it a great sense of force and beauty. — Gustave Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. Its construction in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days was a technical and architectural achievement of French engineering. It marked a defining moment of the industrial era.

  • Tall : 324 metres (with its antennas)
  • Weight : 7,300 tonnes of metallic framework, and a total weight of 10,100 tonnes
  • Number of metallic parts : 18,000 metallic parts joined by 2,500,000 rivets
  • Surface to be painted : 250,000 m2 of surface to be painted during each painting campaign, every 7 years. 60 tonnes of paint are needed

centroid, center of mass

Eiffel Tower

  • It was designed at home, on the kitchen table…
  • by someone who didn’t get their name on it
  • Never been done before, not guaranteed to get built or to work
  • It was criticized by hundreds of leading intellectuals and cultural experts
  • It wasn’t supposed to last very long
  • It’s designed to be an icon, it’s not an accident
  • People flock to it because it’s famous
  • You can sketch a recognizable version of it on a napkin

What’s the problem?

  • Ask – What are some of the characteristics of the Eiffel Tower that makes it so famous?
  • Imagine – Where is the center of mass? Why is this important?
  • Design, Build – Why did they build it with iron? What are the problems
  • Improve

Learn more…