It’s sometimes easy to take for granted the calculated, enormous complexity of the everyday things in the world that make our lives easier and more convenient. For most of us, traffic is a minor (or possibly major, depending on where you are) inconvenience that we have to deal with day in and day out. In terms of human achievement, though, it took an incredible amount of ingenuity and technological breakthroughs just to make modern cars, not to mention the massive highway systems that so many of us use. Speaking of our carefully crafted roads and freeway structures, the huge buildings, monuments, and skyscrapers that we see as commonplace also take a mind-boggling amount of preparation and planning, and for good reason.
Today’s infographic from Popular Science reminds us exactly why there is so much work and care put into the large structures we build, since a few careless miscalculations can spell disaster for the building’s surrounding population. For example, the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas is one of many buildings in that famous city to have a unique shape or style, which isn’t an issue on its own. Unfortunately, the building’s curvature and reflective glass windows, when combined with the blistering Las Vegas sun, create spots of heat directly on the pool area hot enough to leave people with burns and melt objects. The lesson here: architects must think of any and every possible issue a building may come across in its environment in order to ensure safety.
For more info on architectural missteps throughout history, have a look at the graphic below.