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Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

Picture: http://www.openbuildings.com

Crystal Palace, an impressive building, very important for England, was built in 1851 in Victorian times in Hyde Park, United Kingdom to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Joseph Paxton, a passionate after gardening and architecture, created Crystal Palace floor plan with exquisite beauty. The building was not only a major tourist attraction, but also of discussion today. I decided to talk to you about this important building for London, because it was made of cast iron, wrought iron, wood and glass. All metals together have created this architectural marvel. The Architect used wrought iron and cast iron as the main frame because the building was intended from the start to be a special one, tall, impressive through strength, and that is exactly what wrought iron transmits. The style chosen by the architect is a simple one, but the wrought iron blends so well with glass and wrought iron beauty is emphasized by sunlight that penetrated the impressive building, with all its corners. The imposing building offered a spectacle of light, color, craftsmanship and architectural taste as well as a lesson in using wrought iron. Cast iron columns were created. More than 1,000 iron columns supported 2,224 trellis girders and 30 miles of guttering, comprising 4,000 tonnes of iron in all. The designer opted for wrought iron, as is a hard metal resistant, it presents a minimal risk of breakage during extrusion resistance structure of the building. In addition, wrought iron is conserved well, not so easily corroded and ensuring strength.First, stakes were driven into the ground to roughly mark out the positions for the cast iron columns; these points were then set precisely by theodolite measurements. Then the concrete foundations were poured, and the base plates for the columns were set into them. Once the foundations were in place, the erection of the modules proceeded rapidly. Connector brackets were attached to the top of each column before erection, and these were then hoisted into position. Since the project took place before the development of powered cranes, the raising of the columns was done manually using sheers (or shear-legs), a simple crane mechanism. These consisted of two strong poles, which were set several meters apart at the base and then lashed together at the top to form a triangle; this was stabilized and kept vertical by guy ropes fixed to the apex, stretched taut and tied to stakes driven into the ground some distance away. Using pulleys and ropes hung from the apex of the sheer, the navvies hoisted the columns, girders and other parts into place. As soon as two adjacent columns had been erected, a girder was hoisted into place between them and bolted onto the connectors. The columns were erected in opposite pairs, then two more girders were connected to form a self-supporting square - this was the basic frame of each module. The sheers would then be moved along and an adjoining bay constructed. When a reasonable number of bays had been completed, the columns for the upper floor were erected (longer shear-legs were used for this, but the operation was essentially the same as for the ground floor). Once the ground floor structure was complete, the final assembly of the upper floor followed rapidly. For the glazing, Paxton used larger versions of machines he had originally devised for the Great Stove at Chatsworth, installing on-site production line systems, powered by steam engines, that dressed and finished the building parts. These included a machine that mechanically grooved the wooden window sash bars, and a painting machine that automatically dipped the parts in paint and then passed them through a series of rotating brushes to remove the excess. The last major components to be put into place were the sixteen semi-circular ribs of the vaulted transept, which were also the only major structural parts that were made of wood. These were raised into position as eight pairs, and all were fixed into place within a week. Thanks to the simplicity of Paxton's design and the combined efficiency of the building contractor and their suppliers, the entire structure was assembled with extraordinary speed - the team of 80 glaziers could fix more than 18,000 panes of sheet glass in a week[16] - and the building was complete and ready to receive exhibits in just five months.[9] When completed, The Crystal Palace provided an unrivaled space for exhibits, since it was essentially a self-supporting shell standing on slim iron columns, with no internal structural walls whatsoever. Because it was covered almost entirely in glass, it also needed no artificial lighting during the day, thereby reducing the Exhibition's running costs. Crystal Palace is a good example for wrought iron as a base building material not only in the manufacturing of accessories, chairs, tables and other wrought iron furniture but as pillars and components used in the construction of a building. Purity, flexibility, strength, decreased risk of breakage, corrosion of wrought iron, greatly easing the designer of a building. In addition, do not forget that in this case, Crystal Palace, Londoners today presents a fascinating building with an architecture well done, with great advantage was the use of wrought iron.

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