We humans do love a challenge. We’re always pushing the limits on what is possible, pushing further than anyone has gone before, and innovating in ways that shape our future. All we need to look at is technology to see how much innovation and evolution can change the world as we know it. And the architectural world is the same.
Today, we’re focusing on the world’s most famous buildings that have been engulfed by fire; some surviving, some thriving, and others not quite as lucky. But in this destruction comes some light and positive change.
The Notre-Dame Cathédral: Paris, France
This is the most recent of the first incidents, starting in the “wooden forest” area of the cathedral and engulfing the roof, destroying the beautiful stained glass windows and toppling the building’s iconic spire. It was heartbreaking to watch, and the entire world joined in mourning and shock as the fire tore through the landmark for nearly five hours. There as been a proposal to update the damaged roof and spire, but the original gothic style may be retained. Time will tell.
The Torch Tower: Dubai, UAE
Names really do hold meaning, as the Torch tower, the tallest residential building at the time of opening, has suffered two fires, neither of which had any casualties.
La Fenice: Venice, Italy
Speaking of names and meaning… The Teatro La Fenice literally means “the Phoenix”. The building has been destroyed by fire three times since it was opened, with the last fire in 1996 tearing through the building, leaving only the exterior walls intact. The theatre was finally reopened to the public in 2003. Hopefully, this Phoenix has three lives…
Windsor Castle: Windsor, UK
This 14th century castle, one of the official residences of the Queen, burst into flames in 1992. The fire destroyed over 100 rooms, including the ceremonial St. George’s Hall. Restoration took over five years and cost £37 million, which made them open Buckingham Palace to the public in order to raise money for the project. The castle reopened in 1997.
Slane Castle: County Meath, Ireland
This beautiful 18th century building is the seat of the Marquesses Conyngham, and is famous for hosting the Slane concert within its open-air grounds. In 1991, a blaze took out most of the eastern section facing the River Boyne, and extensively damaged the building. It took ten years to restore, and finally re-opened in 2001.
St Paul's Cathedral: London, UK
This iconic tourist attraction is known the world over, and featured in many films and books. The original 7th century Anglo-Saxon cathedral burned down in 962, with the next structure also being destroyed by fire in 1087. in the same year, construction began on a fourth iteration of St Paul’s and consecrated in 1240, not before being disrupted by another fire in 1136.
The cathedral’s famous spire was destroyed by lightning in 1561 and it was completely gutted by the 1666 Great Fire of London. The fifth version of St Paul’s was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and took nearly 50 years to complete, being finished in 1711. It’s fair to say that St Paul’s cathedral has had its fair share of ill-luck, but it did survive 2020, so that’s saying something…
Crystal Palace: London, UK
Sir Joseph Paxton designed the Crystal Palace, housing the Great Exhibition of 1851, hosted by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria and the Royal Society of Arts. The palace was destroyed by fire in 1936, with its remains fully demolished in 1941.
About Onetrace active and passive fire protection software
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