By Matthew Nolan for P2K
Ah, Paris in springtime, and what would a trip to Paris be without visiting the Eiffel Tower? The creation of Gustave Eiffel is the tallest building in Paris at a height of 324 meters (1,063 feet for Americans).
Gustave sought a way to build a large structure of iron that would not collapse with the weight of iron required to build it so tall. Few people realize that he turned to the human structure for his answer. He studied bones, primarily the femur (thigh) bone for inspiration and answers.
The end of each long bone is made of “spongy bone” or trabecular bone tissue. This particular bone tissue is less dense than the bone making up the shaft of the bone and it has more surface area. One of the amazing factors of the design is the ability to withstand the forces of gravity on the body in motion.
The trabeculii help to dissipate the forces so that we don’t break our legs every time we jump or run! This is what Gustave understood and used to design a tower that although is made from iron has “a lower density than a cylinder of air occupying the same dimensions as the tower” Truly amazing and wonderful.
Our human body is an architectural wonder from the arches of our feet to the pulley systems of our tendons. Take your form out and say thank you, perhaps by sipping French Roast in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower?