27 September 2006

Bewildering Architecture Redux

I was chatting with a local security officer this afternoon and discovered the story behind two of the items from my "Bewildering Architecture" series - the pointless arch and the incongruous wall stub. Turns out my assessment was correct - neither structure has a purpose.

I'll spare you the entire story, but it has something to do with a requirement to build structures "as designed," even when circumstances have changed and the structures are no longer needed. It's a perfect example of the foolishness caused by building a fortress instead of a firefight.

A little flexibility and commonsense could have saved a lot of time, money and effort... but since the arch and the wall were part of the original design, they "had to be built" (i.e. they'd already been paid for), even though the need for them had long since passed.

Sort of like designing a fighter jet to counter the Soviet Air Force, and delivering it in 2005... not that we'd ever do anything as foolish as that, of course.


David said...

One again, common sense proves to be the rarest of the senses.

Dan said...

Too true!
And here's a link to the original Bewildering Architecture posting about the arch, by the way