The Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline of Paris, the capital of France. One of the most
famous landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris Exposition of
The Eiffel Tower, an
|immense tower of exposed latticework supports made
of iron, was erected for the Paris Exposition of 1889. It was named after its builder, the
French structural engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. Built to celebrate the science and
engineering achievements of its age, the 300-m (984-ft) structure consists of two visibly
distinct parts, a base composed of a platform resting on four separate supports (called
pylons or bents) and, above this, a slender tower created as the bents taper upward,
rising above a second platform to merge in a unified column.
This unprecedented work was the tallest structure in the world until the Empire State
Building was built about 40 years later. In the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the
curve of the base pylons was precisely calculated so that the bending and shearing forces
of the wind were progressively transformed into forces of compression, which the bents
could withstand more effectively. The superskyscrapers erected since 1960, such as the
World Trade Center, are constructed in much the same way.