Rapunzel vs. the Structural Engineers


A little light-heartedness for your Friday morning………….

Do your kids’ eyes glaze over when you tell them what you do for a living?  The only exposure many kids have to architects and engineers is Mike Brady (thru Brady Bunch re-runs) and NASA folk.  If you don’t work for NASA (and I’m pretty sure you aren’t Mr. Brady), then you may have trouble generating enthusiasm within your brood.  Never fear!  How about showing your kids exactly how *you* would design Cinderella’s pumpkin-turned-carriage, the smart little pig’s brick house, or, better yet, Rapunzel’s castle.

Yes, that’s right– there are now sketches circulating the web showing a prototype castle for the long-haired beauty, all part of a challenge created by NYC architect Andrew Bernheimer and his sister (and children’s book author) Kate Bernheimer.  They asked three A/E firms to create designs for popular fairy tale stories.  Guy Nordenson and Associates had the coveted story currently popular with 4 year old girls everywhere: RapunzelThey created a design to meet the story: a “tower that stood in a forest and had neither a door nor a stairway, but only a tiny little window at the very top.” When asked about the key structural elements, the structural engineers responded, “We were able to meet the Grimms’ strict design requirements by employing a slender tower design of vertical cylindrical stems that are joined by intermittent outrigger beams with a reinforced space at the very top for Rapunzel’s long captivity.”

Create your own fantasy design to show your kids that yes, you are too cool!

(Hat tip to Behold the Architect for the story).

Sketch via Design Observer.

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