Canadian Consulting Engineer
Paris airport structure collapsesEngineering
Investigations have begun into what could have caused the collapse of a year-old architectural showpiece in Charles...
Investigations have begun into what could have caused the collapse of a year-old architectural showpiece in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. So far no-one can tell if a design error, a construction error, or a foundation shift is to blame.
Part of the roof of Terminal 2E collapsed on Sunday morning, killing five people. The massive steel and glass building was opened only last June. It consists of two long, arched and curving glass and steel structures, connected by a passageway. The part that fell down was a 30-metre section of roof over the departure jetty. Since the collapse, more cracking was heard in other parts of the building.
The terminal was designed by architect Paul Andreu at a cost of 750 million Euros (approximately Cdn. $1.25 billion). The architect, who was said to be “aghast” and rushed to the site, said that it is not an unusual engineering structure. At the time the terminal opened, union workers were complaining that the construction schedule was unreasonably fast.
The building was made of reinforced concrete and 36,000 square metres of glass. It has a floor space of 104,000 square metres, and capacity for 10 parking gates. It handled six million passengers a year and was hailed as a project that would turn Paris into the leading European airport hub. Now, it may be demolished.