The Leaning Tower of Pisa Research Paper
Although the Leaning Tower of Pisa is today one of the most recognizable elements of the Italian landscape, valued for its remarkably off-kilter tilt, the Tower can also be construed as a monument to poor construction management. Your research paper will seek to describe the history of the construction of the Tower, followed by an analysis of the problems inherent in the design and implementation of the Tower’s design. Finally, an assessment of how modern construction management techniques could have redeemed the doomed project will be presented.
In the 12th century BC, the region of Pisa experienced an unprecedented period of wealth, prosperity, and influence. During this time, Pisa had holdings in many regions throughout the world, and the town fathers sought to memorialize the resounding successes of Pisa and its residents through the erection of a grand architectural structure.
The proposed tower was designed to hold a massive set of bells. The design of the tower was to be very ornate and exorbitant in order to demonstrate to the city of Florence, the long-time enemy of the Pisans, the fabulous wealth and power that the region had amassed.
In 1172, a wealthy widow bequeathed a sizable sum of money towards the construction of the Tower. An artisan named Bonanno Pisano was hired to design and construct the Tower, and the project began in earnest in August of 1173. Unfortunately, Pisano engineering skills did not match his creative flair, and the design for the Tower was flawed from the beginning. In addition, because the Tower was to be constructed in close proximity to several other existing public buildings that appeared sound and stable, the builders of the Tower saw no reason to assess the soil that would form the foundation directly beneath the Tower.
From the outset of the construction, the Tower was not level.
- After only a few levels of the Tower had been erected, Pisano noticed a leaning tendency.
- Pisano attempted to covertly correct it by building the next few stories with a compensating lean in the other direction.
- The scheme to even out the tower was unsuccessful.
- Pisano was decried for his shoddy design work, and he was ejected from the job.
- Construction was halted as the town fathers considered what should be done with the existing, but seemingly flawed, initial stories of the tower.
- The Pisans undertook a long period of warring with their enemies in Florence, during which time the effort, manpower, and financial resources needed to continue the project could not be spared.