Every day this week Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs is selecting an extract from ourÂ Dezeen Book of Ideas, whichÂ makes a great Christmas present and isÂ available for just ÂŁ12. The second project is a competition-winning proposal to add a temporary platform to the Eiffel Tower that turned out to be a fraud.
"I really wanted this project to be real, but unfortunately it's a fake," explains Fairs. "It's an audacious proposal to add a cloud-like Kevlar viewing platform to the top of one of the most famous monuments in the world and it fooled Dezeen along with many other publications. The architects invented the scheme as a publicity stunt, but it's actually quite a beautiful addition to the Eiffel Tower as well as being a good way of relieving the unpleasant crush of visitors at the top of the tower."
"Besides being a salutary warning of the ease with which falsehoods can spread on the web, it's a provocative suggestion of how existing buildings could be adapted in future as new building technologies emerge," he adds. "I spent a couple of years living in Seville in Spain and my favourite building there - in fact one of my favourite buildings anywhere - is the catherdal's Giralda tower. Originally built as a minaret, the austere brick tower was later Catholicised with the addition of a florid Renaissance belfry. The resulting mash-up is as delightful as Serero Architects' Eiffel DNA proposal, suggesting that even the most revered architectural masterpiece might benefit from a makeover."
Eiffel DNA by Serero Architects
This competition-winning design to transform the Eiffel Tower - by adding a flower-like viewing platform at the top - turned out to be a fraud. The project appeared on the website of Serero Architects in March 2008; they claimed to have won a contest to temporarily make over the Parisian landmark to mark its 120thÂ birthday.
Consequently Dezeen, along with several other publications including The Guardian newspaper in the UK, published the seductive images of the iconic tower reimagined by the addition of a Kevlar structure that mimicked the lattice framework of Gustave Eiffelâs 1889 structure.
Called Eiffel DNA, the fantasy project was designed using a generative computer script that identified the towerâs genetic design code and used this template to âgrowâ a structure that would most efficiently support the temporary platform.
It wasnât until a few days later that the New York Times established that the competition was non-existent, and we admitted weâd been duped.
The episode was a sobering reminder of the ease with which false information can spread on the internet; but it was also a brilliant PR exercise by the French practice, who received worldwide publicity. We still love the design, too.
Dezeen Book of Ideas features over 100 fascinating ideas for buildings, products and interiors from the worldâs most creative brains. The bookâs A5 format makes it highly accessible and the ÂŁ12 price tag makes it the ideal impulse purchase or Christmas gift.Buy the Dezeen Book of Ideas now for just ÂŁ12.
Reviews of Dezeen Book of Ideas
âFrom flip-flop art to a mirrored retreat in the skyâ âÂ Wall Street Journal
âThe Sliding House and The Book of Ideas: Radical Thinking Requiredâ âÂ Forbes.com
âFairs personally guides readers through the wonders of innovations like a balancing barn, a textile-skinned car, and the first aesthetically pleasing CFL â all of which share an âI wish Iâd thought of thatâ awe factorâ âÂ Sight Unseen
âFabulousâ âÂ Itâs Nice That
âTotally wonderful!â âÂ Naomi Cleaver
âHandsomely repackages Dezeenâs coverage of the best in architectural, interior and design ideasâ âÂ Glasgow Herald
âTeeming with innovative projects handpicked by the people behind Dezeen âŠ readers will be hard-pressed not to find something to gawk over in this intriguing new compendium of beautifully articulated conceptsâ âÂ Dwell Asia
âBeautifully laid-out, to suit the content, and straight-shooting, non-convoluted descriptions make it user-friendly as well as eye-catchingâ âÂ Lifestyle Magazine