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Philip Nobel

Philip Nobel’s Sixteen Acres, about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, was published by Granta in 2005.

What makes things break

Philip Nobel, 21 February 2013

Whenever you step on a bridge, every bit of your weight is being transferred – part to one shore, part to the other – down to the bedrock below. If the structure is to continue standing when it takes on a new load, every link in the system has to resist the burden, kilo for kilo. Your weight, technically a ‘live load’ (which is to say transient, as opposed to the...

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