The opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport is no reason to celebrate. There will be no party and that has nothing to do with the Corona crisis. The whole of Germany had become a “laughing stock” because of the building disaster, said airport manager Engelbert Lütke Daldrup a few weeks before the opening and was accordingly humble: “We’ll just give up.”
Scandal airport BER
The capital’s airport will open on October 31, 2020, 14 years after the groundbreaking and nine years after the planned opening. The first planned opening, it should be right. The appointment on October 30, 2011 was canceled over a year earlier, among other things because of the bankruptcy of a planning office and new guidelines for baggage control. However, BER only became a scandalous airport a year later.
There was sloppiness in construction and cost explosions in other construction projects as well. We present some examples.
@imago images / Stefan Zeitz
Only around four weeks before the grand opening on June 3, 2012 came the surprising rejection: the fire protection system had failed. Deficiencies in fire protection, planning errors and other problems should delay the commissioning of the capital’s airport for more than eight years. So long that hundreds of billboards in the terminal have since given up the ghost. The ticket machines in the BER train station also had to be replaced. It was finished in 2011. The unused station was the target of vandals, so the machines were distributed to other stations.
@imago images / Aviation-Stock
# 2 Chaos opening at London Heathrow
Admittedly, there was plenty of time at BER for a month-long trial run. London Heathrow Airport should have afforded a little more test runs in 2008. The reopening of Terminal 5, which cost six billion euros, turned into a fiasco. Many observers saw the chaos approaching the infamous airport. Unclear signage and non-functioning elevators were the least of the problems in the glass palace. The underground, fully automated system for baggage transport went on strike on the second flight of the opening day. After several planes had to take off without luggage, British Airways canceled dozens of flights. The next day, around 50 connections were canceled at Europe’s largest airport.
@imago images / imagebroker
# 3 Slices fall from skyscraper
The John Hancock Tower is a Boston landmark. The approximately 240 meter high skyscraper (official name: 200 Clarendon Street) towers many times over all surrounding buildings and can be seen from almost everywhere in the US metropolis. It has been the tallest building in New England since opening in 1976. However, the height caused massive problems for the engineers at the office of the famous architect I. M. Pei.
The panes of the completely glazed skyscraper were originally unable to withstand the strong winds. During the construction work, a few windows, each weighing over 220 kilograms, came loose from the frame and fell to the floor. The area had to be cordoned off as soon as a certain wind force was reached. All of the over 10,000 discs had to be replaced. Repairs worth millions were also necessary to stabilize the building in strong winds. It was originally swayed so badly that people on the upper floors got sick.
@imago images / PA Images
# 4 The glass facade becomes a burning glass
The reflective facade of this London skyscraper also proved to be dangerous to the public. During the construction of 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London, it turned out that the panes turned into gigantic burning glasses when the sun fell. The bundled heat was so great that in the summer of 2013 doormats of surrounding houses were scorched and parts of the body of a parked Jaguar bent, according to the BBC.
The press quickly spoke of “death rays”. The client installed a glare protection. However, that didn’t help against the shape of the building, which earned him the nickname “Walkie Talkie” and the title of the ugliest building in 2015. But that’s not all: the skyscraper is said to have generated downdraft winds strong enough to bring passers-by to fall, as Bloomberg reported.
# 5 The world is not enough
The only thing missing was one Bond villain. The artificial archipelago “The World” in Dubai is an expression and a memorial for the kind of megalomania that was accepted as completely acceptable before the financial crisis. The replica of the world map in the form of 300 islands heaped up in the sea was a multi-billion dollar prestige project of the United Arab Emirates. Construction began in 2003. The islands, each named after a country or region, were initially popular with buyers. The super rich and movie stars should create their brave new world here in ultimate luxury and complete seclusion. But then came the financial crisis. Reports of money laundering and pyramid schemes fraudsters did the rest to bring “The World” to its ruin. Literally, parts of the area are said to have sunk into the sea. In the past few years there has always been news about new construction projects. But “The World” seems to have been overtaken by the world situation.