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Triangle Area

Half the product of base and height

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Building Triangles

Most buildings have rectangular or square floor plans. It's easy to pack them close together on city blocks, and they're easy to furnish and divide into offices. So why would anyone build a building in the shape of a triangle?

The World-Famous Flatiron Building

One of the most famous triangular buildings in the world is the 22-story Flatiron Building in New York City. Originally named the Fuller Building, it was one of the city's first skyscrapers and provided architect Daniel Burnham with a huge challenge. He had to figure out how to build a useful and attractive skyscraper on a triangular lot. Construction began in 1901, and the building was completed the next year. As the skyscraper grew, locals feared that it would blow over in the first strong wind. They dubbed it "The Flatiron" because it looked like an old-fashioned clothes iron.

Credit: Library of Congress
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flatiron_Building_Construction,_New_York_Times_-_Library_of_Congress,_1901-1902_crop.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The building had many critics, who complained that it had too many windows to serve as a good office building. They were unsure how anyone could work in the offices at the pointed end, where the building narrowed to only 6.5 feet across. Where would someone put a desk?

Today, the Flatiron Building is considered a national landmark and one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world. It's odd shape and iconic status continues to attract many tourists, and it still serves as a functioning office building.

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loR3nkSxH2I

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Learn about more triangular buildings with the following links.




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