Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 63
Iron production was revolutionized in the early eighteenth century when coke was
first used instead of charcoal for refining iron ore. Previously the poor quality of the
iron had restricted its use in architecture to items such as chains and tie bars for
supporting arches, vaults, and walls. With the improvement in refining ore, it was now
(5) possible to make cast-iron beams, columns, and girders. During the nineteenth century
further advances were made, notably Bessemer’s process for converting iron into steel,
which made the material more commercially viable.
Iron was rapidly adopted for the construction of bridges, because its strength was far
greater than that of stone or timber, but its use in the architecture of buildings developed
(10) more slowly. By 1800 a complete internal iron skeleton for buildings had been developed
in industrial architecture replacing traditional timber beams, but it generally remained
concealed. Apart from its low cost, the appeal of iron as a building material lay in its
strength, its resistance to fire, and its potential to span vast areas. As a result, iron
became increasingly popular as a structural material for more traditional styles of
(15) architecture during the nineteenth century, but it was invariably concealed.
Significantly, the use of exposed iron occurred mainly in the new building types
spawned by the Industrial Revolution: in factories, warehouses, commercial offices,
exhibition hall, and railroad stations, where its practical advantages far outweighed its
lack of status. Designers of the railroad stations of the new age explored the potential
(20) of iron, covering huge areas with spans that surpassed the great vaults of medieval
churches and cathedrals. Paxton’s Crystal Palace, designed to house the Great
Exhibition of 1851, covered an area of 1.848 feet by 408 feet in prefabricated units of
glass set in iron frames. The Paris Exhibition of 1889 included both the widest span
and the greatest height achieved so far with the Halle Des Machines, spanning 362 feet,
(25) and the Eiffel Tower 1,000 feet high. However, these achievements were mocked by
the artistic elite of Paris as expensive and ugly follies. Iron, despite its structural
advantages, had little aesthetic status. The use of an exposed iron structure in the
more traditional styles of architecture was slower to develop.
Reading Comprehension 63
The evolution of the use of iron in architecture during the 1800's
Advantages of stone and timber over steel as a building material
The effects of the Industrial Revolution on traditional architectural styles
Advances in iron processing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
limited mining capability made iron too expensive
the use of charcoal for refining ore produced poor quality iron
iron was considered too valuable for use in public buildings
all available iron was needed for other purposes
easier to transport
new and modern
internal iron skeleton
prefabricated unites of glass
They refused to pay to see them.
They tried to copy them.
They praised them.
They ridiculed them.
association of iron architecture with the problems of the Industrial Revolution
general belief that iron offered less resistance to fire and harsh weather than traditional materials
impracticality of using iron for small, noncommercial buildings
general perception that iron structures were not aesthetically pleasing
the return to traditional building materials for use in commercial structures
the decreased use of stone and timber as a building material
further improvements in iron processing methods
the gradual inclusion of exposed iron in traditional styles of architecture