Pele, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all-times, was born in Santos; however, it is not the only reason this place is famous. It is also known for being the house to Giant Tilted Dominoes situated at the city’s waterfront skyline.
Santos’ tilted apartment buildings have been hanging for ages, and knowing that the problem has been getting worse over time, the authorities have still chosen not to take the necessary measures, claiming the buildings are perfectly safe.
The Santos Skyline compound consists of 651 buildings, amongst most of which are leaning towards one side. The tilt’s these buildings have ranged from 5cm to 2 meters, respectively. It is counted as a major construction flaw, and not only this; their tilt is visible to naked eyes with ease.
These construction flaws have caused many complications, increasing with the passing time, making it the problem is not only aesthetic. The residents report that most apartment doors don’t close properly, and plumbing issues are just getting out of hand. Moreover, people living in this complex have been reported to developing difficulty in balancing as for spending most of the time in these giant tilted dominoes.
The waterfront skyline tilted apartments were built in the 1950s and 1960s, and some cheap material and methodology were used in their construction. Developers used concrete pads, also known as shallow foundations, instead of installing deep foundations in these buildings’ base.
One explanation of their increasing tilt says that these were built on a 7-meter-thick layer of sand, resting on a clay bed layered with water. Over time, it couldn’t sustain the buildings’ weight and got squeezed, resulting in the tilts.
When these giant tilted dominoes were built, the pad system only cost 8 percent of the total construction cost compared to the 20 percent construction cost caused by the deep foundation system.
The developers and the rest of the team responsible for the faulty construction have mostly retired. However, things are different for those who bought these apartments and got linked with them almost for a lifetime.
Professor Domin said that these apartments are in a crazy situation. You walk in, and all of a sudden, you get this feeling of unevenness. It is minor but significant enough to make a difference.
The authorities have used hydraulics to keep two of these buildings from collapsing to the ground. They were nearly two meters out of alignment each, and hence the authorities had to bear this much expensive method. This only gets used in a situation where there is no other resort left but this.
Local authorities assess a sample of these buildings every year, and most of them are marked safe to live in despite the obvious issues.
Most people living in this complex for years want to get rid of them really bad, but unfortunately, selling one of these is no easy job. The whole of the real estate market knows the reality of these giant dominoes, and nobody is interested in buying one of these now. Those who could afford to buy another one left the tilted buildings; others couldn’t do anything about it.
An habitant from one of the most tilted blocks said that you can’t hold a ball still in this building anywhere; you place it, and it will start rolling. Excelsior is termed the most tilted block of the whole waterfront skyline of Santos.