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Tyzack

How tall is the White Tower?

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it doesnt say to the best of my knowledge anywhere the diameter of the tower. and to say the least a 600-800 foot tall round building would be called a tower unless it was something like half a mile in diameter. even at a quarter mile in diameter it could be called a tower, and that would make it wider than it is tall. just trying to say that it's width could be massive and still be called a tower, especialy among people who rarely see a building over 3 stories. it would be a massive monolith. and i think 800 feet was a pretty popular idea on this thread (months ago) and the thread only settled on between 600 and 800 feet for it. but the diameter to the best of my knowledge is never mentioned, and it would be an eighth of a mile wide, with clearly as many as 44 stories (but 22 was in the upper half, not at the half way point, so dont know how many actual stories), and you only got 7 or 14 stories for ajah quarters (the section may be pie shaped, myself i think it was 2 floors of a round tower, otherwise even 22 stories doesn't make much sense even if you add classrooms into it, storage isnt likely to take up much of the above ground tower although there is likely allot of multi-story space in the tower) but anyway if it is 800 feet tall and 400 feet wide i could easily see space for 3000 3 room apartments with lots of room to spare. none of the aes'sedai rooms make mention of a kitchen, or even a bathroom (pretty common in sci-fi to ignore the bathroom, but i am sure it would be there, i dont include it as one of the 3 rooms, but it would be a part of the sitting room i think unless they just use chamber pots and the maid's deal with the mess)

 

 

(speaking of a mess, this is a mess. i thought about not posting it, but it helped me organize my thoughts and i figure why not, i can just be told "your wrong". so have fun)

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When they say the "upper half", they may not mean exactly half. Still, that could only add on a few more floors at most. I'd be interested in seeing the quote you're referencing, not because I don't believe you, but because I'm curious as to whether more of the Tower is set-up for apartments but only the "upper half" is in use due to depleted numbers.

 

It's in the guide, which I don't own, so I can't quote it directly ... it's referenced here, though: http://library.tarva...tle=White_Tower, and tarvalon.net's library is usually accurate.

 

And I know that something tall and round could still be called a Tower ... it just feels sort of wrong, to me :P

 

I really like the proportions here: http://images.wikia....4/Tar_Valon.jpg

 

Just for the fun of it, I did some calculations.

 

If the tower is 180 meters high (590 feet), and it's got 44 floors, that'd make each floor roughly 4 meters (13 feet), which is pretty high, but it'd include the thickness of the floors/ceilings as well.

 

So we've got 22 floors for ajah quarters, and all of them are the same size (New Spring, chapter 3). The Tower can house 3000 Aes Sedai. If each of those 22 floors holds 20 apartments per ajah, that's 140 apartments per floor. That's 3080 apartments in total. Which adds up very well.

 

When me and my friends tried figuring this out the first time, we assume that each apartment had windows (which was incorrect, I realised yesterday, since not all Aes Sedai have apartments with windows). The fact that apartments can be without windows makes it much easier to figure it out, and fit it all in a shorter building.

 

How large would the apartments be? My apartment is 63 sqaure meters (678 square feet). I've got an average living room (which I guess would be "spacious" compared to an Accepted's room in the Tower). A good-sized bedroom, a bathroom, a small storeroom (that could be a dressing room), and a kitchen that could be transformed into a study. So my apartment feels like it should be about the same size as Moiraine's and Siuan's apartments ... just speculation, but it feels reasonable.

 

So if we round down and say that each Aes Sedai apartment is 60 square meters (645 square feet), on average, with some larger and some smaller, that'd take 8400 square meters (90416 square feet) per floor. And then we have to thrown in space for corridors, stairways, common rooms ...

 

If the White Tower were 120 meters in diameter (393 feet), that'd give each floor an area of roughly 11300 square meters (121675 square feet). Which would mean that on each floor, there'd be 2900 square meters of space for other stuff. Meeting rooms, stairs, corridors (and there are probably a lot of those).

 

It'd fit. And it feels reasonable ...

 

But I hate that it looks like a refrigerator and not a real, tall Tower :P

 

I drew a very simple sketch of the proportions: http://img.photobuck...tornetshojd.jpg

 

I know that it'd technically still be called a tower, but it's ugly. I've always imagined it being much taller than it's thick.

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I know that it'd technically still be called a tower, but it's ugly. I've always imagined it being much taller than it's thick.

that is literature. it is described in text, you paint the image in your mind, in my mind it is actualy a very graceful peice of architecture that appears impossible because of a mix of ogier work and the one power. it looks massive yet delicate. we keep thinking of this in terms of real world architecture, and forget that it was built by extremely skilled stonemasons working with people who can do things that can only be described as magic. what we work toward is only finding out how much floor space is needed, and basing the size on the known height, a 600 foot building that is 400 feet in diameter could easily be beautiful, and you can adjust those values wherever you want, with the people who worked on it, it can be breathtaking. i think you just think of it as clunky because you aren't imagining a world without our towers like the empire state building, or the chrystler building. steel frame buildings in general. 600 feet is HUGE if you are not using steel i beams.

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

for the rahad it makes sense, allot of those buildings would be relics from the trolloc wars, and technological knowledge has stagnated over time in the wheel's world. a 6 story masonry (brick or less often stone) building isn't uncommon in old european cities, but it deffinately isn't the norm. as for the stone i dont know any references on which to base it's size. i've always thought that the aes sedai should have had an engineering ajah, the brown should cover this, but they already have too much to cover, nor are they interested in action. but if the aes sedai are supposed to serve humanity, shouldn't they make physical things?

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I know that it'd technically still be called a tower, but it's ugly. I've always imagined it being much taller than it's thick.

that is literature. it is described in text, you paint the image in your mind, in my mind it is actualy a very graceful peice of architecture that appears impossible because of a mix of ogier work and the one power. it looks massive yet delicate. we keep thinking of this in terms of real world architecture, and forget that it was built by extremely skilled stonemasons working with people who can do things that can only be described as magic. what we work toward is only finding out how much floor space is needed, and basing the size on the known height, a 600 foot building that is 400 feet in diameter could easily be beautiful, and you can adjust those values wherever you want, with the people who worked on it, it can be breathtaking. i think you just think of it as clunky because you aren't imagining a world without our towers like the empire state building, or the chrystler building. steel frame buildings in general. 600 feet is HUGE if you are not using steel i beams.

 

Yeah, I know it's huge ... it's jus that I've always imagined it as being several times as tall as it's wide - at least twice as tall as it's wide. I'm sure it could look elegant 180x120 meters, but ... not how I imagined it :P I've imagined it looking more like it'd be 250 meters tall, or something along those lines.

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Yeah, I know it's huge ... it's jus that I've always imagined it as being several times as tall as it's wide - at least twice as tall as it's wide. I'm sure it could look elegant 180x120 meters, but ... not how I imagined it :P I've imagined it looking more like it'd be 250 meters tall, or something along those lines.

 

well the height is up to debate because of the strangeness that in the wheel of time world there are 10 inches in a foot, so the window is actually between 600 and 800 feet, and that would change allot about the needed diameter. other strangeties of the difference in measuring systems also figure into that. but if it were 600 feet tall and 400 feet wide, that would still make it a 2 wide to 3 tall equation, if it were somehow on the outside at 800 feet it could easily fit itself in 300 feet in diameter, and that would make it a 1 wide to 2.6 tall, or greater than twice as tall as wide. the tallest masonry building that we in this world have built is in the 600 foot range, (a hair under, but we changed materials before we really pushed our luck) but i could see the ogiers and aes'sedai together managing something in the 700 range if they were realy trying to push the limits of stone.

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

 

I just woke up, so perhaps it's not the best time to be posting, but much of "Old Tar Valon" also constructed by the Ogier is pretty tall. Doesn't Mat speak of bridges fifty spans or paces in the air in the Dragon Reborn?

 

I should find a quote.

 

The Dragon Reborn - The First Toss

Twilight was beginning to cover Tar Valon, but there was still enough light to grace the fantastical buildings, and the oddly shaped towers connected by high bridges spanning open air over hundred-pace drops.

 

...

 

Ogier had built the great buildings and towers of Tar Valon, but other, newer parts had grown under the hands of men. Newer meaning two thousand years in some cases. Down near South-harbor, men's hands had tried to match, if not duplicate, the fanciful Ogier work. Inns where ships' crews caroused bore enough stonework for palaces. Statues in niches and cupolas on rooftops, ornately worked cornices and intricately carved friezes, all decorated chandlers' shops and merchant houses. Bridges arched across the streets here, too, but the streets were cobblestone, not great paving blocks, and many of the bridges were wood instead of stone, sometimes as low as the second stories of the buildings they joined, and never higher than four.

 

So these Ogier built towers in "Old Tar Valon" reach over 300 feet high if they have bridges connecting them together at that height. That's more than half the height of the White Tower (and it's more than half the height regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with the foot = foot conversion, as 100 paces (the height of the bridges) is half of 100 spans (the height of the White Tower). Even so, the White Tower dominates even them.

 

As for whether 6-8 or so stories tall was feasible in 16th century tech, I can't say.

 

Speaking of time period, I've always wondered about the level of industry and the economy in this world. On my first read when I was much younger I kind of imagined it being an earlier setting, but these people are obviously printing books and other things. What's their textile industry like? What else?

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

 

I just woke up, so perhaps it's not the best time to be posting, but much of "Old Tar Valon" also constructed by the Ogier is pretty tall. Doesn't Mat speak of bridges fifty spans or paces in the air in the Dragon Reborn?

 

I should find a quote.

 

The Dragon Reborn - The First Toss

Twilight was beginning to cover Tar Valon, but there was still enough light to grace the fantastical buildings, and the oddly shaped towers connected by high bridges spanning open air over hundred-pace drops.

 

...

 

Ogier had built the great buildings and towers of Tar Valon, but other, newer parts had grown under the hands of men. Newer meaning two thousand years in some cases. Down near South-harbor, men's hands had tried to match, if not duplicate, the fanciful Ogier work. Inns where ships' crews caroused bore enough stonework for palaces. Statues in niches and cupolas on rooftops, ornately worked cornices and intricately carved friezes, all decorated chandlers' shops and merchant houses. Bridges arched across the streets here, too, but the streets were cobblestone, not great paving blocks, and many of the bridges were wood instead of stone, sometimes as low as the second stories of the buildings they joined, and never higher than four.

 

So these Ogier built towers in "Old Tar Valon" reach over 300 feet high if they have bridges connecting them together at that height. That's more than half the height of the White Tower (and it's more than half the height regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with the foot = foot conversion, as 100 paces (the height of the bridges) is half of 100 spans (the height of the White Tower). Even so, the White Tower dominates even them.

 

As for whether 6-8 or so stories tall was feasible in 16th century tech, I can't say.

 

Speaking of time period, I've always wondered about the level of industry and the economy in this world. On my first read when I was much younger I kind of imagined it being an earlier setting, but these people are obviously printing books and other things. What's their textile industry like? What else?

only the seanchan have a printing press at this point, i remember it being mentioned somewhere, the westland books are done by scribes. but yah rj seemed to love to describe things, but something he sorely neglected was technology. i would think that as the seanchan have printing presses that they would have automatic looms (it is suprisingly similar tech) but i would bet the looms in the westlands are hand run and operated (don't think i've even heard of one waterwheel or even windmill in this series, although an auto loom can be ran by a hand crank or pedals just like a small printing press can be). as for a 6 story 16th century building, look at venice, a city with a large number of buildings that pre-date the 17th century, and allot of those buildings are at least 4 stories. many are 5 or more, and only some are over 6. it also has canals which makes it a great analogue for the rahad.

 

as for other buildings in tar valon reaching 300 feet, that just makes a 600 foot centerpeice all the more awe inspiring.

Edited by Testy al'Carr

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

 

I just woke up, so perhaps it's not the best time to be posting, but much of "Old Tar Valon" also constructed by the Ogier is pretty tall. Doesn't Mat speak of bridges fifty spans or paces in the air in the Dragon Reborn?

 

I should find a quote.

 

The Dragon Reborn - The First Toss

Twilight was beginning to cover Tar Valon, but there was still enough light to grace the fantastical buildings, and the oddly shaped towers connected by high bridges spanning open air over hundred-pace drops.

 

...

 

Ogier had built the great buildings and towers of Tar Valon, but other, newer parts had grown under the hands of men. Newer meaning two thousand years in some cases. Down near South-harbor, men's hands had tried to match, if not duplicate, the fanciful Ogier work. Inns where ships' crews caroused bore enough stonework for palaces. Statues in niches and cupolas on rooftops, ornately worked cornices and intricately carved friezes, all decorated chandlers' shops and merchant houses. Bridges arched across the streets here, too, but the streets were cobblestone, not great paving blocks, and many of the bridges were wood instead of stone, sometimes as low as the second stories of the buildings they joined, and never higher than four.

 

So these Ogier built towers in "Old Tar Valon" reach over 300 feet high if they have bridges connecting them together at that height. That's more than half the height of the White Tower (and it's more than half the height regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with the foot = foot conversion, as 100 paces (the height of the bridges) is half of 100 spans (the height of the White Tower). Even so, the White Tower dominates even them.

 

As for whether 6-8 or so stories tall was feasible in 16th century tech, I can't say.

 

Speaking of time period, I've always wondered about the level of industry and the economy in this world. On my first read when I was much younger I kind of imagined it being an earlier setting, but these people are obviously printing books and other things. What's their textile industry like? What else?

only the seanchan have a printing press at this point, i remember it being mentioned somewhere, the westland books are done by scribes. but yah rj seemed to love to describe things, but something he sorely neglected was technology. i would think that as the seanchan have printing presses that they would have automatic looms (it is suprisingly similar tech) but i would bet the looms in the westlands are hand run and operated (don't think i've even heard of one waterwheel or even windmill in this series, although an auto loom can be ran by a hand crank or pedals just like a small printing press can be). as for a 6 story 16th century building, look at venice, a city with a large number of buildings that pre-date the 17th century, and allot of those buildings are at least 4 stories. many are 5 or more, and only some are over 6. it also has canals which makes it a great analogue for the rahad.

 

as for other buildings in tar valon reaching 300 feet, that just makes a 600 foot centerpeice all the more awe inspiring.

 

I'm fairly certain RJ said that the printing press was one of the few inventions to survive the breaking. I used ideal seek to check the books for mentions of print and printing.

 

PRINT

 

The Shadow Rising - Chapter 53

"They print many very fine books in Caemlyn"

 

The Fires of Heaven - Chapter 24

"It was a small fat volume with crowded lines of small print"

 

PRINTING

 

The Strike at Shayol Ghul

"we can only be thankful that the art of printing survived the Breaking of the World when so much else did not"

 

Lord of Chaos - Chapter 18

"A great hulking shape of levers and huge flat plates was a printing press"

 

Winter's Heart - Chapter 16

"Another wagon held a long printing press"

 

I opened up my book to Lord of Chaos - Chapter 18 to find more of that quote.

 

This is at the school in Cairhien.

"A great hulking shape of levers and huge flat plates was a printing press, much better than those already in use, according to its maker."

 

Emphasis mine. There was a library of books, even if it's not that great, in the Two Rivers, and many inns seem too have libraries. I'd have a hard time believing all of those were hand-copied by scribes. There also seems to be a very high rate of literacy that wouldn't really fit in a world without printing presses.

Edited by Agitel

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300 feet is HUGE, when every other building in the area is 30 feet tall.

 

I admit, I see WT as a TOWER several times as tall as it is wide, but that's likely just a cultural assumption. If the tallest building in Indianapolis was 10x as tall as all the rest, I'd find it impressive no matter WHAT shape it was.

 

This is a really neat thread, one of the few that can go into the most intricate details and keep me interested.

---------

Someone asked about the size of the Stone of Tear, and if anyone has any thoughts on it, it would be cool to read.

 

Another thought. I just finished ACoS reread. Many of the buildings in the Rahad in Ebou Dar are said to be six or more stories tall. Does anyone know how feasable this is with that level of technology? (Though, since RJ's said late-17th century tech., I suppose it might click.)

 

I just woke up, so perhaps it's not the best time to be posting, but much of "Old Tar Valon" also constructed by the Ogier is pretty tall. Doesn't Mat speak of bridges fifty spans or paces in the air in the Dragon Reborn?

 

I should find a quote.

 

The Dragon Reborn - The First Toss

Twilight was beginning to cover Tar Valon, but there was still enough light to grace the fantastical buildings, and the oddly shaped towers connected by high bridges spanning open air over hundred-pace drops.

 

...

 

Ogier had built the great buildings and towers of Tar Valon, but other, newer parts had grown under the hands of men. Newer meaning two thousand years in some cases. Down near South-harbor, men's hands had tried to match, if not duplicate, the fanciful Ogier work. Inns where ships' crews caroused bore enough stonework for palaces. Statues in niches and cupolas on rooftops, ornately worked cornices and intricately carved friezes, all decorated chandlers' shops and merchant houses. Bridges arched across the streets here, too, but the streets were cobblestone, not great paving blocks, and many of the bridges were wood instead of stone, sometimes as low as the second stories of the buildings they joined, and never higher than four.

 

So these Ogier built towers in "Old Tar Valon" reach over 300 feet high if they have bridges connecting them together at that height. That's more than half the height of the White Tower (and it's more than half the height regardless of whether or not you agree or disagree with the foot = foot conversion, as 100 paces (the height of the bridges) is half of 100 spans (the height of the White Tower). Even so, the White Tower dominates even them.

 

As for whether 6-8 or so stories tall was feasible in 16th century tech, I can't say.

 

Speaking of time period, I've always wondered about the level of industry and the economy in this world. On my first read when I was much younger I kind of imagined it being an earlier setting, but these people are obviously printing books and other things. What's their textile industry like? What else?

only the seanchan have a printing press at this point, i remember it being mentioned somewhere, the westland books are done by scribes. but yah rj seemed to love to describe things, but something he sorely neglected was technology. i would think that as the seanchan have printing presses that they would have automatic looms (it is suprisingly similar tech) but i would bet the looms in the westlands are hand run and operated (don't think i've even heard of one waterwheel or even windmill in this series, although an auto loom can be ran by a hand crank or pedals just like a small printing press can be). as for a 6 story 16th century building, look at venice, a city with a large number of buildings that pre-date the 17th century, and allot of those buildings are at least 4 stories. many are 5 or more, and only some are over 6. it also has canals which makes it a great analogue for the rahad.

 

as for other buildings in tar valon reaching 300 feet, that just makes a 600 foot centerpeice all the more awe inspiring.

 

I actually thought specifically of Venice in support of the Rahad. Nice to see I'm not too far off base. :)

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How large would the apartments be? My apartment is 63 sqaure meters (678 square feet). I've got an average living room (which I guess would be "spacious" compared to an Accepted's room in the Tower). A good-sized bedroom, a bathroom, a small storeroom (that could be a dressing room), and a kitchen that could be transformed into a study. So my apartment feels like it should be about the same size as Moiraine's and Siuan's apartments ... just speculation, but it feels reasonable.
Well, the living rooms of the Aes Sedai seemed quite crowded with 3-4 people in there sitting around a table drinking tea. And when Egwene got her dream Ter'angreal in Verins study I hadn't the impression the room was bigger than 2x3m, big enough for a table, two chairs and a shelf.

I would say more of a 36-40 m² appartment.

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How large would the apartments be? My apartment is 63 sqaure meters (678 square feet). I've got an average living room (which I guess would be "spacious" compared to an Accepted's room in the Tower). A good-sized bedroom, a bathroom, a small storeroom (that could be a dressing room), and a kitchen that could be transformed into a study. So my apartment feels like it should be about the same size as Moiraine's and Siuan's apartments ... just speculation, but it feels reasonable.
Well, the living rooms of the Aes Sedai seemed quite crowded with 3-4 people in there sitting around a table drinking tea. And when Egwene got her dream Ter'angreal in Verins study I hadn't the impression the room was bigger than 2x3m, big enough for a table, two chairs and a shelf.

I would say more of a 36-40 m² appartment.

 

Verin had her apartment in the library building, not in the Tower. It could be that those rooms are smaller and not intended to be apartments, but offices. Anyway, Verin's room:

 

One step into the room, she [Egwene] stopped and stared. Shelves lined the walls, except for one door that must lead to inneer rooms and except for where maps hung, often in layers, and what seemed to be charts of the night sky /../ Books and apapers and scrools covered nearly every flat surface, with all sorts of odd things interspersed among the piles, and sometimes on top of them. Strange shapes of glass or metal, spheres and tubes interlinked, and circles held inside circles, stood among bones and skulls of every shape and description. What appeared to be a stuffed brown owl, not much bigger than Egwene's hand, stood on what seemed to be a bleached white lizard's skull, but could not be, for the skull was longer than her arm and had crooked teeth as big as her fingers. Candlesticks had been stuck about in haphazard fashion, giving good light here and shadows there, although seeming in danger of setting fire to papers in some places. The owl blinekd at her, and she jumped.

 

If anything, it's described as cluttered and filled to bursting with stuff - that gives it the feeling of being "small". But there's a lot of stuff. There are lots of shelves, but also rooms for plenty of maps and charts, and there are actually piles of things strewn across the room. I doubt it's 3x4 meters. It probably isn't huge, but ... There's also a door leading to inner chambers. That could well be a sitting room, a living room, a dressing room ... and potentially anything else.

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This quote from the BWB clears eveything up:

 

The White Tower itself is one of the most impressive buildings of the world; certainly nothing known to the writer in the present day compares in any way. Designed by Aes Sedai, and therefore lacking the organic touch found in many of the finest Ogier structures, it was created by Ogier aided by Aes Sedai wielding the One Power. The main tower of the building is constructed entirely of white stone and towers five hundred feet above the ground. It is three hundred feet across at the base, making it the largest structure erected since the Age of Legends. Slightly wider at the base than at the top, the Tower was designed to house the Ajahs in the top half; each within its own pie-shaped section, while leaving the wider bottom half to general purposes. A smaller palace-like structure attached to the back of the main tower was intended for novices and Accepted, while a large building behind the Tower and palace was to function as a library. The front of the Tower faced a great public square, which emphasized the deep broad steps and massive doors of the main entrance. A stone wall, broken occasionally by columns and rails, enclosed the perimeter of the grounds. The square was bordered by various public buildings, many of which were not only Ogier-built, but Ogier-designed, to seem animated by a life and vitality that belied the stone of their construction. Today, the White Tower and the square appear much as they must have then.

Edited by fionwe1987

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The Wheel of Time Wiki puts it at 600 feet (100 spans).  Their info is usually pretty solid, but there is no footnote on this info, so I'm not sure where it comes from.  http://wot.wikia.com/wiki/White_Tower

 

There are several places throughout the series that call the Tower the tallest building in the "known world", which puts it ahead of the other megastructures in the Westlands (The Stone, The Topless Towers, etc).

 

There are a few things that people seem to really be missing the point on, too.  I've been running a WoT d20 campaign for years now, so I've actually given this topic entirely too much time and consideration, lol.

 

The first is the assumption that what we think of as "The White Tower" is actually NOT a single building, it is a compound.  So, when you're talking about the stables, the library, the servants quarters, and even the Novice and Accepted "Wells", these are seperate buildings either attached or adjacent to the White Tower.  Right there, that is ALOT of space that we don't need to try and squeeze into one building. 

 

Before anybody jumps on me saying that the Novice/Accepted quarters are a separate building, I can quote chapter and verse on that.  It is described as a "palace like building attached to the back of the tower", and we get an excellent description in Chapter 2 of New Spring: 4 "railed galleries", 10 stories tall, open to the sky and with a small garden on the ground floor.  The two Novice wells can hold 200 Novices each, and the two Accepted Wells can hold 100 Accepted each.  We get a room description that says the rooms widen out from the door, which would fit well for a tower-like "tube" with an open central shaft.  That right there gives us a general idea of how big this "palace like" structure must be... if a floor in the Novice wells has to have 20 rooms, assuming 10x10, and enough room for a small garden at the bottom, then each well has to be something like 50 feet across.  Depending on how the four Wells are arranged, this would make the whole building 100 to 200 feet long.

 

And that means that the White Tower is probably AT least as wide.

 

The second bad assumption is the idea that all floors are the same height.  There are a number of rooms that are just written "big".  The kitchens are one example, the Hall of the Tower is another.  If you look at descritptions of the Hall, it seems to have the feel of an ampitheater, which would mean it is at least two stories tall, maybe as much as twice that if it has a dome on top.  Several other rooms are decribed as having "domed ceilings as well.

 

I think that here there is an important distinction to be made between the public and private areas of the White Tower. 

 

The bottom half of the Tower itself is dedicated to the Hall and the "business" side of the Aes Sedai.  As the public seat of their power, you can rightly expect that the place was built to be awe inspiring, with ceilings that are easily 1.5-2 stories high, and a number of rooms (like the Hall of the Tower) that are 3-4 stories tall and just have "empty spaces" in the floorplans of the levels directly above them.  So, considering those numbers, if we go with 600 feet and 10 foot high as a "normal" ceiling height, the Hall half of the Tower would be 300 feet tall with maybe 12-15 floors.

 

The top half of the Tower is made up of the Ajah quarters, with the Amyrlin and Keeper's quarters on the highest level.  This private space would have the normal ceiling height of 8-10 feet, so call it a 12 foot story, which would be 25 floors.  We know that the Ajah Quarters aren't laid out in the way that would make the most sense-- each having their own floors.  Instead, the Tower is divided into 7 "pie like" sections.  We also know that each apartment has at least two rooms: a bed chamber and a sitting room, and large enough to be comfortable, not cramped.  In New Spring, we're told that this was designed to hold 3,000 sisters.  Going with the minimum figure of the Tower being 200 feet across, each level would have 31,415 square feet of living space on 25 floors, this would mean each apartment is a bit over 250 square feet (once you figure in space for hallways, etc)... more than twice what a Novice's room would be.  Something else to keep in mind is that we're told in a Moiraine POV in New Spring that there are 400 some odd sisters in the Tower, and maybe that many not in residence: we can make the assumption that the Ajah Quarters weren't designed to be full time homes, and less than half of the Aes Sedai would use them that way-- their "job" is usually out in the world, with the exceptions of the Brown and White Ajah, who would probably be spending more time in the Tower Library than in their own personal space.

 

So, that's my $.02

 

600 feet tall,

200 feet wide,

Somewhere between 40-50 floors,

Room for 400 Novices, 200 Accepted and 3,000 Aes Sedai (as per RJ's descriptions).

 

And to all the folks who are insisting that it has to be taller?  Stop and think-- we're already talking about an unholy amount of steps to get to the highest level.  Even if we go with the whole concept of "ogeir built with Aes Sedai assistance", unless there is a One Power fueled elevator system that RJ has kept secret anything over 50 stories just gets impractical.

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This quote from the BWB clears eveything up:

 

The main tower of the building is constructed entirely of white stone and towers five hundred feet above the ground. It is three hundred feet across at the base, making it the largest structure erected since the Age of Legends. Slightly wider at the base than at the top, the Tower was designed to house the Ajahs in the top half; each within its own pie-shaped section, while leaving the wider bottom half to general purposes.

Darn, should have read through EVERY page! lol

 

It's ok, my numbers STILL work :-)

 

The "three hundred feet across at the base" and "Slightly wider at the base than at the top" also makes sense from an aesthetics point of view, and jives nicely with the way the Tower seems impossibly large to people seeing it for the first time.  This tapering would create an optical illusion of the Tower being taller than it really is, and also make it look slimmer.  Tell me that's not TOTALLY in line with the way Aes Sedai do things! lol

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Just to note Happy the wiki has far too many mistakes and assumptions. It's gotten better but still isn't an accepted source. Well thought out post though!

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How large would the apartments be? My apartment is 63 sqaure meters (678 square feet). I've got an average living room (which I guess would be "spacious" compared to an Accepted's room in the Tower). A good-sized bedroom, a bathroom, a small storeroom (that could be a dressing room), and a kitchen that could be transformed into a study. So my apartment feels like it should be about the same size as Moiraine's and Siuan's apartments ... just speculation, but it feels reasonable.

Well, the living rooms of the Aes Sedai seemed quite crowded with 3-4 people in there sitting around a table drinking tea. And when Egwene got her dream Ter'angreal in Verins study I hadn't the impression the room was bigger than 2x3m, big enough for a table, two chairs and a shelf.

I would say more of a 36-40 m² appartment.

Real World comparissons have a fatal flaw, though. 

 

You can cross your kitchen and bathroom off the list, we know for fact that none of the living quarters in the White Tower had either of these.  You can also knock off that closet, too: we've seen tons of descriptions of clothes being kept in furniture like wardrobes, not in their own special room. So, if your apartment didn't have all those extra rooms, the square feet go WAY down.

 

I'm still going to go with a sitting room and bedroom that are about 250 square feet total, so a little smaller than your apartment once you pull out the extra rooms.  I know that if I pulled out my kitchen, bathroom, closets and the hallway, that's just about right for the living space... 10x10 bedroom, 10x15 living room.

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If the tower is 100 paces tall.

 

1000 paces = 1 mile

1 mile = 5,280 feet

100 paces = 528 feet.

 

12 feet per floor would make 44 Floors. However, I would argue that a place like the white tower likely has tall ceilings in various areas. The gathering area for petitioners, various meeting halls, etc. but these could also be part of the structure around the tower which connects to the wings.

 

Considerations for crafting abilities in this age are moot with Ogier stone masons and the power. Aes Sedai where required even to dismantle the portion if the wall that the cuendillar chain attached to.

Edited by Dastion

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It's a 100 spans tall, not a hundred paces.

 

The BWB is fine if the info is not mentioned in a book, but it's in the books that's a 100 spans, and that makes 600 ft.

 

This is true. I'm going to go with the 600 feet estimate and go against the BWB. I think we've already been over it in this topic (excuse me, I just woke up minutes ago). If we assume that it's 500 feet in real world units, then we have to assume that a WoT foot does not equal a real foot. And if that's the case, then all of the characters are unusually short. Because that would make five real-world feet equal to six WoT feet. And if that's the case, then 0.833 real feet equals one WoT foot. And Rand suddenly goes from 6'6" to 5'5".

 

And Moiraine goes from just over five feet to 4'3".

 

5'5" and 4'3" are 165 cm and 130 cm, respectively.

 

This comes from 3 WoT-feet to a pace and 2 paces to a span. I can understand 100 spans being an estimate, but there's a huge difference between 83 spans and 100 spans, enough that rounding up to a 100 is unlikely.

Edited by Agitel

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Well, if it's 500-600 feet by 300 feet wide, then given 22 levels of Ajah quarters .. hmm.

 

If we have approximately 400 sq feet apartments  (10'x10' study, 10'x15' living room, 10'x10' bedroom and a 10'x5' dressing room)and assume 10' wide corridors ... assume corridors have apartments each side and go side of tower - Apartment - corridor - apartment-apartment-corridor - apartment-apartment-corridor and assume a cylindrical tower 300 feet in diameter (I know that the BWB has it as an oblong monolith, but I'd like to think the Ogier went for nice round towers :-) )

 

Then the radius at the edge would be 150 feet.  Apartments from 150-140 feet. A circular corridor at 140-130 feet and apartments from 120-110 and 110-100 feet; corridor at 100-90 feet, apartments at 90-80 and 80-70 and another corridor at 70-60 feet, apartments at 60-50 and 50-40 feet and another corridor at 40-30 feet, with the innermost area being for stairs and a shared area.

This would give, assuming that the apartments at the edge were bedroom-dressing room-living room-study in line, a 40'x10' apartment.  So, about 22-23 apartments in the outermost ring, 19-20 and 18 apartments in the next ring, 13 and 12 apartments in the next ring and 8-9 and 8 apartments in the innermost ring.  Aim for the lower numbers (walls need some room) and we'd have 22+19+18+13+12+8+8 = 100 apartments per level.  With 22 levels, that allows 2200 Aes Sedai apartments in those levels. 

 

So we can have a circular Tower of 500-600 feet height and 150 feet radius, which wouldn't look too bad.

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Okay, taking the above and extending it way past the point of extrapolation and into the realms of invention (but seeing if said invention meets the requirements):

 

Suppose that:

- The WT is a circular one with a radius of 150' (plus about a foot or two for exterior load bracing, I suppose).

- There are 22 accommodation levels, split into 7 pie-shaped sectors, one per Ajah (Well, less supposition, more a given.  This also implies circularity of the WT to me, but that's not firm)

 

Assume concentric corridors of 8' width such that you have: Exterior ring of apartments / corridor / ring of apartments / ring of apartments / corridor / ring of apartments / ring of apartments / corridor / ring of apartments / ring of apartments / corridor / Ajah open hallway / central staircase

 

Seven spoke corridors (also 8' wide) radiate out from the Ajah open hallway that you come into off of the central staircase.  You can also have Ajah internal staircases in the Ajah open Hall and at the outside end of the radial spoke Hallways.

If you assume that apartments have to fit into sectors of 1/7th of the circle, you can get apartments in the rings of:

 

3 / corr / 3 / 2* / corr / 2 / 2 / corr / 1* / 1*

(* indicate extra room to allow for Ajah public rooms like shared lounges or interior libraries or special practice rooms or even toilets/ablutions)

So I'll indicate them as apartment rings from the centre.  So ring 1 and 2 each have 1 apartment per Ajah, rings 3 and 4 have 2 per Ajah, ring 5 has 2 per Ajah, ring 6 has 3 per Ajah as does ring 7. 

Assuming 10' depth (including walls), the length of each apartment is as follows:

Ring 1: 38 '

Ring 2: 38'

Ring 3: 36'

Ring 4: 40'

Ring 5: 40'

Ring 6: 35'

Ring 7: 41'

 

Not all apartments are equal, but the smallest ones can have dressing rooms of 10'x6', bedrooms of 8'x10', living rooms of 13' x 10' and studies of 8' x 10', which seem fairly good to these British eyes.

You can have public rooms for the Ajahs of 10'x17' in Ring 5, and segment shaped ones of 20' x 15' at widest to 6' at narrowest encompassing Rings 1 and 2.

If the central staircase is 50' across, then the areas from radius 25' to radius 56' become Ajah Halls on each level (22' wide on entry, 31' deep, widening to 50' wide at the point that the radial spoke corridors come off of them.  This area is free to be used for whatever the Ajah desires - on each level).

 

This gives 14 apartments per Ajah per level. 

 

We also know that the Tower is designed to hold 3000 Aes Sedai at full stretch.  This would require 30 levels, not just 22.  However, we know that the Tower is understrength.  With another leap into invention (sorry), I'm going to airly postulate that not every Aes Sedai gets an apartment when it's at full crowding.  Sorry to the juniormost and weakest sisters in the precedence order, but you get smaller 'mini-apartments' consisting of half-sized ones.  A 7'x10' bedroom with 4'x6' dressing room/walk-in wardrobe, an 8'x10' living room and a 10' x 6' study.  With these, we can get

 

Ring 7 : 6

Ring 6: 5

Ring 5: 5

Ring 4: 4

Ring 3: 4

Ring 2: 3

Ring 1: 2

Total of 29 mini-apartments per Ajah per level.  These are the junior apartments.  You can fit in some smaller public rooms here and there.

 

So - if you have 14 levels of senior apartments and 8 levels of junior apartments, you get ... 428 apartments per Ajah (196 senior and 232 junior); 2996 apartments in those 22 levels.

 

Of course, fortunately for Moiraine in New Spring, with the Blue Ajah below 196 Aes Sedai (second smallest Ajah), she gets a senior apartment even with her junior-ness (is that a word?)

 

Anyway, I'll freely admit sheer invention throughout, but it has demonstrated that you can get what many would describe as decent-sized apartments (bedroom/sitting room/dressing room/study) into a circular Tower 150' in radius while fitting in 3000 Aes Sedai, so it is possible and you can have a Tower twice as high as it is wide (and nicely circular).  Not to say that this is how RJ envisaged it, but it does fit.

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