Jorn Utzon’s Expensive Mistake.
Why did the Sydney Opera house take so long to build and cost so much?
When Jorn Utson won the prize he had no ides that they would want him to build it he though it was just a concept building contest and did not have a clue how he was going to build it but just said yes. He wrongly assumed he would have to use some sort of complex polynomial to find the curve to make the extraordinary design of the sails stand up. He was several years into the project with major construction well underway and three million in 1960’s dollars in run time gone and did not have a clue how he was going to make it work.
On the Sunday morning before the Monday he planned to go in and fess up that he did not know how to do it and resign. He was having breakfast peeling an orange and watching the sections drop on the table and not fall over when he realised that the solution was the sections of a sphere and not some Gothic arch or a complex polynomial he was looking for and was it not anywhere near as complicated as he first thought.
He had committed the cardinal sin of mathematics and been looking for a complicated solution to a simple problem.