The Insanely Complicated Logistics Of Building A Planetarium 

The Insanely Complicated Logistics Of Building A Planetarium 

Miami’s building a new science museum, and it seems hell bent on making the construction process as interesting as possible.

A few months ago, we posted a video of the concrete being poured for the museum’s crazy, martini-glass-shaped aquarium. It took 25 hours of continuous, hyper-precise pouring to finish the job. This week, the construction team at Skanska sent along an update detailing the latest stage of the building’s progress: The planetarium.

Unlike most planetariums, which are constructed inside an existing building that serves as a structural framework, the museum’s concrete orb will support itself — which made constructing it a logistical challenge.

Think of it as re-assembling an orange that you’ve already peeled. The main structure of the orb is made up of 32 concave pieces of concrete, each of which weighs 23,000kg. First, the team at Skanska had to set up the orange’s fake “core”, a metal tower that would serve as the stabilising element as the skin was put into place. Then, the company explains, each massive section was lifted carefully into place by a 500-tonne hydraulic crane.

But the real kicker was that crews had to work around the clock — seamless day and night shifts — over the course of more than two weeks to finish the job. “The team erected panels during the day and welded the panels at night so they could be ready to erect new panels in morning and maintain schedule,” says Skanska. Let’s just hope some of the people attending midnight Pink Floyd light shows in this thing will appreciate the round-the-clock work that went into building it.

[via Skanska Blog]

Pictures: Skanska