Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Small dome complete!

Well, inside at least! Jason and Michael put in a long Sunday to finishe the first layer of the small dome, and get the second dome ready for complete rings. Soon we can remove the interior intersection guidework!

Starting to take shape

Michael works on the final courses

Dome done!

Jason and dome both finished at the end of the day!

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Great progress on Friday and Saturday

Friday and Saturday saw more great participation from BAC Local 3. Pete put it well when he commented how it was a pleasure to volunteer where your profession is actually needed. We're so grateful to have these skilled craftsmen with us.

Dave J. laying the "herringbone" belt around the base of the small dome

The inside of the large dome begins to define the space

Tim lays tile in the second layer

Father and son team of Tim and Pete make great progress with the tile on the inside of the big dome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Beginning of the day Thursday

End of the day

Another view of The Bowls at the end of the day Thursday

The final course comes to light

Union Craftwork

Yesterday and today were days of incredible progress. Thanks to the men of BAC Local 3 the domes are well on their way. We even started the 3rd and final layer today, which will be the visible side of the shell. The level of skill and professionalism these men show is amazing, and their dedication to building the bowls is a real testament to them.

The Bowls at the beginning of the day Thursday

Jewlia tries her hand at laying tile

The crew relaxes for lunch

Tim helps Steve (unseen) lay the final herringbone patter to The Bowls.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Masonry on site!

Monday the members of the Brickworkers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 arrived and began working their masonry magic. Dave, Tom, Dan, Randy and Tim have quickly learned the tile-vaulting techniques and are fast becoming experts in the field of vault building.

Tom (left) and Dan laying the first course of Xella AAC tiles

The state of play at the end of the first day

Tom uses a staple gun to fix the geotextile reinforcing to the dome

Masonry at the end of the day Tuesday

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ready for Masonry!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been very big days of progress as we get ready for the masonry construction to start on Monday. It's been a few days of hard labor and now some visible forms for the domes

20,000 lbs of masonry mortar for construction, all carried up to the sculpture court by hand.

Pallets of aerated autoclaved concrete tiles ready for dome building

The guidework begins to take shape and define the form of the domes

Sunday at noon, with all the guidework completed
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Friday, June 18, 2010

When The Bowls are complete

Today the 30,000 lbs of masonry, mortar and guidework arrive for the dome construction. When we are all done (in 10 days or so) the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will have a summer performance space of two intersecting domes on a seismic isolation plinth.

Sketch renders of the bowls in place.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Plinth almost Finished!

Today saw some rapid progress from partially framed plinth in the morning to fully decked plinth by the afternoon. I even got to lay out the dome on the deck to check its size and positioning. All the guidework and prep happens tomorrow and over the weekend, with masons showing up on Monday.

The Framed Deck

Unistruct steel will support the access stair at the corner

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Isolation plinth on site

Mark and Michael contemplating the isolators

Engineering conference in center field

The entire weight of the platform and domes on top is transmitted through 30 of these ball bearings that lie in the isolator cones and provide the movement in the event of an earthquake.

Testing the full plinth.

Xella AAC Arrives at American Steel

Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC or aircrete) arrived today courtesy of Xella USA, the manufacturer. Our semi of material arrived after an all-weekend drive from the plant in Georgia -- some of the AAC was still warm from being made only 2 weeks ago!

Unloading the AAC inside American Steel

6 pallets take up most of our rented space...and weigh about 20,000 lbs

Jewlia cutting the blocks into the tiles we will need for the build.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Big day for Big Steel

Today 9500 lbs of steel arrived on site, all of which had to be carried by hand up to the sculpture court. The heaviest piece is a bit more than 650 lbs, and vather awkward. We managed, thanks to a great crew of volunteers and the team from Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders. By the end of the day 3/4 of the plinth was assembled in place and level.

The first steel arrives onsite at 9 am. The first of two trailers full of ochre goodness.

The team handling the largest piece of steel after getting it up the staircase on the right.

Celebration when the final pieces of steel are on the sculpture court.

Most of the steel laid out and set up on the isolation bases. It rocks! (literally...) Only 6 more sections to put in. A lot of good work for one day. Thank you, everybody!