Some Cool Structures Seen on our Summer Vacation 2012 - An Engineer's Aspect


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Friday, September 7, 2012

Some Cool Structures Seen on our Summer Vacation 2012

Fountain Place; Dallas, Texas

Galinsky describes this remarkable building designed by the award winning architects I.M. Pei and Partners:

"The crystalline form of this glass-clad office tower was designed to meet the developer's requirement for a distinctive presence on the Dallas skyline. Henry Cobb as described it as "what's left after carving into a square prism." Large but subtle slices have been carved from the top, so the tower that emerges is a parallelogram in section, but does not look it from many vantage points. Smaller slices have been carved below to make the ground floor also a parallelogram, creating shady, fountain-filled gardens beneath.

The original plan was for a second, identical, tower to be added at right-angles to the first, which (together with other planned buildings) was never built."

Santiago Calatrava's Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge; Dallas, Texas

The Architectural Record describes this extraordinary bridge:

"Designed in Calatrava’s signature style, the cable-stayed bridge supports its length with 58 steel cords strung from a 400-foot-high arch, creating a delicate white form that resembles a string instrument. Named after a late local philanthropist whose family donated $12 million toward the $182 million structure, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge crosses the Trinity River and connects Downtown to the city’s West Dallas section."

The Sternberg Museum; Hays, Kansas

The Sternberg Museum is a Monolithic Dome. According to the Monolithic Dome Institute, the dome wasn't originally built to house a museum:

"Built in 1979, it originally opened as a sports center and private country club. Its attractions included a bowling alley and a large swimming pool in a precast, rectangular structure connected to the dome. Unfortunately, the center did not succeed and its owners abandoned it. In 1990 when Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, envisioned the dome's conversion to a new, much needed site for the school's museum, the facility had been abandoned for more than two years."

Now the Monolithic Dome has been transformed into a beautiful museum. From Kansas Travel:

"The Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas is very nearly a destination by itself. If the rotating exhibits interest you, it may take 2-3 hours see everything. If not, a visit will take about an hour and a half. The exhibits are attractive and interesting"

The Salt Lake City Library; Salt Lake City, Utah

According to The Salt Lake City Library website:

"Salt Lake City's Main Library, designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, embodies the idea that a library is more than a repository of books and computers; it reflects and engages the city's imagination and aspirations. The building, which opened in February 2003, is double the previous space with 240,000 square feet for more than 500,000 books and other materials, and room for the collection to grow. The six-story curving, walkable wall embraces the public plaza, with shops and services at ground level, reading galleries above, and a 300-seat auditorium. A multi-level reading area along the glass lens at the southern facade of the building looks out onto the plaza with stunning views of the city and Wasatch Mountains beyond. A roof-top garden, accessible by walking the crescent wall or the elevators, offers a 360 degree view of the Salt Lake Valley. Spiraling fireplaces on four floors resemble a column of flame from the vantage of 200 East and 400 South. The Urban Room between the library and the crescent wall is a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight and open to magnificent views."

Gross square footage:
237,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost:
$92 million

Design Architect:
Moshe Safdie and Associates

Architect of Record:
VCBO Architecture, LLC

The Holt Arena (ISU Mini-Dome); Pocatello, Idaho

Location: Idaho State University Campus, Pocatello, Idaho.

History: It was Milton W. "Dubby" Holt, Idaho State University’s Athletic Director in the late 1960’s, who first suggested the idea of an enclosed football stadium. The idea was considered very radical at the time and was met with a great deal of criticism. Despite this, the idea was presented to the student body and was approved by a student vote in January 1968. Construction began on October 1, 1968 and was completed in September of 1970.

The mini dome was the first enclosed stadium in Idaho, and the first covered football stadium built on a college campus. After it was completed for what was considered a reasonable price—2.8 million dollars—other domed stadiums began cropping up all over the country.

The stadium was built entirely with funds from a voluntary student fee increase.

Statistics: The building is 400 by 420 feet, enclosing 194,400 square feet of building floor area. The structure is recessed 20 feet below grade, and rises 89 feet above grade giving it a clear span at center of 103 feet. It contains both a 12,000-seat football field and an 8,000-seat basketball court.

It is the largest public facility in eastern Idaho. (idptv website)