A Museum for the Heavens

by Matthys Levy, Sr. Prin. Engr.; Weidlinger Associates Inc., New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 5, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


Replacing a icon such as the Hayden Planetarium's thin-shelled concrete dome is not the most desirable assignment. But the design team for the new Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rost Center for Earth and Space in the new Hayden Planetarium has come up with its own signature piece. A futuristic sphere sitting upon steel legs and set inside a glass box is not a conventional design choice. but historical precedent combined with modern construction techniques made construction possible. The sphere will serve as home to a sky theater and big bang exhibit and hopefully serve as an inspiration for the next generation of engineers just as the old Hayden Planetarium inspired its fair share.

Subject Headings: Steel construction | Spheres | Public buildings | Construction methods | Space exploration | Glass | Domes (structure)

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