UAE National Day 50
How do you balance and rotate a tilted 200+ tonne steel structure that’s floating on water?
One of the biggest challenges for our structural engineers to resolve was; how do you balance and rotate a tilted 200+ tonne steel structure that’s floating on water. The team had to ensure that as the disc rotated, the pontoon would remain stable and safe for the performers and crew. The team had to ensure the centre of mass of the structure was always above the centre of rotation of the revolve. Therefore, they calculated the required ballast volume and distribution to achieve this and installed where appropriate at the base of the disc structure.
Steel box trusses and the ladder frame units were fabricated and Stage One in sections, which, once the event was finished, were broken down and re-used for the test build of the art installation Whale Shark.
The crew were transported to the installation by boat and then assembled the main elements of the structure on the floating platoons.
Units made from 18mm plywood were suspended from the top of the steel frame to create the exterior shape before it was painted with a light grey finish. Detail was key, providing a smooth finish was essential to provide a high-finish against the reflection of the water.