The Netherlands and the North Sea have long struggled over territorial rights. After flood waters ravaged the country around the Zuiderzee, several attempts at controlling the waters were made. The Delta Project was an ambitious 3.2-billion dollar barrier across the Eastern Scheldt estuaries. The first three estuaries are spanned by solid dams and dikes. The fourth estuary, however, is spanned by a structure called a storm surge barrier. It links the banks of the estuary with massive gates mounted between huge prestressed concrete piers. It is designed to remain open unless a surge of tidal or storm-driven water is anticipated. The design allows seawater to cycle normally within the estuary, maintaining the saltwater ecology and providing security for the lowlands.
Frustrated too often by Lansing, Michigan's winter weather, Larry Clark of L. D. Clark Building Co. decided to do something about it. After a year of planning and preparation, his solution is anair-inflated dome enclosing and supporting its own working environment. Regardless of theweather, inside conditions can be maintained to keep workers efficient and product quality high.The dome, a 213-foot-long by 150-foot-wide and 45-foot-high bubble of 28-ounce vinyl-coated polyester, is supported by 1 psi of air pressure. Air for support, heat, and ventilation is supplied by a 1-hp electric blower unit enclosed in a 45-foot semitrailer and routed to the dome through 30-inch ducts. The dome transmits light well so little extra lighting is needed during the day.
The lotus flower is a symbol of purity in eastern religions. It is not surprising then that Iranian-born-and-educated architect Fariburz Sahba chose the flower as the design concept for the Baha'i House of Worship near New Delhi, India. The temple was designed in the shape of the newly opened flower. Over the central hall, a double-layered, 112-foot-diameter inner dome composed of 54 concrete ribs with concrete shells between rises 92 feet above white marble floors. The first of three layers of nine petals arches over the dome, 110 feet above the hall, the tips parted to allow natural light to penetrate the interior through glazed roof panels. The bases of the inner petals form nine arched portals leading from a raised entryway created by the second set of petals.
Rockwell International's decision to seismically retrofit its eight-story Seal Beach, California, information systems center was a contractor's nightmare. The job was loaded with unusual specifications and performance requirements, as well as the mandate that only six 24-hour holidays could halt Rockwell's operations in the building.