Performing Arts Center:
Construction of the Monolithic Dome


The dome structure rises on site adjacent to Library.


Preparing to spray first layer of concrete on interior of stem walls prior to attachment of airform.


First layer of special concrete mix is applied to the inside of the stem walls over the web of reinforcing steel.


What one observer called "the world's largest hair dryer" - the blower used to inflate the airform.


The airform is attached to the stem walls - various views.


Inflating the airform - almost complete (note that a heavy rainstorm occurred the day before, depositing a large accumulation of water onto the airform.)


Whoosh! The rainwater cascades from the edge of the airform as inflation nears completion.


Inflation of the airform is completed - ready for the application of blown-in insulation material to inner surface.


An interior view of the inflated airform -- ready for application of blown-in insulation layer.


Workers spray special concrete to inside surface of dome -- note framework of reinforcing steel (re-bar). This makes the dome structure incredibly strong and durable.


Workers attach the web of steel reinforcing bars to the ceiling of the dome prior to application of concrete.


Not going anywhere -- look at the openings in the stem walls and note the thickness of the steel reinforced concrete.  In the foreground is a portion of the foundation for the portions of the building to be constructed outside the dome structure.  This area happens to be where the Ona Wright Lecture Hall will be located.  Here is a drawing of the floorplan. 


Way up high - workers begin installation of ductwork and electrical conduit in the ceiling of the dome.  This photo gives some idea of the scale of the dome interior.  Later, several feet of the floor as shown here will be excavated to allow for rake or slope of theater seating, ultimately resulting in a continental style seating arrangement.


Ductwork and sprinkler system pipes being installed in the ceiling area of the dome above what will be the theater seating area.  Another view.  This angle (looking toward the front or California Street side) gives a sense of the size of the area within the dome walls.  This will be the theater seating area.  (Several feel of the floor as shown here will be excavated to allow for the rake or slope of the seats down to the front of the stage.)


Roughing in the plumbing for the men's dressing room and adjacent restroom.


Exterior walls going up.  This is a portion of the building that will be outside the dome structure.  This particular area will contain a large convertible space that can be used as two general purpose classrooms.  It will have a special wood floor, wall mirrors, and dance barre for the dance classes that are currently part of the curriculum.  Another view. 




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