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2006 07 20
Building the ROM Crystal - Status 28
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This morning's view of the ROM Crystal. As an interesting aside relating to complexity in construction, I was speaking with Jack Diamond yesterday about the glass stair at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The stair was engineered by local firm, Halcrow-Yolles, and manufactured by the German company, Josef-Gartner. If you haven't seen it, the stair is an elaborate piece of engineering and fabrication. I mentioned to Jack that in terms of its complexity it reminded me of the glass wall at the Sydney Opera House I'd seen some twenty years before. An early example of large span, compound curve glass construction, it had to be engineered and partially manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft company. The reason was, of course, as aircraft manufacturers they had the capability to engineer complex curves and special fittings that would hold the array of glass panels together.
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Jack added that the Sydney Opera House enhanced the Australian construction industry's ability to manage and build more demanding projects. So, this is another example where the demands of art result in an unrecognized trickle-down benefit to society on the whole. I wonder if anyone has done an economic analysis on how building the ROM, the AGO, and the FSCFTAs will allow the Canadian construction industry to compete globally and locally on demanding engineering projects. Will those projects also elevate the standards of Toronto's built environment? These are long term issues but worthy of some serious consideration.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 07/20 at 12:01 PM

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