Photographer's Note

Genoa celebrated the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America with an exposition dedicated to the sea. As the thematic centrepiece, a large permanent structure was designed, emulating a ship crane, which would support a fabric membrane over a public piazza and an elevator ride to provide panoramic views of the city. The old Genoese word for a ship crane, `bigo', was adopted for the structure. Arup provided full structural engineering services for the design.

The Bigo consists of two independent sets of cable-linked, cigar-shaped booms fanning out from a small `island' podium located in the dock water. One set of booms supports the tent roof over a harbour pier, covering the piazza. The other set carries a vertical cable-car passenger lift from the quayside. Both sets are anchored down to foundations beneath the harbour water.

The largest of the tapered booms, which supports the cable-car lift, is more than 70m long. The PTFE-coated glassfibre membrane tent roof is supported from four tubular section arches which are, in turn, suspended from the tips of a pair of booms via sets of cables fanning from a special node detail. The lower boundaries of the tent are tensioned against a series of inclined props around its perimeter.

Skylight strips between adjacent tent membrane areas are attached below and on each side of the arches. Glass barrel vault forms supported from spine tubes fixed between the tent suspension points cover these openings. A `pantograph' mechanism incorporated into the suspension points ensures that the inclination of each glass vault is automatically adjusted to fit the geometry of the tent surface each side as it moves under changing wind or snow loads.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop


Model: Canon DIGITAL IXUS 50
Software: Adobe Photoshop 7.0
Exposure Time: 1/30
F-Stop: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5800/1000 mm
Date Taken: 2006-11-19 17:06
Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
File Size: 194 kb

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3739 W: 144 N: 8840] (41258)
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