Millennium Dome, London, England, 1999
Architect: Richard Rogers Partnership
Engineer: Buro Happod - Consulting Engineers
Credits: Institution of Civil Engineers, John Butler, Mike Backhouse, University of Surrey
The dome is 320 m in diameter and 50 m high at its centre. The fabric structure is suspended from twelve 100 m high steel masts, held on a net of more than 70 km of high strength steel cable. The roof fabric is self-cleaning PTFE-coated glass fiber with a minimum life of 25 years, which can be renewed in sections if necessary. A two-layer fabric provides insulation to prevent condensation. Tensioned steel cables are arranged radially on the surface and held in place at the nodes by hanger and tie-down cables at 25 m intervals. The 24 concrete anchor blocks positioned round the perimeter of the dome resist the upwards pull of the radial cables. The foundations of each anchor extend over 24 m into the ground.
Work on site began in June 1997 with the driving of 8,000 piles for the foundations and the construction of a concrete ring-beam marking the circumference of the dome. The twelve masts were erected in October 1997. Construction of the cable net and the attachment of the roof skin were carried out in the early 1998.
Guardian, David Hencke, May 30, 2002: The government yesterday gave away the ill-fated Millennium Dome and 190 acres surrounding it to an international business consortium in the hope that the taxpayer will get back $ 550,000,000 GBP over 20 years from a profit sharing scheme to develop the site. Lord Falconer's announcement to a sceptical House of Lords revealed that altogether $ 1,024,000,000 GBP had been spent developing the site, including the tube access and decontaminating the land. Guardian, Millennium Dome, Special Report.