PS1 VW DOME De-install 2018 captured by Carlton Bright
MoMA PS1 Dome De-install 2018 video captured by Alex Sloane
School report by 9th-grade Assistant Crew Member, Spencer Kriegstein — When I arrived to PS1 MoMA on the morning of Thursday April 26, a large geodesic dome tent stood in the middle of the courtyard. When I left that afternoon, it was gone; here is how it happened. It was a rather chilly April morning when I walked up to PS1 MoMA at about five of seven. Although it was early, work had already begun. Crew members were already beginning to open up the top of the geodesic dome so that in a short while from now, the crane could be attached. At the same time, the rest of the crew prepared for the arrival of the 350 ton crane. After I took part in half a bagel as breakfast and was briefed by Art on the tasks that were to be completed by each crew member, I donned my hard hat and I went to work. My first task was to tie long climbing ropes to hard points located on the foot of the skin of the geodesic dome. I used my prior knowledge from sailing, so that the ropes were fastened with reliable bowline knots. Just as this task and a few other little short tasks were completed, the crane arrived, and its crew of two, incredibly maneuvered it into the loading dock. The hook was attached to the skin of the dome and it was time to begin the dismantle. I was handed a long stick with a soft wide piece on the end and my task was to use this to free up any snags that should occur as the skin was removed. The crane began to lift as others managed the skin via the climbing ropes. Following the cranes guidance, the skin was removed and placed in an extra utility area off to the side of the court yard. We untied and coiled the ropes and hurried over to help with our largest task of the day: dismantling the structure of the dome itself. The crane hoisted the steel structure a few inches off the ground and crews of two a piece attacked the spars, using power tools and long wrenches to undo bolt by bolt. As each spar was removed, myself along with other “runners” as we were called, carried the spars away from the structures over to another area to be sorted. Each time the crew dismantled an entire level, the crane lowered the structure down to the ground so that work could again begin on the new level. It was crucial that we kept up on our removing and didn't fall behind, otherwise the area near the dome would have become crowded with the spars. In a short while the dome disappeared, the crane left and all of the spars were relabeled by our labeling crew. After a delicious lunch of Vietnamese sandwiches, we got right back to work. Our first task of the afternoon was to carefully count and place the sorted and labeled parts into storage containers. Fatigue was starting to catch up with the crew, but possibly the hardest task of the day awaited; folding the massive skin of the dome. We began unrolling the heavy skin, when Art surprised the crew with ice cream, a much appreciated treat. The sugar helped to wake up the crew and energize our muscles, aiding in the tremendous task of folding. It took great focus, patience and listening skills by the crew, but we finally folded and packaged the the skin. The task was done; nothing remained of the geodesic dome. Before leaving I was treated to a lesson on operating the lift. What a day it was!
VIDEO: time-lapse of structure & skin
Outfitting the dome with a comprehensive build-out:
Although the dome is a re-usable structure, the strong floors, AV infrastructure, tech-booth, ADA access decking and energy-saving vestibules for 3 entrances, as well as a protective shed for the massive portable AC-units, all have to be re-fitted or built from scratch. It takes approximately 20 days to complete the installation.
Photo by Chris Roberts