When it opens next May, one of the most dramatic features of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be a 450-foot-long stainless steel tapestry depicting the coast of Normandy, France, the site of the Allied D-Day Victory on June 6, 1944.
If only we had a leader like Ike today.
From an article in ConstructionDive by Jenn Goodman.
The 60-foot-high woven metal tapestry along the southern edge of the memorial site will serve as a striking backdrop to larger-than-life-size bronze statues depicting scenes from the life of the 34th U.S. president and five-star general.
Etched with a line drawing created by project architect Frank Gehry, the distinctive, transparent tapestry will shimmer during the day and reflect light at night, while leaving sightlines to surrounding buildings open, said Victoria Tidwell, deputy director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
For its fabrication, by artist Tomas Osinsky, the project team used a graphic file that converted the artwork into three dimensions. In Osinsky’s Los Angeles studio, weavers are using a custom-programmed CNC (computer numerical control) machine that has been modified to work with spools of stainless steel thread of different thicknesses to produce the tapestry in 604 3-foot-by-15-foot panels.
The weight of each of the panels varies based on its artwork. The lightest panels are roughly 75 pounds, while the panels with the most dense artwork weigh as much as 125 pounds. In total the tapestry will include roughly 600 miles of stainless steel cable and more than 82 million stainless steel cable welds, said Jared Oldroyd, vice president and business unit leader at Clark Construction.
Once complete this fall, the panels will be shipped to a warehouse in Maryland and then delivered in batches as installation progresses. They will be affixed to a 125-ton box beam and tensioned cable net support system anchored to six 80-foot-tall limestone columns equipped with precisely embedded plates to hold the cables, according to Oldroyd.
The margin of error for installation of the artwork onto the 24 embeds and 72 corresponding brackets is miniscule, said Brian Krause, Clark vice president and director of virtual design and construction.
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