This multicoloured tapestry is a photomontage compiled from images taken from the tower crane on the construction site at Zaha Hadid's Wolfsburg Science Centre in Saxony, Germany.
The image shows work under way on the £23m building's main exhibition floor. This floor is constructed inside a vast, irregular concrete box, suspended 7 m above the ground on irregularly shaped conical legs. Hadid describes the building as "a slab that has been lifted off the ground, within which are voids that drop to the ground". These hollow voids are the building's structural legs.
The photomontage shows the formwork in position ready for one of the concrete pours to form the main exhibition floor (this is the floor coloured green on the computer generated image). The floor plate measures 153 m long by 80 m wide at its maximum width, and curves upward towards the railway tracks. The tiny white van in the top right of the image gives a clue as to the floor's size.
The floorplate itself will be cast in five sections using self-compacting concrete. The white blobs on the black shuttering-floor are tapered waffles that will be cast into the slab used to form the dimpled underside of the floor.
Paul Scott, a director at the project's structural engineer Adams Kara Taylor, explains the anticipation that accompanies this critical stage in the building's construction: "Casting the exhibition floor is one of the key milestones of the project. It is a hugely important level; the element everybody is waiting to see built."
Once the floor has been built, five of the conical legs will be extended upwards to support the roof structure. Construction of the roof is due for completion at the end of the year. The building is expected to open to the public in early 2005.
Client Stadt Wolfsburg Architect Zaha Hadid Structural engineer Adams Kara Taylor Main contractor Heitkamp