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Context: The Mastaba Project by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

© Christo/Photo:Wolfgang Volz
© Christo/Photo:Wolfgang Volz
© schlaich bergermann und partner
© schlaich bergermann und partner
The New York-based artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude came to worldwide fame with their temporary textile sculptures. In Germany they are best known for their spectacular wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995. Their possibly only permanent large size sculpture will be the Mastaba, a giant solitary structure made of oil barrels in the desert of Abu Dhabi. For us as structural engineers, developing and building the structure required for the Mastaba isn’t merely a technically ambitious challenge, but also a highly appealing task in terms of design and construction.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude commissioned four independent feasibility studies for the structure, and schlaich bergermann und partner were hired to evaluate them. Beginning with the most promising study, developed by Hosei University in Japan, schlaich bergermann und partner created a detailed conceptual study for the structure and its assembly. The results allow the artist to begin the realization of his project. (Mike Schlaich)