Choose another wonder
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Completion Date: 1992
Cost: $214 million
Diameter: 840 feet
Type: Cable-supported roof (tensegrity)
Materials: Steel, Teflon-coated Fiberglas
Engineer(s): Matthys Levy; Weidlinger Associates
On March 1, 1992, as workers placed the last fabric roof panel in place, the Georgia Dome became the largest cable-supported fabric roof in the world. Stretching more than 395,000 square feet, the Teflon-coated Fiberglas fabric roof is quite an engineering marvel. The roof weighs just 68 pounds, but it is strong enough to support a fully loaded pickup truck. How? The answer lies with a fundamental engineering breakthrough, one that architect-engineer Buckminster Fuller dubbed "tensegrity."
Put simply, tensegrity is a complex sequence of triangles. Short, vertical posts carry the weight of the Georgia Dome roof. The posts are held in place by pre-stretched cables, attached to the top and bottom of each post with steel pins and welded connections. The cables pull on the posts with equal
It is this precise dance of pulling and pushing that allows tensegrity roofs like the Georgia Dome to soar far above the stands and the playing field below.Here's how this dome stacks up against some of the biggest domes in the world.
(diameter, in feet)