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No Place Like Dome

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No Place Like Dome
Even in the Twitter era of 140 characters, it's good to know books haven?t gone out of style. On Friday, San Diegans celebrated the topping-out of the landmark dome on the city's grand New Central Library.
No Place Like Dome
We caught up with Turner Construction project executive Carmen Vann, second from right, with Qualcomm co-founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs (aka San Diego's Bill Gates), Joan Jacobs, and Turner VP Shawn Rosenberger. She says the $185M library, designed by the renowned Rob Quigley, is an iconic building and a large part of that is its 100-foot structural steel dome. Inspired by the dome at Balboa Park, it sits atop the three-story reading room and is the highest point of the library. ?This really changes the skyline of San Diego.? The dome—eight sails composed of 1,500 metal panels—was fabricated in its entirety on site. An innovative integrated scaffold system, which Turner incorporated into its 3D model, ensured that anyone working on the dome or providing any service to it during construction could have easy and safe access.
No Place Like Dome
A construction webcam shot of the project, which is about 85% complete; it's on track to wrap in Q1 2013. (And imagine how angry librarians get when a whole library is overdue.) The downtown library, which will house 1.2 million volumes, takes a multipurpose approach that will serve all aspects of the community. The nine-story concrete structure will contain more than 400 computer stations, special event and reading rooms, children?s and teen areas, a charter high school, as well as bay view terraces, roof gardens, and a caf. The 400k SF library more than doubles the existing facility and has been designed for LEED Silver.
No Place Like Dome
At the podium, Shawn celebrates what will become one of the city's most versatile and widely used civic buildings, including a separate 350-seat auditorium. Carmen tells us the venue will be joined to the main library building by a trellis system, ?which will be a beautiful feature itself, covering a courtyard area." When the library?s full-height, glass entry doors and the auditorium doors are open, it creates a seamless space where programs can continue out into the courtyard. One of Carmen's favorite pastimes: reading a good book with a nice glass of wine. We concur.