Monday, 25 February 2013

Images And Words 199 ~ Unusual Structures

It's Week 19 of IMAGES AND WORDS. This week our host is Sue C, who has chosen the theme of 'Unusual Structures'. 

After a little thought, I decided to go with a photo of the 'Spaceship Earth' exhibit, at Disney's EPCOT park on Florida. A very iconic image, most people have seen at least a photo of it. Most people also refer to it as the 'golf ball', which is totally incorrect. Apart from the general spherical shape, it is nothing like a golf ball.

Here's a brief description of it's structure:

Geometrically, Spaceship Earth is a derivative of a pentakis dodecahedron. It is a Class 2 Frequency 16 Icosahedron, with each of the 60 isosceles triangle faces divided into 16 smaller equilateral triangles (with a bit of fudging to make it rounder). Each of those 960 flat panels is sub-divided into four triangles, each of which is divided into three isosceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isosceles triangles forming 3840 points. In reality, some of those triangles are partially or fully nonexistent due to supports and doors; there are actually only 11,324 silvered facets, with 954 partial or full flat triangular panels. The appearance of being a monolithic sphere is an architectural goal that was achieved through a structural trick. Spaceship Earth is in fact two structural domes. Six legs are supported on pile groups that are driven up to 160 feet into Central Florida's soft earth. Those legs support a steel box-shaped ring at the sphere's perimeter, at about 30 degrees south latitude in earth-terms.The upper structural dome sits on this ring. A grid of trusses inside the ring supports two helical structures of the ride and show system. Below the ring, a second dome is hung from the bottom, completing the spherical shape. The ring and trusses form a table-like structure which separates the upper dome from the lower. Supported by and about three feet off of the structural domes is a cladding sphere to which the shiny Alucobond panels and drainage system are mounted. The cladding was designed so that when it rains, no water pours off the sides onto the ground. All water is collected through one-inch gaps in the facets into a gutter system, and finally channeled into the World Showcase Lagoon.

Spaceship Earth

I've included a second photo of a closer look at the surface structure:
SE Pattern 2

32 comments:

  1. That is indeed an unusual structure. ET would feel right at home. Love the quote.

    My entry

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    1. Thanks Kathy. It's a really fascinating pattern, isn't it?

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  3. never seen it like that big ..GREAT

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    1. sorry for waiting till I see it ..the last time i had lotas naughty words in my blogs

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  4. You can really shoot, Mitchy!!

    Thank you for nice words to my Unusual structures

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  5. This is INDEED a most impressive structure. Seeing it in person is even more impressive...but then Epcot itself is IMPRESSIVE!

    Your photo is wonderful and of course I knew and inderstood the facts...LOL!!!

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    1. Thanks Linda. It's also very deceptive in size. It's not until you're actually standing right next to it that you really appreciate just how big it is. Yes, Epcot is a wonderful place, probably my favourite Disney park.

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  6. Mitch this is a a place I want to visit. What an impressive
    shot you got. Especially the close up.
    It kind of looks like a golf ball...

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    1. Thanks Sue :-)) If you ever visit Florida, you have to visit Epcot, it's a beautiful park.

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  7. Hi Mitch
    This is actually a very cleverly designed building.
    I love the detail of it when viewed up close in your second photo.
    The quote fits the structure so well. This really is unusual and a grand piece of Art. Fantastic photos..both.

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    1. Thanks Milli :-)). Yes, it is indeed cleverly designed. I think most folks who visit don't really appreciate that fact. They spend their time queuing to go into the exhibit chatting to each other while only giving it as cursory glance. I spent almist as much time looking at it and photographing than I did looking at the inside!! LOL.

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  8. Fantastic entry,Mitch! Have never seen anything like that... thanks for posting a second shot... awesome detail!

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  9. How very clever and so interesting, Mitch. I am just popping around playing catch up quickly. I find it so difficult interacting here on Blogger so have not been here much. Am playing more with my friends on Facebook these days. Miss the old Quick Note : Good Morning how are you all?

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    1. Thanks Marianne :-)) I know the communication isn't quite as fast here on Blogger as it was on Multiply, but in all other respects I really love it here. I can't stand FB, I refuse to have an account there.

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  10. WOW! It's amazing! great shot, Mitch and I enjoyed reading about it!

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  11. Fabulous building .
    Thanks for your visit and comment .

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  12. Very interesting structure indeed!! Great shot!!

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    1. Thank you for dropping by and commenting :-))

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  13. I have never seen it before Mitch and think it is stunning. I don't think it looks like a golf ball at all.

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