Hoberman Arch

January 8, 2010
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Retractable arch

The Hoberman Arch is a 72-foot-diameter transforming “curtain” composed of two main parts: a matrix of movable panels and a static arch that supports those panels. Hoberman’s concept of the screen was to use 96 panels, each with a skeletal frame constructed from aluminum box sections, which are clad in translucent fiber-reinforced panels. Four different shaped panels are radially arranged and layered over each other to form an almost solid screen while closed. The outermost panels attach to 13 radial slides on the static arch. The lower sections of the panels are supported by “trolleys” which ride on tracks housed in the stage’s turntable. Thus all movable elements on the perimeter of the arch are directly attached to static supports.

The Hoberman Arch was installed in front of the stage at Olympic Medals Plaza for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The deployment of the arch was part of a performance that included music, lighting and dancers. Over 500 computer controlled lights were integrated into the arch’s movements so that it entirely changed its color and appearance.

Contact: Hoberman Associates, New York, NY, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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