David Blaine – Electrified: One Million Volts Always On

David Blaine Electrified.JPG
Project Overview: 
Pier 54 in downtown New York City hosted David Blaine’s latest feat of magic and endurance. “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On” featured David standing for 72 hours in the center of 1 million volts of electrical energy via seven (7) Tesla Coils set to music. In partnership with Intel the public was able to control the volts of electricity and movements of the Tesla coils from Intel Ultrabook stations set up in New York, London, Beijing, Tokyo, and Sydney. Clad in a chain mail suit, Faraday cage helmet and steel soled boots, David Blaine stood atop an aluminum truss tower. He was the centerpiece of a truss assembly and spherical pipe globe provided by Pook, Diemont & Ohl and The Guild. To keep the weather from contributing even more danger to the event, StageCo erected a massive 65 foot by 75 foot steel roof structure with wind walls, installed from a barge crane in the Hudson River.
McLaren's Role: 
McLaren performed analysis on various features for the event as well as for the historic pier itself, working in association with Vice Media, the Guild, and StageCo. McLaren developed a High Wind Action Plan and advised the production regarding operational procedures. McLaren also analyzed a 33 foot 6 inch diameter by 41 foot tall custom truss structure, provided by James Thomas Engineering, for various environmental conditions; in addition to supporting the seven (7) Tesla Coils, the pipe sphere, and David Blaine himself. McLaren performed a peer review of the surrounding StageCo structure and engineered ballast configurations, to safely distribute the load of the 70 ton roof on the decaying 100 year old pier. McLaren also reviewed Steeldeck viewing platforms with LED monitors and analyzed the structural connections for the Tesla Coils, pipe sphere, and entry signage. Project challenges included: fast track job with ambitious goals, sign and scaffold designs and submission documents completed only days before event, and development of appropriate wind loads and operational procedures.
Service: 
Structural Engineering
Service: 
Structural Assessment
Service: 
Inspection
Service: 
Rigging
Location: 
New York, New York
Client: 
Vice Media, Inc.
Project Type: 
Structural Engineering
Role: 
Prime
Contract Period: 
September 2012 - October 2012
Construction Cost: 
N/A

Location
New York, New York

Client
Vice Media, Inc.

Our Role
Prime
Project Type
Structural Engineering

Contract Period
September 2012 - October 2012

Construction Cost
N/A
Services
Structural Engineering
Structural Assessment
Inspection
Rigging