When the Hayden Planetarium underwent a full renovation in 2000, McLaren Engineering Group was part of bringing the historic NYC landmark to its current state-of-the-art splendor. Our team provided structural analysis and erection procedures for the six-story glass cube that encapsulates the Hayden Sphere. This marquee exhibit in the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, is comprised of protective glass curtain wall, glass ceiling and a supporting stainless-steel space frame.
Acting as a window between the outside world and the world of discovery, this iconic glass structure has assisted the Museum of Natural History with its overall mission of exposing the wonders of science to the public. “Since 1935, the Hayden Planetarium has served as the premier conduit between the frontier of cosmic discovery and the public’s appreciation of it.”
McLaren took on the significant task of balancing the competing interests of structural design, safety and erection procedures with a world class design aesthetic to deliver an iconic glass cube. The transparent glass cube encases the 87-foot off-white sphere that seems to levitate, creating a celestial display at the grand entrance of the Rose Center.
The engineered trusses and curtain wall, all work together to create this strong glass structure. Tension rods and long posts, spaced 21 feet on center, support the roof space truss. The 95-foot glass wall is then hung from vertical trusses and held in place by stainless steel horizontal tension trusses. All functioning together to make it appear as if the glowing sphere is a floating planet encapsulated on earth.