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bra'tac's Achievements


Participant (2/16)



  1. Ok, so I was typing up a really long post when the page refreshed and I lost everything. Really the most important contribution I think I had was this: -The cauldron tower will not be on the Orbit, unless they erect an even taller structure on top. The Orbit doesn't look like it's been engineered for that structurally. -The cauldron will be directly on top of the Orbit. The HUGE amount of heat from these flames is a big safety hazard. Even though the loop looks like it may be far enough away, it would still be too close for safety, as I believe the heat could still compromise structural integrity, not to mention the integrity of the visitor deck. Cliff's notes of my other comments: -The trumpet cauldron design is feasible (and quite elegant). The LOCOG could have involved only one person in the ticket design and base it off of an early Heatherwick sketch. Then they send it to the printer. That adds only 1 additional person to the group in the know. -The slab to the north of the stadium looks like a likely candidate site. A few notes: The construction photos aren't very helpful. We don't know when during the process they were taken. It looks like it was taken early, so we don't even know if they dug deeper or just poured a relatively thin slab. If it's a thin slab, then I doubt is the location. Don't know why they walled off part of the canal. Even if the water table is really high, walling off a small portion of the canal like that wouldn't help. The canal is shallower than I thought. My "hiding the cauldron in the canal" theory is totally BUSTED. Yes the site is lower than the main concourse level, but if you're already building a tower that's visible inside the stadium, then what's an extra few meters? The big bridge with the mosaic floor is a very large gathering area (it seems larger than the other bridges/areas plus more ornate). It seems special, perhaps an intended vantage point for the cauldron? Edit: The cauldron WILL NOT be directly on top of the Orbit.
  2. What is that inconspicuous blue tent standing in the middle of a circle in the ground? Ideas? And why is the floor of the pod to the right of the tent different from the pods at the top? Something seems afoot. The foundation could have been built during general construction. It seems like they've planned ahead quite a bit, so I suspect the foundation is ready and waiting for whatever Heatherwick throws at it.
  3. 1) I never realized that 3 would be so significant, but now that you mention it, I have to think it will play some part. So many triangles in just the stadium itself. There seems to have been some forethought that went into the stadium, so I hope they considered the cauldron and lighting somehow as well. 2) I'm pretty convinced the cauldron structure will be anchored outside the stadium. The are to the north of the stadium seems like the most likely location based on all that we've gathered in this forum (including your 3rd point). I would say that it's not beyond the realm of engineering for a cantilevered structure. My first idea (not saying that I came up with it first) for the structure rising out of the canals would actually form a triangle (I should really try to sketch out what my idea is). I have 2 worries though (the first relates specifically to the canal idea): 1) The canals are actually quite far from the stadium (based on aerial photos). That would require quite a large structure for it to be visible in the stadium, and especially if you want something to cantilever down into the stadium. 2) The network of wires above the stadium is quite restrictive. Based on the panoramic photo you provided (thanks for that!), I can say that the stage at the north end will not be able to rise up to the edge of the roof. You can see a large bundle of wires above the stage in the panorama. Also, I agree that the pods to the north are probably some cover-up. They're standing right on the location of the supposed gas lines. Can't be a coincidence (I guess it could be, but where would be the fun in that?). I'll try to draw up a sketch of my cantilevered cauldron canal structure this weekend (Warning: I am not a good artist, and the drawings will most likely be horrible and may cause you permanent brain damage. You've been warned.) P.S. Paul65, my name is also Paul (haven't mentioned it before, though). This may get confusing when reading the forums from now on.
  4. Actually, this could totally work in London. The athletes toward the edge of the stage would have shorter strings for their lanterns. The length of the string gets longer for athletes toward the center of the stage. So the athlete lanterns would "build up" sort of like a mountain up to the center of the wires above the stadium. Then on top of the of all the hanging wires is the large lantern "cauldron". As the athlete lanterns rise, creating the rising mountain, it "lights" the main lantern, which begins to soar above the stadium, visible for miles and for everyone inside. It would take a lot of planning and coordination, but it's feasible. Weather is still the biggest issue, though. The releasing of lanterns is actually done in numerous countries in Europe as well. For me, it doesn't seem like an eastern practice, but perhaps to others it does.
  5. I just had a really awesome idea that would be quite different from all other lighting ceremonies. Unfeasible with the network of wires above the stadium and for numerous other reasons, but just an imaginative idea. Imagine this: The olympic torch enters the stadium. As it's passed to the last torch bearer, he lights something on the ground. The flame travels in a spoke like pattern outwards toward the edge of the stage in between the athletes. In the athlete's goodie bags is a pouch. They're told to open it. It's a flying lantern, like the ones in this pic: Inside the pouch is also a mini olympic torch. The athletes near the flaming olympic trenches begin to light their torches, in turn lighting others' torches, and so on. They then light their lanterns and are told to hold them. In the middle of the stage a HUGE lantern appears. As it is lit with the olympic flames, it is let go to fly up. It of course has a rope that will prevent it from flying away. The athletes release their lanterns, which have strings with weights as well. All the lanterns rise, creating a massive olympic "cauldron". The big lantern will remain as the permanent cauldron and will be moved outside the stadium and attached to a gas line to always have fuel. Now, I know that this has a lot of issues in general. The main problem is unpredictable weather, but also safety. But still, wouldn't this be awesome? Every athlete would feel as if they helped light the olympic cauldron. Now that would be a unique experience!
  6. Wow, lots of posts since I've been gone. This thread is becoming really, really active. Well, that is quite the intricate network of wires. I'm actually astounded at the beauty of that outer circle of wires suspended in mid-air. That being said, there are gaps in the wires. I agree with many of you who say that the cauldron won't be flying up somehow through the top of the stadium. So that leaves 2 options: 1) the cauldron will be lit in the stadium and then be moved after the OC or 2) the cauldron will be outside the stadium and will be lit during the OC somehow. For option 2, a person "flying" up to light the cauldron is too reminiscent of Beijing, so I think that's out. The only other options are either an indirect lighting like Turin (I really hope not) or they've devised an original way to get the flame to the cauldron. Can anyone think of any uniquely British flying objects or methods that may make this happen? I don't know much about the Orbit, other than it does look like a twisted roller coaster (at night it looks wonderful, though). From my understanding, the restaurant up top is supposed to be fine dining, so I'd assume they'd bring gas into the kitchen (but they may be able to make do with an electric stove). Based on the picture, I see no outlets for gas to come out, but they may not have topped it off with the cauldron yet (although I doubt that's what will occur). They could have run gas pipes within the pipes of the structure itself, but that doesn't seem likely for structural safety reasons (or perhaps the whole thing is a network of gas pipes and it'll explode and turn into the cauldron ). From what I've heard about the tower (it not being built by the London Olympic Committee, denials of it being the cauldron, and it not being designed by Heatherwick), I don't think it'll be the cauldron, but it could still be used as part of the OC, particularly for fireworks. And in that one picture in this forum from within the stadium showing The Orbit's looping looming above the stadium, the loop didn't even reach above the floodlights. They would need to top it off with something substantial to allow a lot of people to see it inside the stadium. That square opening in the middle does intrigue me, though. Perhaps they'll build something extending out from it? It doesn't look like the tower was built for that additional weight, though.
  7. I agree the floodlights on the stadium are definitely an issue. A structure that tall would need a lot of support or a large foundation. I'm not saying it's impossible, but thinking about that, it does seem improbable. Unless... During the lighting, they don't need all those floodlights on. Perhaps they can drop forward to provide a better view of cauldron? Even so, a large portion of the audience would not see the lighting, so it's not likely to happen. And I agree with Kanadian (below) that the lighting should first and foremost be seen by the athletes and everyone in the stadium. I love the idea of a mobile cauldron. As long as they make the lighting of it very dramatic (like Sydney's), I'd be perfectly fine with that. Even something small can present an engineering challenge, so I could be satisfied with that. Hmmm... War of the Worlds probably isn't the best thing to get people to think of during the Olympics. The staging area being setup in the middle right now isn't very tall (maybe 2 meters). It would be tough to hide something large like a cauldron (I'd hope it would be larger than 2 meters) under the stage, unless it's some sort of collapsible cauldron. The stage on the right looks very intriguing, but the picture on Jason's site isn't very large (at least the free one isn't), so I can't get a close look. Overall, London's stadium provides a lot of limitations. I would hope they considered the cauldron when designing those limitations, but everyone makes mistakes. In my mind, I haven't ruled out something that might come out of the top of the stadium because I can't find a high res picture or diagram of the wires running across the stadium. They could setup some rigging that could carry the cauldron up the the outer structure of the stadium. The structure looks strong enough to support additional weight from a preliminary inspection. Then again, a "flying" cauldron would basically have to be a flying propane tank on fire, and that doesn't sound very safe.
  8. Thanks for sharing your story AustralianFan. The OC in Sydney really created a memorable moment, with the whole OC not just the cauldron, that I think no one will ever forget. In regards to the feasibility of the cauldron/tower rising from the canals, here are my thoughts from what a few people brought up: I don't know the depth of the canals, but the water doesn't seem very clear (looking at pictures and Google Maps), so that seems to be perfect for masking something. As long as the canal is at least 3 to 4 meters deep, divers could easily work under the cover of water. And since they've locked down the area recently (if I recall correctly), it provides the perfect opportunity to move into place. We don't need to see any commotion around the canals yet. If they really want to keep a secret, they would float the tower in pieces underwater to the correct location. No one would be the wiser that the tower could be travelling in the river. Assembling structures underwater isn't unheard of, but it is trickier and more expensive than assembling on land. If the tower is prefabricated and tested off-site, they could conceivably assemble it the week of the OC, run last minute checks on it, and it's good to go. There are plenty of ways to protect metal from water for long enough. If the correct material and coating are chosen, the tower could be already sitting in the canal just waiting for the OC. Dirt is the main problem I can think of. The longer the tower sits underwater, the more gunk will build up on it. And since the canal looks pretty dirty to begin with, dirt would build up quite quickly. A single pillar cauldron would probably be quite small based on the length of the canals (once you account for bridges being in the way). That why I'm thinking beyond one pillar. And even if it is one pillar, it could be telescoping. The possibilities are beyond imagination for hiding the cauldron in the canals, and the technology exists already. And the possibilities are similarly beyond imagination for other locations. I say if they do everything right, they could potentially keep everything secret, and we wouldn't known anything until the OC. That's what I'm hoping for.
  9. Hey everyone, long time lurker, first time poster. I've been trying to read up on all the speculation so far on the cauldron design (there's a lot in this forum and others, so I apologize if I get something wrong), and I was just thinking to myself: "If I wanted to build a tall tower for the cauldron (if indeed there will be a tower), have it remain hidden, and appear during the OC in some dramatic fashion, where would I put it?" I thought I was the first to think of this, but it turns out Citizen-Seth (from a late April post) beat me to it. The stadium is surrounded on three sides by a modified waterway to create the Stadium Island. If I wanted something spectacular and surprising, I'd have the tower rise up from the water. Whether the cauldron would already be on the tower or would make its way to the top of the tower somehow is another debate. Personally, I would love it if the cauldron could first be seen by EVERYONE in the stadium (not even Beijing accomplished that), then it somehow gets up to the tower/permanent location for everyone outside. Now I'm just going to throw out two "out there" ideas. The "tower" could use a similar mechanism as Heatherwick's rolling bridge, meeting another "tower" halfway up, creating an arch over the footpaths. Or running with the arch over footpaths idea, the base could be triangular in shape, each side rising from the water and meeting to create a triangle that may even lean toward the stadium (the hypotenuse is the waterway in this instance). Unfortunately, the audience in the stadium wouldn't see the tower rising out of the water. As much as I love the idea, it doesn't seem dramatic enough to just see that happen on the jumbo screen in the stadium and only see the top appear above the lights after it's been rising up for a while. As an engineer, I want to see an ingenious mechanism for the cauldron and tower. As a filmmaker, I want the cauldron lighting to be dramatic and elegant. Sydeny's OC came close to achieving a good balance, but the technical difficulties made it feel too mechanical. Athens' was elegant, but a bit too simple for my taste. Beijing was too drawn out (the running in the air part) and wasn't a "good show" for the TV audience compared to the stadium audience. I hope London can achieve as near-perfect a cauldron lighting as possible, and Heatherwick seems like the man to do that. P.S. Sorry for the long post.
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