Ambitious plans to build a 50m span cubiform cavern inside a Spanish mountain are technically feasible, Arup engineers confirmed last month.
Arup is lead consultant on the remarkable £50M-plus art installation proposed for the island of Fuerteventura in the Canaries. It is working with Spanish architect Lorenzo Fernández Ordònez and engineer Scott Wilson Piésold.
The ambitious engineering sculpture within Mount Tindaya (computer models pictured right) is the idea of celebrated Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida.
Much of Chillida's work focuses on scale and how space is defined. He died in 2002 before the project could be realised.
At 65m long, 50m wide and 45m high, the cavern would be one of the largest unsupported spans in the world. Unlike previous large-span rock caverns, Chillida's cube would have a flat roof rather than a more structurally efficient arch.
The Spanish government is paying for the artwork. It insisted Arup prove it was technically feasible before allowing invasive site investigation. Ground characterisation to date is based on geophysical investigations and satellite imaging.