Swarthmore College, van de Kamp Observatory Dome
The Unified Science Center at Swarthmore College is an interdisciplinary teaching and research facility that includes three renovated science buildings and a state of the art, LEED-certified addition. The iconic centerpiece of this facility is the de Kamp Observatory and its reflecting telescope set inside a retractable 20-foot dome. The installation of this sensitive instrument and its new home required a careful approach and a well-considered set of solutions to the many complex coordination issues. To address the challenge, this longtime client turned to CVMNEXT for construction services.
The complex installation process included the construction of an isolated platform system that allows for circulation without causing vibrations which would affect the instrument’s readings. Related work entailed removal of existing roofing and modifications to the structure, controlled assembly of all components at ground level, and finally lifting and setting the dome and mechanism into place. This approach allowed for assembly to occur with the precision required, with minimal disruption to the operations of the building, which remained open for the duration of construction.
Location: Swarthmore, PA