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BRIEF: Chuck Hoberman

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Inventor and toy designer Chuck Hoberman has designed the centrepiece of the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics'Medal Plaza. He has teamed up with Buro Happold to engineer 'The Hoberman Arch'- a semi-circular structure of aluminium latticework backed by translucent fibre, reinforced with polycarbonate panels. It will be the world's largest unfolding arch,11m tall and 21m in diameter. The arch will open the nightly medal ceremonies by geometrically retracting in shape as the 96 aluminium panels spiral outwards and upwards in a radial motion to reveal the stage behind. Once retracted it will form a compact 1.8m thick semi-circular ring that frames the stage.

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