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the broad

Engineering Cantilever

NARRATOR Founding Director Joanne Heyler.

JOANNE HEYLER When you’re inside the lobby, you may or may not notice that there are no structural supports along the façade of the building, along Grand Avenue. What you’re actually standing under when you’re in the lobby is a full 50-foot-long cantilever. It just hangs out there wrapped in the veil, so it’s a bit of an illusion that it has support. I like to think about this building as having a real sense of magic to it.

NARRATOR But like all magic, it takes a lot of planning to make something look so effortless and graceful. Bill Fisher, General Superintendent for Matt Construction.

BILL FISHER The cantilever is one of the main features of the building. And the engineering it took to accomplish that was an engineering feat. I mean you usually don’t have that size of cantilever supporting those type of weights.

NARRATOR Concrete alone doesn’t have that supportive strength so the team had to reinforce it with strands of cables.

BILL FISHER And these strands are then put into the concrete, and after the concrete cures for a time, 30 days, we come back and we pull this and add tensioning into the cables. And it adds strength to it, which makes it so that a cantilever can support itself.