Bank of China Model in Steel

New update but I did this project last year during my welding class. The assignment was to build a volumetric solid so I decided to do a model of the Bank of China in Hong Kong.

I've always been fascinated by the repeating geometries as a design/structural element. When I was in college studying architecture, I got the chance to visit the office of I.M. Pei (the architect) in New York. The lobby featured a six foot model of this building. Ever since I have wanted one of my own...but I guess mine is smaller. Units are inches.

My first paper model didn't quite fit together as well as I wanted so I made a model in Rhino to give me the correct measurments and angles.

Three tower components are done. Note the organized workspace. It always helps projects go more smoothly. After I fit up the paper, I took these chip board pieces to the shop to lay out and cut the steel. Doing all those angles on the shear was fun. Worked out well though.

I started by tacking up all four towers. It was pretty hard to get a consistent gap on each seam, especially after doing two sides. My pieces were cut very accurately (if I do say so myself) so it went together and all the corners lined up.

I didn't take too many pictures, but this is the tallest tower and I've just finished the 25 inch bead in one pass. Whew! I saved this one for last so I could get some practice in a build up to a continuous weld this long. I guess it's not really "that" long but it was for me. I quickly found out I should have an extra filler rod on hand.

So it's kind of hard to photograph a bead but I think it came out pretty well! Again, no dimes, but I was mainly trying to keep the width consistent and avoid any low spots or high spots.

When I was finished all the tower sections came out quite straight. I was worried about warping but my tacks were pretty heavy and kept things lined up quite well.

I suppose I should also mention this is gas welded.

I decided to do four seperate towers instead of one single structure. Sort of like blocks that I can play with and configure in different ways. Since the geometry was the interesting part, I wanted to focus on the fact that the parts could share different relationships...this was an art class by the way.

The base is made up of some of the practice pieces I...practiced on. Those were all tig welded and the towers were done with gas.