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Tents used at world’s largest temporary paleontological exhibit

October 1st, 2009 / By: / Project Briefs

A Mexico City exhibit is sized for some of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth.

Espacios Temporales and Nueva Imagen faced some tall challenges when the companies installed tents in Mexico City’s main square. Dinosaur-sized challenges. Literally.

The event was the summer-long exhibit “Huellas de la Vida” (“Traces of Life: A Journey in the History of Our Planet”), the largest temporary paleontological exhibit ever erected. Not only did the tents need to accommodate an anticipated 9,000 attendees a day, the structures needed to be tall enough to accommodate the fossilized remains of some of the largest carnivores to ever walk the earth.

Jorge Morfín, president of Espacios Temporales, and Salvador Aguilar, president of Nueva Imagen, say that their companies won the contract because they could solve the client’s demanding needs in regard to dimensions within a one-month time frame for planning.

The exhibit’s structures were comprised of one large octagonal dome connected to two clearspan tents for a total of 4,524 square meters of tentage. The octagonal clearspan structure had a lateral height of 26 feet and a central height of 54 feet. Space within the three tents was divided into 13 exhibit rooms.

Installation required 20 days from the start of loading the trailers to final installation of walls and doors, which was two days under the agreed-upon deadline. Concrete counterbalances were used to anchor the structures. In addition, the companies installed fencing around the site due to the high pedestrian traffic and provided ventilation equipment.

The location of the exhibit was the Plaza de la Constitución, commonly called the Zócalo (city square). At 830-by-500 feet, it is one of the largest public squares in the world.

Morfín says that the high-profile installation has contributed to an increased request for quotes, and the client, the Federal District Government, would like to use the structures again.

“The customer is very happy and astonished about what we can do,” Morfín says.

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