Total Production


22 January 2008

(Thuwai) - Serious Stages, working with Atlantic Enterprises, saw one of their Space Roof buildings air freighted from East Midlands Airport to Saudi Arabia aboard an Antonov AN-124 heavy lift cargo plane.

The full kit – totalling over 210 tonnes was amassed and supplied at very short notice, necessitating the need for the airlift!

The roof was erected in Thuwal, a small village on the Red Sea coast to the north of Jeddah, and was the setting for a foundation stone laying ceremony to launch KAUST – the SR10 billion King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud himself laid the cornerstone. The occasion was marked with a groundbreaking ceremony uniting learned men and women of all faiths from around the globe to hailing a world-class coeducational research university. KAUST is intended to help Saudi Arabia have a world-class independent scientific research centre that acts as a scientific base and a driving force for the national economy. It is also the realization of a decades-long vision of King Abdullah, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Serious was asked to supply the structure by Saudi Aramco. Given the clearspan size needed from the structure and the loads required to be flown from the roof, the Space Building became the only option available for them to meet their specification.

The Space Building measured 50 metres wide by 120 metres long (its size was enough to fit 3 Airbus aircraft), and featured three 12 metre Orbit stages as entrances which were fitted with electronic doors.

Inside, over 300 points of rigging were used to fly sound, lighting, laser and video equipment. Each arch of the Space Roof Building had a weight loading of 8 tonnes, and this structure comprised 20 arches in total, offering a total weight loading of 160 tonnes. The exterior of the building was finished with a mixture of silver / black and clear fabric.

The internal space was filled with an extensive exhibition of plans, details and models relating to KAUST, plus a stage and seating area for the foundation laying presentation.
The project was co-ordinated by Atlantic’s Shane McCarthy, project managed by John Wilson and included 20 Serious crew and engineers from the UK who went to Saudi for the build, show and de-rig.

KAUST is scheduled to open in September 2009.


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