Professor uses

Jake Kapsner

The University Gateway is one of three campus construction projects that architecture Professor Stephen Weeks is documenting using time-lapse photography.
He has also filmed the Weisman Art Museum’s and Architecture building’s renovation as part of CD-ROM project that aims to illustrate how architects detail and use materials in their design.
Weeks is especially interested in documenting how the Gateway’s geode is built.
“Imagine a multifaceted polygon with pieces of stone and glass … and attached to an angled box, a section of a building. Building that is quite difficult,” he said, because of the large scale design.
The time-lapse video records one image in three minutes, he said.
With his Weisman footage, 11 tapes covering 60 days were edited down into a one and one-half hour tape, he said. With the CD-ROM, people will be able to see short bursts of time-lapse construction, he said.
Anyone can check out the Web site for a real time image of the construction site from a camera perched atop the Radisson hotel, near the Gateway at www.cala.umn.edu/gateway/image.html.
The Gateway project broke ground in November 1997 and construction began in March 1998. Despite early delays, the targeted completion date of fall 1999 remains, said Mike Smalley, project manager for M.A. Mortenson, a general contractor.
In the meantime, about 90 workers hit the job site from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week. Some construction workers rise on metal platforms, drilling bright yellow boards into steel stud walls. Others fit pipes, operate heavy machinery or haul tools and materials, in a network of interrelated activities.
“The laborer is just as important as the electrician or carpenter,” Smalley said.