Weighing the needs of the
Academy against the building’s dramatic expression—
seven rolling, seismically
secured hills—required the
work of 320 engineers.
Structurally, the atrium (above and
right) is a 96-by-72-foot hole in the
center of the building. Its two layers
of tensile nets hold sun, acoustic,
and rain shades and can support
maintenance crews walking on top.
Dome drawing, courtesy Arup;
photo, Tim Griffith