The Structural Engineers Association of Arizona honored the project, DROP, with the 2011 Merit Award in Structural Engineering. M3 developed the structural design for this iconic marker of the Prewett Family Park entrance located in Antioch, California.
The artwork is comprised of an inner steel skeleton supporting an outer aluminum frame reaching 34 feet high, 14 feet wide and 8 feet deep at its largest point. Its peripheries are angled to join at an 8-inch wide point at the top. The aluminum frame is concealed by perforated aluminum plate and is wired with kinetic LED lights powered by a solar energy system. The structure is suspended from a central steel pipe column allowing for continuous curves in the outer frame which never touch the ground.
The artist, engineer and fabricator encountered various challenges including: poor soils, wind and severe seismic loads, welded aluminum properties, connection detailing and limited tolerances for transport and erection. Due to the soil conditions and large lateral loads, a drilled concrete pier foundation was required.