The Engineering and Architectural Design Behind The Science

Most of us are enthralled by large constructions that are capable of hosting various social functions in their ecosystem. We find ourselves living together: hotels with shopping centers, business centers, parks, aquariums, museums and apartments. Most of them are spaces, that were designed with state-of-the-art technology. And it’s all designed by offices with great national and international recognition.

There are other spaces whose social function is very important and their architectural design requires great specialization and technical knowledge. Spaces such as the super proton and hadron collider, NASA offices and launch pads require a special design from the conceptual projection to the execution of the project.

François de Rose (1910 – 2014). (source :
How it all started back then.

Who is behind those designs? How are they built?. For the first collider that was ever built was in 1957 in Meyrin, Switzerland. In 1954 the excavations of this great project began: European Organization for Nuclear Research, led by François de Rose (1910-2014), who then became a French delegate on the CERN council. Later he became the president of the Council from 1958 to 1960.

The supercollider is divided into two phases: the first covers an area of 7 kilometers while the second covers 27 kilometers. It is located in the French-Swiss border region near Geneva. It is the first space built transnationally apart from the English Channel.

This space was designed by American physicists Ernest Orlando Lawrence and M. Stanley Livingston. On July 31, 1974, excavation work began on a tunnel with a circumference of 7 kilometers at a depth of 40 meters below ground level using the Robbins tunnel boring machine.

This tunnel crossed the French-Swiss border extending from its ends, making the SPS (Super Proton Synchrotron) the first cross-border accelerator. More than a thousand magnets were used for the ring. And the engineering work was carried out in a record time of only 4 years. This space was working continuously for 33 years, closing in 1990.

The compeletion of SPS tunnel circa 1974. (source :
The progress of the original tunnel, and the sustainable development pavillion projects.

In 1988 the excavation tunnel for the Large Electron-Positron Collider was completed. On both ends of the 27-kilometer long ring; were chained together by a mere differences of only one centimeter of phase difference 100 meters below the ground; in this space, temperatures lower than those that have been recorded on earth can be reached. And in outer space reached up to -270 ºC and even as high as the solar temperature, registering up to 100,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun.

Wirth TBM breakthrough between Point 2 and 3 of the original LEP tunnel (1988). (source :

To celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2004, the architects Thomas Büchi and Hervé Dessimoz from Geneva designed a wooden-framed Globe used in the 2002 sustainable development pavilion. This piece became a landmark merging architectural design and sustainable development of a new century with innovation and physical-technological progress.

The Wooden frame for the sustainable development pavillion. (source :

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is an ambitious civil and physical engineering project; With its circumference around 27 km. And nearly around 10,000 magnets inside. It has become one of the largest particle accelerator that’s ever been built. In the lower image we observe a circumference of 7 kilometers from the first collider (SPS), later the 27 kilometers from the LHC.

Hadrin Collider. (source :
Tourist spots, shifting towards the commonality of the spatial revolution

Finally, in 2018, CERN, the Etat de Genève and the Ville de Meyrin; inaugurated an esplanade at the foot of the Globe. With the aim of receiving visitors; and creating a scientific ecosystem. That attracts the eyes of tourists interested in science and technology. The integration of the landmark, the landscape, and the sustainable progress. That this space represents by is the prelude to the creation of technological ecosystems. Where the general public can have contact with spaces. That originally, reserved only for scientists, or politicians of with a high social ranks.

Pierre-Alain Tschudi, the Mayor of Meyrin, Mauro Poggia, state councillor of Geneva and Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General (©CERN). 2018. (source :

All of this that happened when physics, civil engineering, architectural design, and urban design merges together. A beautiful integration of spaces that is born, and transmutes out from the realm of exclusivity; into being more socially acceptable architectural landmarks. A change which its created out fo collective unconsicous; that allowing the elimination of spatial barrier. And these space can even be in consideration for vacation spots as well.

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