7,600 tons of buildings move from Shanghai streets


A five-story building, weighing about 7,600 tonnes, was transported entirely from one location to another in the city of Shanghai, China. The Lagena primary school, a historic building from 1935, was relocated using robotic legs installed at the base of the building.

To make room for the construction of a new shopping center in the city, while preserving the traditional school, the engineers chose to erect the building and place it on 198 specially designed robotic legs, according to information from the state press.

The thousands of tons of concrete construction took a 61.7 meter “walk” through the streets of China’s largest city. According to the CCTV broadcaster, the operation was completed in 18 days and ended on October 15. Now the school is being renovated for its historical preservation. See how it was:

Walkers constructions

Although uncommon and complicated, moving buildings is a possible procedure, which has been carried out by Chinese engineering, usually with the help of giant rails. However, the irregular architecture of the Lagena school proved to be a challenge, since the use of rails could compromise its structure.

For this reason, engineers opted for this unprecedented solution of using robotic legs, associated with a displacement technique similar to walking.

It is not the first time that Shanghai has enchanted the world with “walking constructions”. In 2017, a 135-year-old 2,000-ton Buddhist temple had to be moved about 30 meters to prevent possible fires from burning incense by visitors.


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