Model maker Lisa Gemmiti discusses the topographic
model of SLAC with Neil Calder (COM). The model is now on display in
the Panofsky Auditorium Lobby.
By Adrienne Higashi
What does SLAC have in common with Donald Trumpís Florida
golf course, the Stanford University campus, and the City of San Jose? All
have been modeled in 3-D topographical format. SLACís new model, on
display in the Panofsky Auditorium Lobby, goes further than most,
representing possible future developments at the Lab.
In order to help decision-makers visualize how various
short- and long-range planning ideas will fit together, SLACís Business
Services Division (BSD) teamed with Stanford Universityís Architect and
Planning Office to create this modeling tool. The project took about 350
hours to complete. The result is a 150-pound, 144" x 35" model at a 1" =
"Things are brought to life when they are transformed into
three dimensional models," said Lisa Gemmiti, model maker and owner of the
San Francisco studio that produced the model.
SLAC, as it exists now, is reflected in the model, as are
the 10- and 20-year plans for the Lab. Existing structures at SLAC are
modeled in light grey, the 10-year plan in brown, and the 20-year plan in
white. Buildings proposed for the years 2010 and 2020 are pinned in place,
allowing design flexibility without modifications to the model. New
research buildings, a parking structure, pedestrian walkways and plazas
To create the model, SLACís topographic contour map was
traced with a custom-made router-type machine mounted on a tripod.
Directly below an overhead cutter head, a stylus is mounted between the
legs of the tripod. The stylus is used to manually trace the contours,
step by step. As the modeler moves around the table, using the stylus to
trace the undulating circumference of each of the hundreds or thousands of
topographical lines on the map, the overhead router precisely mirrors the
stylusí movements and cuts away succeeding layers of the polyurethane
block suspended below.
In addition to being a planning tool for the people at
SLAC and the Stanford architects, it is also a public presentation tool
for SLAC visitors. The model is now permanently displayed in the Lobby so
visitors to SLAC can begin their site tour by viewing the model and
orienting themselves to the Ďbig pictureí.
"This model demonstrates that the laboratory has a vibrant
future," said Jerry Jobe (BSD). "Even if only half the plans are realized,
SLAC will be an exciting place to be for the next 20 years."