Inspired by a global event, the Dome at Greenwich has been a British construction project of unprecedented ambition, an engineering feat of mind-boggling statistics. Superstructure is a remarkable record of the Dome’s genesis up to the day that it opened to the public, 1 January 2000.
The photographer Mark Power was granted privileged access to the site by the New Millennium Experience Company; he first visited the North Greenwich peninsula in October 1996, and in well over one hundred subsequent trips recorded its transformation from toxic wasteland to architectural icon. The Dome he portrays is a monument to human endeavour, a challenge of epic proportions realised against almost overwhelming odds, a place where colossal architectural components and brutal machinery have been tamed and harnessed through highly choreographed teamwork. His photographs are deliberately devoid of people – feeling that it would be inappropriate to focus on the role of individuals, he instead pays homage to the team spirit that has driven the project.
Companies from virtually every sector of the British economy, and further afield, have left their collective stamp on the Dome. Providing a counterbalance to Mark Power’s photographs, a list of over ten thousand names records the contribution of the vast number of organisations and individuals without whose tenacity the project would simply not have been possible – from those who decontaminated the peninsula to those who welcomed the first public visitors. Focusing on the people behind the project, this comprehensive roll call gives a very different perspective on the human resources that have brought the Dome to life.