Tropical J's Inc. Honolulu, HI

Project Details

Fabric 1

Précontraint 1002 Fluotop T2
Producer: Serge Ferrari North America Inc.
Supplier: Serge Ferrari North America Inc.

Engineer Name 1
Ian N. Robertson, PhD, P.E.

Engineer Company 1

Design Name
Gary Barnes / Jordan Barnes / Timothy Akes / Diego Alejandre

Design Company
Tropical J's / CAD Effects with MPanel

Fabrication Name
Adam Murell, Tara Cabral, Ola Mahuiki

Fabrication Company
Tropical J's

Project Manager Name
Justin Barnes

Project Manager Company
Tropical J's

Installation Name
Alwin Lacar

Installation Company
Tropical J's

Please describe the project specifications

We are honored to have been enlisted on another mission to protect the surrender deck of the Battleship USS Missouri (BB-63). This landmark installation on the Mighty MO covers the exact location that marked the surrender and subsequent end of WWII. We were called upon to replace the vintage “temporary” weather tarps on deck with a new modern tensile fabric structure of comparable appearance to the original installation. Our design and execution honors the original and historical WWII construction found on board the Mighty MO during its historical commissioning.

What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?

Take one step aboard the Mighty Mo after hours and you will quickly realize that the repair and preservation efforts on a ship of this size and significance never cease. Nearly three years ago, the USS Missouri Memorial Association approached us to deliver a near maintenance free fabric tensile structure as part of a vast preservation effort. It was requested that every aspect of our endeavor appear truly original as not to detract from the significance of the situation. Furthermore, due to the seemingly constant stream of visitors and tours, all work needed to be performed and completed after hours in a timely fashion with minimal impact as to not be obtrusive nor interfere with the experience.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The USS Missouri is regarded as such an icon of history that special consideration was given to ensure a completed installation that lives up to its legacy. Special oversight by the Association’s Curator was present at every step of design to approve the aesthetics of the project. For instance, in lieu of using standard structural posts for attachment locations, we utilized our waterjet to cut components to manufacture tapered cantilevered stanchions from ½” steel, matching the original stanchions on deck. Decades worth of lead paint was carefully abated to facilitate the welding of fabric attachment plates to the armored turrets of the ships 16-inch guns! We were also requested to provide as much shade coverage as possible, which was quite the challenge wrapping a complex membrane around the turrets and super structure.

What were the results of the project?

What we achieved was a beautiful and utilitarian cover over a hallowed military icon of WWII that maintained the original aesthetics of the Ship. The collective preservation efforts will undoubtedly ensure the legacy of the USS Missouri and will continue to inspire and educate future generations for many years to come.

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