Superstructure: The Millennium Dome • Mark Power • Magnum Photos

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Architecture

Superstructure: The Millennium Dome

British photographer Mark Power made over one hundred visits to the site of the much-maligned Millennium Dome to document the transformation from toxic wasteland to architectural icon

Mark Power

Mark Power | Superstructure Roof under construction. London, England. May 19, 1998. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure The Dome's next-door neighbor, a cafe and truckers motel. London, England. October 28, 1997. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure At night, especially in the early stages of construction, the site resembled the massive set of a post-apocalyptic movie. London, England. December 15, 1997. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure The Dome is a structure in perfect balance, with huge forces pulling against each other, the tension in the cables equivalent to the force of twenty jumbo jets at full thrust. London, England. Febr (...)
Mark Power | Superstructure The world's largest free-standing scaffolding was built in under three weeks, and dismantled in one. London, England. March 27, 1998. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Portakabins littered the site, used as offices, changing rooms and canteens. London, England. April 1, 1998. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Work begins fitting out the service buildings. London, England. October 7, 1998. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Gents toilets under construction. London, England. February 5, 1999. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Construction continues on Dome structure which itself weighs less than the air inside it. London, England. February, 1999. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure The canyon between the two halves of Talk. In the background is the construction office for the zone. London, England. August 8, 1999. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Interior nearing completion, except for the odd ladder and pile of fencing. London, England. December 27, 1999. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos
Mark Power | Superstructure Opening night at the Millennium Dome. The 8-second exposure spans midnight, with 4 seconds in 1999 and 4 seconds in 2000. London, England. December 31, 1999 - January 1, 2000. © Mark Power | Magnum Photos

Inspired by a global event, the Dome at Greenwich has been a British construction project of unprecedented ambition, a building site where records have routinely been broken, an engineering feat of mind-boggling statistics. Superstructure is a remarkable record of the Dome’s genesis up to the day it was 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 progress. The Dome he portrays is a monument to human endeavour, a challenge of epic proportions realised against 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.