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85-Year-Old 5-Story Building In Shanghai 'Walks' To A New Location

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An 85-year old 5-story building in Shanghai was lifted off the ground and moved 200 feet away as to prevent it from demolition. China, in its latest efforts to preserve historic monuments, literally made a nearly century-old primary school building in Shanghai’s eastern Huangpu district ‘walk’ to a safe distance. Using a new technology dubbed ‘the walking machine’, where supports act like robotic legs, the school building inched laboriously along, one tiny step at a time.

In the walking machine, robotic legs are distributed into two groups: One moves up, whereas the other moves down. There are sensors attached that help govern the position of specific structural components at a given time, in turn, allowing for the building to ‘move forward’.

The building, which belongs to the Lagena Primary School was constructed in 1935 by the municipal board of Shanghai's former French Concession. Its original spot will now be used to build a new commercial and office complex, which will be completed by 2023.

The Lagena Primary School building was moved 62 meters away over a course of 18 days. About 200 robotic leg supports were employed for the operation, which also involved rotating the building 21 degrees clockwise from its original direction.

The Lagena Primary school will soon undergo a comprehensive renovation. It will subsequently be transformed into an institute integrating cultural education. 

The project marks the first time this "walking machine" method has been used in Shanghai to relocate a historical building, the government statement said.

Source: SCMP