Early Tuesday morning, a giant crane rolled on campus at University of California, San Diego, to hoist a 70,000-pound house on top of a seven-story building.

Artist Do Ho Suh’s miniature house, “Fallen Star,” is the 18th in the Stuart Collection of artwork designed specifically for the campus.

The action Tuesday morning drew students, faculty, staff, Stuart Collection volunteers and interested art onlookers to see the feat of engineering-meets-art-meets-architecture.

We’ve followed this piece closely, learning about the materials and techniques required to build such an askew cottage, and photographing construction workers navigating its uncustomary angles.

We knew guys like construction supervisor Don Franken were losing sleep as the hoist got closer, fretting over the details that had to go right in succession.

So we were eager to watch. Here are some photographs from Tuesday morning:

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
A view of the “Fallen Star” art piece through a fence erected around the construction site.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Crews prepare to hoist “Fallen Star,” testing the balance before the crane lifts it entirely off the ground.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Arthur Wagner, Susan Goulian and Molli Wagner, all members of Friends of the Stuart Collection, wait eagerly for the house to be hoisted.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Inside the fence, Stuart Collection and university staff, media members and crews for a documentary wait for the hoist. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
After much anticipation, the crane lifts the house off the ground.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Onlookers gather with their cameras and cell phones to document the unusual event on campus. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Crews work to guide the house atop the seventh floor of one of the Jacobs School of Engineering buildings.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The house moves closer to its target.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The mirrored walls on the Jacobs School of Engineering building reflect the cottage’s vibrant blue paint. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Qualcomm co-founder and contemporary art fan Irwin Jacobs photographs the house as its hoisted onto the building, which is named for him. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The house is almost to its new home.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Crews guide the house closer to its perch on the edge of the roof.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The house takes one more peek at its reflection.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
A construction worker throws a rope to help guide the house’s descent. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The top two floors of the engineering building prove a popular vantage point as the house ascends. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
The white part of the underbelly of the house is the part that will stick on to the roof; the rest will protrude from the edge of the building.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Crews guide the house onto anchor poles jutting out from the roof.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Mary Beebe, director of the Stuart Collection, and artist Do Ho Suh pop a bottle of champagne after the house succesfully reaches its perch. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Inside the engineering building, a celebratory cake awaits.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Onlookers watch as crews secure the house to the roof.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Project supporters photograph the scene as construction crews continue securing the project. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
A welder helps secure the house to the building.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
UCSD building inspector David Kerr makes a call from the rooftop, overlooking the city.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
A crew member welds the building to the rooftop.

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Artist Do So Huh beams as he enters the lobby of the engineering building for a post-hoist reception. 

 

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Artist Suh, collection director Beebe, benefactor Joan Jacobs and project manager Mathieu Gregoire congratulate Don Franken, center. Franken supervised the construction and the hoist of the 70,000 pound house.

 

We’re Sam Hodgson, photo editor and Kelly Bennett, arts editor for VOSD. You can reach us directly at sam.hodgson@voiceofsandiego.org and kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org.

 

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

    Written by Andrew Donohue

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