Yale University


Wright Lab: Exploring the Invisible Universe

Surespan designed and manufactured a flush floor hatch for the Yale University Wright Laboratory, home to Yale’s iconic particle accelerator, the 100-foot-long atom smasher. In 1987 it was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world and leading the research in astrophysics. The Atom Smasher was shut down in 2011 and disassembled in 2014.

The project

As part of a comprehensive renovation, Christopher Williams Architects LLC transformed the concrete bunker like structure into a series of day lit workspaces. The central building was opened to become a place where scientists, students and experts could interact. This space also hosts events and researchers from around the world. The design brings natural light into the building and emphasizes collaboration through transparency.

Products supplied

Surespan designed and manufactured a 2.7m x 4.5m (9ftx15ft) stainless steel flush floor hatch. The floor door has been reinforced to support a live slow moving wheel load of 17 ton. (FACTA Class E)
Due to the weight of the floor door, the hatch is operated via a hydraulic cylinder and an electrically driven power pack. The finished cover uses Sure Grip anti-slip surface coating.


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