Jali Pavilion Reinstallation: Part 2

The first cast elements going into place, December 4, 2012. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).
The first cast elements going into place, December 4, 2012. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).

The marble Jali Pavilion reinstallation work continues on the roof of Shangri La’s Mughal Suite. When we last wrote, just after Thanksgiving, the team from Spectra had arrived and begun unpacking the newly cast concrete elements for the Jali Pavilion. After only a few days the first arches and columns began to appear above the roof line.

The decorative features and finishes of the original Jali Pavilion were modeled in place on the roof, giving the white mortar work a smooth continuous feel in spite of slight differences in dimension from one section to the next. Only a few of the columns, moldings and arches survived the 2010 de-installation to be reused as models for the reconstruction. Coaxing these slightly irregular pieces together to recreate that flawless look proved to be a challenge.

Fitting arches, columns and smaller components. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).
Fitting arches, columns and smaller components. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).

After a week and a half, there were enough columns up to begin testing the placement of the marble openwork panels. At about this time, however, a small discrepancy was discovered between the anchors in the new roof and the channels for the anchors in the columns. The project engineer was consulted and solutions devised (including a redesign of one of the columns), which slowed the project down.

Left: Testing the fit of a marble panel. Right: Casting a redesigned column. Long stainless steel rods pass through the white tubes, anchoring the column to the roof.     Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).
Left: Testing the fit of a marble panel. Right: Casting a redesigned column. Long stainless steel rods pass through the white tubes, anchoring the column to the roof.
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).

By this time the Christmas holiday was upon us and the Spectra team returned to Los Angeles, leaving visitors and staff with a tantalizing glimpse of what was to come.

The roof line as it appeared during the holidays, with some smoothly finished arches, round columns and finials in place. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).
The roof line as it appeared during the holidays, with some smoothly finished arches, round columns and finials in place. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).

The team returned on the third of January, rested, refreshed and ready to resume work. With all the engineering bugs worked out, we look forward to swift progress and the successful return of one of Shangri La’s most beautiful and characteristic architectural ornaments.

Work on the Jali Pavilion resumes, January 4, 2013. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).
Work on the Jali Pavilion resumes, January 4, 2013. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai‘i (Photo: Kent Severson).