Video: Relocating a 123-year-old building in 19 hours

Credit: Patrick Gautschy

When the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon factory building in Zurich, Switzerland was about to be torn down by owner ABB, the Swiss public petitioned to have it saved by relocating it almost 200 feet west of its original location. But how exactly do you move a 123-year-old building? Easy: with hydraulic pumps.

Like a tree uprooted and planted into fresh soil, Swiss Prime Site, Swiss Federal Railways and ABB came together to move the factory last May. According to World Architecture News, the 6,200-ton building's basement walls were first replaced with steel pillars. A concrete plate with tracks was then built under the building and the entire structure placed on "specially-created carriages." (See photos here.)

On moving day, hydraulic presses moved the building on six tracks at four meters per hour until it reached its new location. The entire process took 19 hours over the course of two days to complete. You can see a time-lapse of the building scooching over below. It's not something you'll see everyday, that's for sure. Imagine waking up the next day and seeing that a familiar building is now a couple of blocks down the street. That's crazy.

swissinfo and World Architecture News, via Laughing Squid

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