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Have you ever seen a “walking” building?
In Shanghai, an 85-year-old primary school has been lifted off the ground – in its entirety – and relocated using new technology dubbed the “walking machine.”
In the city’s latest effort to preserve historic structures, engineers attached nearly 200 mobile supports under the five-story building, according to Lan Wuji, chief technical supervisor of the project, of the company Shanghai Evolution Shift .
The supports act like robotic legs. They’re split into two groups which alternately rise up and down, imitating the human stride.
“It’s like giving the building crutches so it can stand up and then walk,” he said.
A timelapse shot by the company shows the school inching laboriously along, one tiny step at a time.
Over the course of 18 days, the building was rotated 21 degrees and moved 62 meters (203 feet) away to its new location. The relocation was completed on October 15, with the old school building set to become a center for heritage protection and 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.