Le Magnifique, Mario Lemieux Statue
A statue that honors Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins National Hockey League team was unveiled Feb. 8 at a ceremony outside of the Thornton Tomasetti-designed CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. It depicts a play against two members of the New York Islanders, during which Lemieux scored his 500th career goal in his 605th game. Thornton Tomasetti designed the stainless steel armature that supports the 12-ft tall statue and the base structure on which it stands. The statue geometry was obtained from a scan of a smaller sculpture carved by the artist. We took this data into a Rhino model to define the exterior skin and then created a Tekla model to define the statue’s skeletal framing system. The full-size, 1/4- to 3/8-inch thick bronze statue was cast in molds and assembled at the foundry before it was shipped to the stadium. The base is a steel-framed structure made of galvanized tubes supported by the existing foundation walls designed during the arena project. A significant project challenge was providing connection details that gave enough flexibility in the field during erection. The Canadian Lemieux played 17 seasons as a forward for the Penguins and is widely considered one of hockey’s all-time greats.