When celebrated Asian antiques dealer, Pagoda Red, needed to transport two irreplaceable Chinese river-carved boulders from their warehouse to the gallery, they called on Chicago Flyhouse.

Weighing 5-7 tons each, the stones were imported to America at great cost but had languished in the gallery’s off-site warehouse, unable to be displayed to potential buyers. In addition to delivering the rocks to Pagoda Red, Flyhouse was also tasked with installing them in the gallery yard.

Although massive, their naturally-formed striations, hollows, and edging made the stones surprisingly fragile, and it was essential to move and display them without marring their facades. Following inspections and careful rigging calculations, Flyhouse brought the rocks from the warehouse to flatbed trucks, where they were driven to location, raised by a crane, and gently lowered to their presentation places in the gallery garden.

A smaller boulder was able to sit squarely on the ground, but the larger one – 4 ft in diameter and 15 ft tall – required the construction of a custom-designed steel framework over a concrete pad. The framework was buttressed with retractable steel support plates, effectively bracing the rock without the need for embedded anchors or other invasive hardware.

After the piece was securely placed in the frame, the entire structure was backfilled, giving the impression that the stone was rising naturally from the ground – adhering to the demanding aesthetics of this prestigious company.

The entire process for both pieces was completed in under eight hours, and Pagoda Red was able to sell one of the boulders within a week of the installation.

For more about Pagoda Red, visit their website.