Marcel Meili Markus Peter

Example

Architects: Marcel Meili and Markus

Peter, with Zeno Vogel, Zurich Construction period: 1997-1999 Project manager:Zeno Vogel Structural engineers:Conzett Bronzini Gartmann, Chur

Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood Industry, Biel, 1990-1999

This school, even before the new extension, already boasted a remarkable character. The site and the buildings form what is almost an island between residential districts and an industrial area, which stretches along the hard edge of the Jura Massif. The vocabulary of the ensemble of school buildings - a main building in the romantic, national style of the post-war years plus a single-storey workshop - seems to be anchored in the landscape and the breadth of the valley floor.

The new work changed these forms into a new overall figure, which, thanks to two different gestures, represents a further development of the relationship between the architecture and the open spaces. Firstly, the workshops at ground floor level with their pitched roofs now extend like an outstretched finger to almost touch the new teaching building. Secondly, this wing, a four-storey timber design, towers over the shallow silhouette of the timber workshops, its proximity achieving an almost dissonant proportional relationship with the more traditional architecture on the site.

The four-storey building is designed as a series of timber boxes assembled from prefabricated, storey-high frames. The gaps between the boxes create terraces and corridors which form a fluid link with the external spaces. Merely the central access cores are built of concrete to satisfy fire protection requirements.

The method of joining these room modules is allied to the technology of large timber spans. The floors consist of exposed, long-span box elements which render primary/ secondary construction concepts superfluous. The bottom section of the loadbearing facade frames is a glued laminated timber beam matching the height of a spandrel panel. This serves as an upstand beam for the floor ele-

rrgTO-

Fig. 258: Site plan rrgTO-

Fig. 258: Site plan ments. This means it is possible to install large, subdivided windows whose proportions are no longer dictated by the close spacing of the timber studding, but instead by their relationship to the spacious rooms behind. Timber panels of untreated oak form the cladding to the facade. In this type of panel the joints between individual boards become invisible and allow the recessed joints between the elements to become more prominent.

The form of construction is therefore important in this project because only by overcoming timber engineering's own dimensional and divisional hierarchy was it possible to implement the three-dimensional concept. In this design the special qualities of traditional timber buildings abruptly encounter an approach that suppresses the additive character of the wood in favour of a more moulded, expansive and three-dimensional look.

Figs 256 and 257: The Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood Industry is a series of wooden boxes.

Figs 256 and 257: The Swiss School of Engineering for the Wood Industry is a series of wooden boxes.

Conzett School Swiss

Planning phase

(reduced planning drawings, 1:200)

Fig. 259: Longitudinal section B-B
Peter Meili Wood SchoolConzett School Swiss

Fig. 264: 2nd floor Fig. 265: 3rd floor

Conzett School Swiss

Fig. 264: 2nd floor Fig. 265: 3rd floor

Jürg Conzett

Fig. 266: Model of concrete cores

Corridor access (fire-resistant escape routes), concrete towers for stability that accommodate stairs, lifts and sanitary facilities

Fig. 266: Model of concrete cores

Corridor access (fire-resistant escape routes), concrete towers for stability that accommodate stairs, lifts and sanitary facilities

Fig. 267: Concrete cores

Under construction, 1997; the concrete floors support only their own self-weight and therefore large spans and cantilevers are possible.

Fig. 267: Concrete cores

Under construction, 1997; the concrete floors support only their own self-weight and therefore large spans and cantilevers are possible.

The structure - the engineer's report

The work of the engineer adhered to "contractor-like" virtues: the building should be simple, spacious and economic, should discover opportunities embodied in the architectural concept, exploit any regular components (also structurally) and thus essentially accomplish a harmonious relationship between the architectural and engineering goals.

With this in mind the f oundation design for the new teaching building becomes particularly interesting. The heavy, solid central section rests on a concrete basement which in structural terms acts as a continuous box distributing the point loads from above in the longitudinal direction. The loads on the ground slab are distributed evenly into the subsoil; a longitudinal section through the central section reminds us of a floating ship. In contrast to this the loads of the lightweight seminar rooms under which there is no basement are transferred (as point loads corresponding with the loadbearing frame) to a loadbear-ing stratum via a ring of driven piles.

The normal spacing of the piles is 4.8CC m, a dimension that matches the pile length well but also represents a sensible spacing for the main columns along the outer longitudinal wall. An 86C mm deep beam (in the spandrel panel) is just able to carry the floor loads over this span.

Above the windows, the floors are suspended from this beam and this leads to a very shallow l intel depth - an important aspect for the daylighting requirements of the interior.

In timber buildings it is less advisable to build non-loadbearing partitions to control the spread of sound and fire. Hence, the floors of the teaching units between rooms and corridors are hence supported on another timber frame. The concrete floors of the central section therefore do not have to carry vertical loads from the rooms, only their own weight, and consequently, they could be designed as prestressed flat slabs with long spans and cantilevers. The corridors do not have any auxiliary columns standing like piers against the walls and so the full width of the corridors is available to users.

The roof beams are likewise box elements, i.e. a top fl ange and a bottom fl ange in glued laminated timber linked by glued plywood and placed on top of the load-bearing columns. The foof consists of two large timber panels each 97 m long and 13 m wide. With a beam spacing of 9.6 m the box elements were able to be reduced to 22C mm thanks to the continuity effect - a concept that leaves plenty of scope for the interior layout of the topmost storey.

Fig. 268

Box beam Floor joists

Lignatur box element

Fig. 268

Box beam Floor joists

Lignatur box element

Constructive Detail Lignatur

Concrete core: prestressed walls and floors

Timber studding

Glulam beam Lignatur box element

Driven pile

Concrete core: prestressed walls and floors

Timber studding

Glulam beam Lignatur box element

Driven pile

Marcel Meili Architect

Fig. 269: Covered external zone Fig. 270: Foyer

The covered external zone between the room boxes allows daylight to enter the corridor alternately from left and right, and - between the The three-storey foyer serves as a lobby for the adjoining assembly hall and the

"boxes" - also ensures views of the site and the landscape beyond. dining hall in the existing building.

Fig. 269: Covered external zone Fig. 270: Foyer

The covered external zone between the room boxes allows daylight to enter the corridor alternately from left and right, and - between the The three-storey foyer serves as a lobby for the adjoining assembly hall and the

"boxes" - also ensures views of the site and the landscape beyond. dining hall in the existing building.

Architecture Frame Construction

Detail design

Marcel Meili Markus Peter Helvetia

Fig. 272: Plan of ground floor

(reduced 1:50 working drawing)

Fig. 272: Plan of ground floor

(reduced 1:50 working drawing)

Fig. 274: Seminar room prior to fitting-out work

The ceiling comprises Lignatur box elements left exposed which present a continuous soffit. This results in excellent flexibility for the positioning of partitions

Fig. 273: Transition between concrete core and timber box

The timber and concrete parts are structurally independent systems. The timber studding is covered on the corridor side with a cement fibreboard (Duripanel) for fire protection purposes.

Fig. 274: Seminar room prior to fitting-out work

The ceiling comprises Lignatur box elements left exposed which present a continuous soffit. This results in excellent flexibility for the positioning of partitions

Meili Marcel

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment