Modern urban gateway for a historic city
Known as the ‘Jewel of the Black Forest’, the city of Freiburg is located in the southwest of Germany and is the hub of the Breisgau region. Forming part of a larger plan to remodel the centre of the city, Freiburg’s tramline is being extended and a new tram stop created to offer easier commuting across the city.
The building is also set to provide a new gateway to the historic district. A key element of the project was to design the pavilion building that will house the tram stop and retail outlets. BuroHappold Engineering is working with the rest of the design team to deliver the lightweight, sustainable structure.
Working closely with the architects, our team needed to engineer an elegant and economical structure. The building’s roof features unusual free form shapes inspired by leaves, so an important part of our work was to develop a structural solution that will realise this essential element of the architectural vision. An additional challenge was the need to deliver a basement level within a complex, constricted city centre site.
To create the roof structure that will become the key feature of the Pavillon am Ring, we have specified straight steel beams holding a timber plate roof, supported by freestanding steel columns. We have selected the materials and the construction methods to allow the structure to be prefabricated off site, simplifying the construction process.
With the footprint of the building and the client’s budget key considerations, our team has designed bespoke column beam connections so that it is possible to locate all of the drainage and electrical services within the columns themselves. This highly creative solution has meant that the services can be easily installed and maintained, while also saving both space and money.
The complicated site conditions, including nearby roads, tram tracks and existing foundations, has resulted in the need for us to carefully consider the placement of temporary works for the basement. We have kept these works self-contained, taking up as little space as possible to reduce the impact on the surrounding infrastructure. To reduce construction costs, we have installed the piled foundations for the building and the temporary works at the same time.
Set for completion in late 2018, the Pavillon am Ring will provide a striking and contemporary shelter for both residents and visitors, as well as a cafe space and facilities for staff. Its unique and sustainable construction will mark the entrance to the historic centre of Freiburg, marrying the city’s architectural roots while representing its forward thinking approach to green, innovative design
Services and approach
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