International Update February 2002

One with the hills

February 01, 2002 |

Replicating the form and appearance of the rolling hills of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the 810,000-sq.-ft. City of Culture of Galicia cultural center will comprise six structures housed beneath an undulating roof covered with native stone.

Designed by New York City-based architect Eisenman Architects, the $125 million project is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in mid-2004.

The New York City office of United Kingdom-based engineer Buro Happold Consulting Engineers is providing the structural and M/E/P engineering services for the project.

James Rowe, senior structural engineer with Buro Happold, says the structural challenge lies in developing a simple structural system for a series of buildings that not only have complex, organic forms, but are also extremely large, being up to 492 feet long, 230 feet wide and 131 feet high.

“The roof trusses are laid out on a 52-by-66-ft. grid that is regular in plan, but distorts in section,” he says. “The trusses are parallel in plan, but have different lengths and inclinations, so they are always straight, yet the roof surface that is formed between the trusses is warped.”

The roof system consists of steel decking supported by trusses set at various inclinations to allow the steel deck to warp and twist with the surrounding hills as it spans truss to truss. On top of the steel deck, 6 feet of concrete will be laid, followed by a water-proof membrane and the stone pavers.


The future 11,839-sq.-ft. office complex and manufacturing plant for London-based glass treatment supplier Ritec International will utilize the company’s own ClearShield self-cleaning glass to enhance visibility and reduce maintenance costs. Designed by London-based architect Geoffrey Reid Associates, the structure’s glass exterior wall will feature a surface that, according to Ritec, acts much like nonstick cookware. Most pollutants that land on the glass cannot adhere to the surface as readily and rainwater helps to wash away much of the dirt, while the rest of the dirt can be washed away more easily.

Kahn do Brasil, the Brazilian subsidiary of Detroit-based A/E Albert Kahn Associates (AKA), has been commissioned to design a new 290,000-sq.-ft. medical office building and a 100,000-sq.-ft. inpatient expansion to Monte Sinai Hospital e Maternidade in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. The $11.2 million project is significant for AKA, which is working to diversify its client base to markets worldwide.

Overlay Init