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Taiyo Europe Gmbh

schlaich bergermann partner


GRAFT as Architects

Driver assistance systems, including automatic parking, traffic sign recognition and automatic distance control, are becoming more common in today's cars. The new 'Ausfahrt' at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg offers guests an opportunity to try out these technical systems in models manufactured by Volkswagen. This helps to ensure safer driving in road traffic. Covering 15,000 square meters, the new driving attraction was built in ten months’ time and opened in August 2013.

GRAFT was commissioned to create a quiet area where the buyer of a new car could get familiar with all the functions in an almost private atmosphere. The space had to be protected from rain and direct sunlight, while allowing enough daylight to avoid the usage of energetically expensive and unnecessary artificial light. GRAFT developed the idea of a horizontal leaf that protects the landscape underneath with its organic form. “WES-Landschaftsarchitektur” planned the landscape surrounding the roof.

In the architectural application of this image, it was necessary to produce the greatest possible lightness: A special static principle allows for the unique roof structure to be anchored in just two points. It lays in the landscape and defines a clear and protected room. The planning of the structural framework was done by “Schlaich Bergmann und Partner”. The orientation of the roof represents a welcoming gesture through its curvature. The elegant amorphous geometry of the roof structure forms an evident bridge between top and bottom, between sky and landscape. The associated service pavilion fulfills various functions: the customer can ask questions about his new car, purchase accessories or get information about Autostadt attractions and activities. As the roof follows the concept of a leaf, the pavilion is integrated into the architectural landscape and not designed as a separate building. Basic forms of the roof can be found in the interior architecture.

Unique roofing for Uberdachung Ausfahrt Kunden Center

Taiyo Europe Gmbh as Contractors

Exit roofing for the Customer Service Center known as the “lap of honor” Taiyo Europe Gmbh has completed a visually stunning exit roofing structure for the Uberdachung Ausfahrt Kunden Center, a customer services center in Wolfsburg, Germany

Covering the northern section of the “Ausfahrt” at the VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, this signature roof structure provides weather protection from sun and rain, of the customer service center’s exit area. The roof and the service pavilion below were developed and designed by the Autostadt Gmbh in cooperation with architects from the GRAFT studio based in Berlin, Germany. Anchored at only two points, the organic, double-contoured form of the roof resembles a protective leaf placed above the landscape.

The structure consists of a double curved seat area spanning an elliptical area of approximately 1600 square meters with a length/width ratio of about 55m to 38m. Geometrically, two high points and two low points arise wherein the high points lie on different levels at about 6m to 9m on the low points. Supported by a circular steel beam, the curved surface is formed by a cable net with a pretension membrane of PTFE coated fiberglass.

The new driving attraction in front of the customer service center was built a construction period of ten months. Due to the unstable weather conditions in Germany, extensive consideration of the installation method was conducted to ensure a quick install of the PTFE membrane and cable net. With excellent teamwork and effort, the engineering and construction team successfully carried out the folding and installation process.

Alice Heyland/ Taiyo Europe Gmbh, Project manager: “As in automotive, every shape has to be reworked until perfection as the client had the highest expectations about the roof and its shape. Together with the architect and structural engineers, we had to make it work even with the high standards of approvals and certificates. I am very happy with the project’s outcome as this achievement is due the hard work of our entire team. The special solutions of construction and transportation are a result of the effort of our excellent engineers.”

Canopy for the Autostadt Customer Center in Wolfsburg

schlaich bergermann partner as Engineers

schlaich bergermann und partner worked in close collaboration with Graft Architects to develop the planning structural framework, from conceptual and construction design to technical spots check, for the highly engineered lightweight structure of the canopy.

Inspired by a “leaf in the landscape”, the double-curved cable net supported membrane structure was designed to float over the landscape that surrounds the building.

This award winning design is structurally supported by the saddle surface, which is dynamically shaped to accommodate the double curved structural steel profiles along its perimeter. With the highest points reaching six and nine meters from the lowest points, it creates a hollow section edge beam, an elliptical footprint spanning 55 meters in length and 38 meters in width.

The membrane (1,610m² area) and cable net structure are carried by the tension and compression forces of the ring edge beam and the interconnected nodes at the galvanized cable net, and the steel edge girder allows for the structure to be elegantly anchored in two minimal points on the ground.

The Canopy for the Autostadt achieved simplicity in its most luxurious form.

Awards: International Architecture Award for 2014 by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies Ingenieurpreis des Deutschen Stahlbaus 2015 (Engineer Award of German Steel Construction 2015)

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