Tianfu Agricultural Expo

Tianfu Agricultural Expo

StructureCraft as Structural Engineer, Construction Coordinator

The Tianfu Agricultural Expo Main Hall is part of a major development program in the greater metropolitan area of Chengdu, which aspires to compete with other major economic hubs in China. Located on the west border of the Sichuan Basin, where up to 5000m high mountains meet Sichuan’s great plains, the wide views of waving rice fields and mountain peaks on the horizon inspired the architect Cui Kai with the concept for the curved timber enclosures.

At over 75,000m2, the new Tianfu Agriculture Exposition is the largest timber structure in Asia, and one of the largest timber structures in the world. This series of five vaults (G1-G5) use unique Vierendeel-inspired trusses which are a hybrid of timber chords and steel webbing, achieving clear spans up to 110m and heights up to 44m.

The unique wave of the building ensemble blends gently into the landscape, but also provided challenges for the engineering team to materialize the architectural scheme into a bold project on a very tight schedule. Housing museums and displaying agricultural products from the region, the roofs of these halls are clad with ETFE but are open-ended, encouraging a direct connection with the surrounding farmland.

The result is a unique series of long-span timber structures, created through cooperation of team members on three different continents in a year and a half, delivering indeed the owner’s desire to showcase the economic power of the Chengdu agrarian region, and provide a world-class attraction through innovative engineering and design.

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