Main Entrance Facade & Vestibule, First Site: New Site

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Main Entrance Facade & Vestibule, First Site: New Site
This presentation will describe the design, detailing and construction of the 11m high and 24m wide, curved around the edges façade for the long awaited Colchester Art Centre designed by acclaimed American architect Rafael Vinoly. Malishev Wilson engineers were called in to help specialist glazing contractor FA Firman to engineer the façade. The main façade is connected to a double curved roof surface of the building, it is inclined 15 degrees outwards and rotated 5 degrees about vertical axis, hence presenting complicated geometrical problem. On top of that, one of the major engineering challenges in design was a fixing method which was to accommodate movements of up to 50mm vertically and 30mm horizontally of the main steel structure, designed by others. In addition to normal engineering services, MWE have used state of the art 3D software to translate architectural visualisations into the fabrication drawings and glass cutting schedules. Use of 3D software allowed high precision during site installation. Also, special thermal analysis was carried out to establish true thermal performance characteristics of a non-standard façade system which comprised of 250x80mm thick solid steel mullions and 2.3m by 3.5m high performance double glazed units fixed to them. Using a heat flow analysis we have established system U-value of the whole façade which complied with architects specification. Last but not least, an all glass vestibule entrance is fitted into the façade system to provide access to the public and delivery of the large scale artwork by using integrated sliding and pivoted bespoke doors. The construction of the façade completed June 2010 on time and budget to the delight of the client and main contractor Mace.


10 photos and 4 drawings

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