As part of the on-going technical development, one of our design team members, along with the Client and other members of the design team, recently had the opportunity to visit the Wiehag glulam factory in Altheim, Austria. A key element of the architectural design is the grass ‘meadow’ roof supported by an exposed curved glulam structure.
It was impressive to see the journey of the timber, from rough sawn boards, through sorting, drying, grading, jointing, gluing and forming – and see the quality control procedures, ensuring that the is a chain of custody for every piece of timber forming each glulam element. Beams up to 50m long can be produced and curved radii down to 9m can be formed – although transport of such long beams means we will be looking at more manageable 12 – 15m lengths.
The factory visit was followed by a technical design team meeting, exploring the challenges of the curved ribbon roof and developing solutions to enable a progression of the design towards the Reserved Matters Planning Application and the technical documentation.
We would like to thank Wiehag for hosting us, and especially to Dr. Erich Wiesner, head of Wiehag for providing a gratefully received beer at the end of the day!