SAM Architekten und Partner AG: Ein Blatt im Hof - best architects 13

SAM Architekten und Partner AG

Ein Blatt im Hof

best architects 13

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Dominique Marc Wehrli


A structure for sheltering employees from the elements was required in the courtyard of the building on Soodring 6. As the architects of the building, which opened in 2001, we were interested in maintaining the function of the courtyard as intermediary between the main building and annex. The design we implemented calls for an organically shaped steel roof summoning associations with a water lily and contrasting with the rigour of the geometry and materials otherwise dominating the courtyard. The positions of the slim, fanned columns follow the form and segmentation of the roof, working in conjunction with the canopy and the ribs to form the supporting structure. 3D CAD models enabled the steel structure to be optimised with regard to weight, design and connections and also made it easier to understand the geometrically complex configuration of the roof edge in particular, in order to determine specifications for cutting and rolling the metal. Anyone taking a seat under this canopy can sense the regulating force of the ribs, which act both as supporting columns and roof girders. The rhythm and the geometry of the web plates make the structural logic of the design and the force flows within it legible. At the same time, the support structure and the space it encloses meld into a single inseparable unit.