New Construction for Bus Station in Aarau, Switzerland
A unique structure which roofs the main bus station in the Swiss town of Aarau was built at the end of 2013. The canopy has a cloud-like shape and contains the largest single-chamber cushion in the world. It has a volume of 1810 m 3 and a roofed area of 1070 m 2 .
Structural engineering, workshop planning steel, foil, cables, construction management + quality control
formTL Ingenieure für Tragwerk und Leichtbau GmbH, Radolfzell
Project Planning and Solid Construction
suisseplan Ingenieure AG
Arge Foliendach mit Ruch AG
Vector Foiltec GmbH, Bremen, Germany
Vehovar & Jauslin AG
City of Aarau, Switzerland
The external dimensions of the roof are l x w = ~ 138 ft x ~ 128 ft. The eave height is 23 ft. In the center of the canopy there is an organically shaped opening. The air cushion is inflated and reaches a height between 4.3 ft and 10.5 ft. Furthermore, a clear and blue‑dyed foil with a finely balanced print was used.
The cushion is enveloped and spanned by an irregular mesh of stainless steel cables that are fixed to the curved pipes on the edge. The edge beams are supported by a load bearing system consisting of steel girders lying within the cushion.
The entire technical infrastructure for water, air, electronics and sensor technology has been integrated into the inner steel structure.
The roof is supported by a total of 11 filigree columns made of round pipes with a diameter of d = 11 3/4 in that are slightly inclined in an axis. The "cloud" seems to float. The ETFE cushion has such an airtight and energy‑saving design that merely 15 % of the forecast air power needed to sustain the structure is required.
Immediately after the bus station was put into service, it became an exhibit in the Swiss architectural trade show "architektur 0.13" in Zürich.
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SHAPE-THIN determines the effective cross-sections according to EN 1993-1-3 and EN 1993-1-5 for cold-formed sections. You can optionally check the geometric conditions for the applicability of the standard specified in EN 1993‑1‑3, Section 5.2.
The effects of local plate buckling are considered according to the method of reduced widths and the possible buckling of stiffeners (instability) is considered for stiffened sections according to EN 1993-1-3, Section 5.5.
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Read more about designing cold-formed sections with SHAPE-THIN and RF-/STEEL Cold-Formed Sections in this technical article: Design of a Thin-Walled, Cold-Formed C-Section According to EN 1993-1-3.
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