Wooden Airship Gulliver Above DOX Centre in Prague, Czech Republic

Customer Project

Structural Engineering Ing. Zbyněk Šrůtek (timber, steel, membrane)
Česká Skalice, Czech Republic
www.timberdesign.cz

Ing. Pavel Kocourek (steel)
Ing. Jana Divíšková (foundation)
Prague, Czech Republic
Concept Design Leoš Válka
Prague, Czech Republic
Architects Prof. Ing. arch. Martin Rajniš
MgA. David Kubík
Prague, Czech Republic
hutarchitektury.cz
General Contractor STYLBAU, s.r.o.
Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
www.stylbau.cz
Subcontractors Timber Structure
TIMBER DESIGN s.r.o.
Česká Skalice, Czech Republic
www.timberdesign.cz

Steel Structure
ELEKTRO MOSEV spol. s r.o.
Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
www.elektromosev.cz
Investor DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
Prague, Czech Republic
www.dox.cz

Length: ~ 138 ft | Width: ~ 33 ft | Height: ~ 79 ft | Weight: 56.6 t
Number of Nodes: 6,102 | Members: 12,257 | Cross-Sections: 30 | Materials: 7

At the beginning of December 2016, a giant wooden airship “suspended” above the Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic, has been opened to the public.

The unique airship structure made of timber and steel has been named “Gulliver” and, just like the early zeppelins, it represents the eternal human desire to fly and a certain utopian ideal. Gulliver will serve as a space for literature related to the themes of DOX’s exhibitions, which are characterized by critical reflection on the situation of our contemporary world.

Structure

The supporting framework of the airship consists of 14 truss hoops arranged in a transversal direction at a spacing of 7.2 - 9.8 ft. The hoops are connected to each other by lateral and auxiliary elements, which converge together in a top steel ring. The structural elements are made of larch wood, hot‑dip galvanized elements, and stainless and hot‑dip galvanized fasteners.

The framework includes steel cables that ensure the overall spatial stability. The timber frame is coated by larch wood lamellas and is protected against weather conditions by a membrane structure in the upper half of the structure. Thus, the membrane structure consisting of the ETFE foil creates something like an umbrella above the entire airship structure.

The timber framework of the airship is anchored to an inclined steel supporting structure at the respective height, which serves as the supporting foundation for the interior timber floor of the airship. The structure is supported by two steel truss columns located along the walls of the buildings in the DOX Centre's yard. The columns are built on newly built pile foundations. A spar and cables in the horizontal direction stabilize the cantilevered part of the steel supporting structure that exceeds the building walls. The airship can be accessed on two side staircases made of steel.

The basic airship body is complemented by a gondola that can be accessed from the airship board by a steel ladder. The airship includes audiovisual and lighting equipment. Due to the installed infra panels, it is possible to operate the airship all year long.

The total construction area is 322 m², the accessible interior area is 161 m², and the space enclosed by the construction is 2,050 m³.

Programs Used for Structural Analysis

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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

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Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

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RF-TIMBER Pro 5.xx

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Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052

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Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3

RFEM Tensile Membrane Structures
RF-FORM-FINDING 5.xx

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Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable Structures

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Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method