Centre Georges Pompidou-Metz, France
Structural engineering timber construction
SJB.Kempter.Fitze AG, Eschenbach, Germany
Demathieu & Bard
Holzbau Amann GmbH, Weilheim-Bannholz, Germany
Shigeru Ban Architects Europe
Jean de Gastines Architectes
Metz Métropole, France
The "Center Georges Pompidou-Metz" is a branch of the eponymous Parisian Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the most important in the world.
The building was designed by Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect, and represents an oversized Chinese straw hat (external dimensions: 100 m x 100 m), where the girders are symbolizing the straw plaited in three directions, dividing the surface in regular hexagons and triangles.
The hat is pierced by three big tubes, consisting of reinforced concreted, stacked on top of each other. The top of the hat is crowned by a hexagonal steel tower.
The roof structure is made of timber beams and consists of intersecting multi‑layer chords. The curved glued-laminated beams are connected by prestressed threaded bars and disk springs in the points of intersection. In this way, the structural transmission of forces in the joints is ensured by friction.
The parallel running chords are connected to each other by plywood panels and screw threads. Thus, they have the effect of a Vierendeel truss with semi‑rigid connections.
The complex system having approx. 41,000 members was designed by the Swiss company SJB.Kempter.Fitze, using RSTAB and the TIMBER, DYNAM, and RSBUCK add‑on modules.
The substructure in steel and reinforced concrete was completely considered with a "simplified" system in order to capture the effects of the mutual dependencies with sufficient accuracy. To calculate the internal forces in the connections and structural components, each cord and shear plate as well as the joint sections had to be modeled with the respective spatial orientation.
The loading situations were determined by CSTB (Center scientifique et technique du bâtiment) in extensive wind tunnel tests. In addition to the self‑weight, temperature and live loads, the calculation included 96 wind load cases, 80 snow load cases and the resulting membrane loads.
Finally, the 3D FEA software RFEM was used to model and design 216 connections between the wooden and the steel structures.
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions
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
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052
Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method
Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member models
Dynamic and seismic analysis including time history analysis and multi-modal response spectrum analysis
Seismic and static load analysis using the multi-modal response spectrum analysis