Project: University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria
Contractor (and Architects): Franz Leski (construction manager), Zaha Hadid Architects (Hamburg), building company Granit (Graz)
Formwork Engineering: MEVA Austria and Germany
Founded in 1898 as the Imperial Export Academy to prepare students for employment in international trade, the academy soon took on the characteristics of a university and in 1975 became the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Built for 10,000 students, the university is much too small for the 23,000 students that today attend Central Europe’s largest university of economics. Hence, a new campus is being built in the heart of the Austrian capital and planned to be inaugurated in 2013. Designs by esteemed architects from Europe and Japan were selected for the six new buildings on the campus and four of them are erected using MEVA formwork and formwork solutions.
The Library and Learning Center (LLC): Architectural highlight and hub on the Campus
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the new LLC is a masterpiece of architecture. Located in the centre of the campus and intended to be more than a classical library, the LLC will connect counselling and library services. Apart from books, the LLC will also offer working places, service centres and lounge rooms. With its facilities open for students and employees 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the LLC will be the central communications and information hub on the campus.
Different cores, walls inclined at different angles, inclined and rounded corners
The LLC has five cores, each with a different complex geometry. The core walls are inclined at different angles and so are the corners which are also rounded with different radii. MEVA has developed and uses both standard and special formwork, or a combination of both, to meet the forming requirements for these complex building parts. Steel formwork, for example, is used for rounded corners if required for structural reasons. Trapezoidal areas of inclined cylindrical corner areas are poured with special Mammut 350 wall formwork panels and special designs of MEVA’s circular column formwork Circo are used for the tilted and rounded corners.
Walls with fanned out board patterns and inlays with smooth architectural concrete surface
The inclined core walls are poured with an architectural concrete surface and a board pattern is applied to them. The pattern is achieved with wooden boards attached to the Mammut 350 panels. Since the front walls are inclined at different angles, the side walls have four different angles and are wider at the top than at the bottom. This requires detailed planning and a little “trick“ in order to achieve a consistent board pattern on the side walls. On the left and right of the side wall, the boards, and thus pattern, are parallel to the adjoining front wall. Since the front walls are not parallel, the board pattern on the left of the side wall is inclined at another angle than the pattern on the right. To compensate for the different angles, the pattern is fanned out in the middle section of the side wall. The boards used for the fanning out section are wider at the top than at the bottom and their width ranges from 8 to 12 cm, depending on the fanning out area they are used for. The boards of a specific fanning out area always have the same size to achieve a homogenuous and consistent fanning out pattern and, what’s more, MEVA engineers planned these patterns to be consistent on the entire multi-storey wall from the ground to the top. The boards used for rounded walls are generally 8 cm wide.
The core walls have so-called inlays. They are areas with a smooth architectural concrete surface that optically interrupt the board pattern and are achieved with the alkus all-plastic facing that is standard in all MEVA formwork systems.
Another specialty are the canyon walls between the cores. Mostly consisting of beams and parapets, the canyon walls are also inclined and curved with different radii. They are formed with the Mammut 350 panels and then plastered. Rounded parts of the canyon walls are formed with special timber formwork.
Comprehensive on site support and careful detailing
The LLC is built by the Austrian contractor Granit from Graz, Austria. Work and staff are supported on site by MEVA Austria while all formwork solutions for MEVA and non MEVA standard and special formwork are planned by Application Engineering at the German MEVA headquarters.
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