Sculpture “Virtual Tectonics” for BAT Architects in Hamburg

In front of the new building of the Hamburg Authority for Urban Development and Environment and thus in the immediate vicinity of the grounds of the International Garden Show 2013, the sculpture “Virtual Tectonics” designed by the Hamburg architectural firm BAT has been in place since August 14. Hahlbrock realized this spatial sculpture, a self-contained band of variable width and curvature, in a short time, based on a model by architects Julia Hoins and Arndt-Benedikt Willert-Klasing. Support was provided by partners from the CFK-Valley Stade network and by the engineering office Dr. Binnewies in Hamburg.

The three identical wings of the spatial sculpture seem to penetrate each other for the viewer and had to be executed as a multiply angled multi-part band. Due to the unique character and the very complex design, Hahlbrock opted for the GRP sandwich construction. In the process, approx. 100 mm thick rigid foam cores were sheathed on all sides with GFRP after the integration of interlocks and force introduction elements made of CFRP.

Especially at the joints of the wings, a high degree of surface stiffness and fitting accuracy was required in order to be able to join the three elements into an endless loop. The architects’ requirement for a largely iinvisible high-strength and reversible locking system for the sashes was also implemented. This was only possible through the consistent use of a digitally based production chain, starting with the differentiated CAD model of the GRP sandwich elements, through the milling, laminating and assembly jigs derived from this, to the CNC-supported milling of the multi-curved sandwich cores made of various rigid foams. Hahlbrock was able to draw on the manufacturing experience of similar, geometrically not so complex, fiber composite sandwich molded parts.

The spatial sculpture “Virtual Tectonics” can be seen in Hamburg until the end of the IGS2013 in October. This is followed by transport to Stade and new assembly on the premises of CFK Nord, the research center for CFRP technology in CFK Valley Stade.

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