- Location: Straubing, Germany
- Client: Straubinger Ausstellungs- und Veranstaltungs GmbH, Straubing
- Architect: Arch.Gem. Wohlhaupter & Wackerbauer, Straubing
- Services provided/type of construction: Bearing system
Projektdokumentation "Messezentrum Neu. Zukunft made in Oberösterreich"
(November 2007 // pdf-Datei mit 4,1 MB)
Sonderdruck "Messezentrum Wels Neu" aus Bauen mit Holz
(März 2007 // pdf-Datei mit 3,6 MB)
Messezentrum Wels Neu in Architektur und BauForum
(Januar 2008 // pdf-Datei mit 2,4 MB)
Sonderdruck "Messezentrum Wels Neu" aus SOLID
(Juli 2008 // pdf-Datei mit 1,6 MB)
The New Wels Exhibition Centre is not only impressive because of its modern, aesthetic architecture. Thanks to the excellent teamwork of the project partners, this technical masterpiece was also built in an extremely short construction period and would have been a challenge even without the tight schedule.
Less than two years passed between the time that the decision to build a new exhibition hall was made and the first time that it was used. WIEHAG received written confirmation of the order to manufacture and assemble the bearing system and the roof and wall panels in October 2006. In record time, the working drawings were created based on AT4 Architekten ZT GmbH's structural and architectural plans, and the individual components (up to 46 m long, 4.50 m high and about 6 m wide) for the arched beams were produced in multi-shift operation – over 5,500 m³ of wood was used in total.
To simplify assembly on site, the bottom and top chords for the support structure, as well as the roof and wall panels, were delivered to Wels with the highest degree of prefabrication – the first of the arched support structures was already assembled on 5 December 2006. To transport the oversized arched beams to the construction site, a specific route had to be planned that could accommodate the special transport vehicles' 40 metre turning circle.
The three arched support structures with a parallel bottom chord and a clear span of 90 m are characteristic of this building. The roof panels prefabricated by WIEHAG were also mounted parallel to the displacement of the 90 metre long support structure for the exhibition hall. A roof area of up to 800 m² was laid each day. In took just over five months to assemble the largest timber building in Upper Austria on the Wels fair grounds, with an exhibition space of 16,000 m² – larger than two football pitches put together. The building could already be used for the first time at the "Energy-Saving Trade Fair" in March 2007.
The decision had already been made to build the hall roof out of steel, and the entire reinforced concrete substructure had been designed for these roof plans. WIEHAG provided proof that a wooden roof construction would be less expensive, even with all of the planning changes, and was therefore awarded the contract.
The support structure for the multi-purpose arena consists of a biaxial curved glued laminated timber construction, with parallel symmetric arched glued laminated timber girders as the primary support structure. Together with the transverse secondary beams, this creates a dome-shaped structure that directs the view to the stage or the playing field like a parabolic mirror.
The main support structure of the dome runs in the direction of the main girders. Just like in the designs for the steel construction, arched supports could not be used in the longitudinal direction of the hall. The load bearing performance of the design is therefore level. A special challenge was to build the supports – which had already been designed for the steel construction, using timber – without having to make any changes to the massive construction. The structure in the support areas is designed in such a way that tethering forces of up to 1,800 KN can be absorbed.
The entire timber support structure was designed and manufactured with the aid of a three-dimensional CAD model. The geometry allows only two identical trusses and only four identical secondary beams each. This required not only very precise, computer-aided manufacturing but also corresponding logistics for the assembly.
The assembly of the support structure took seven weeks and was completed in January 2003. The trusses were manufactured in two parts and delivered to the construction site as heavy loads. The two parts of the trusses were lifted at the joints and set into place with a mobile crane. The joint at the crest was force fit, so that there was no longer a joint after the pieces were assembled. The first arch pair was erected together with its cross members to ensure that the bracing was already solid during the assembly. After the secondary beams were assembled, the sheet with trapezoidal corrugations was laid and the installation of the roof structure could begin.
"All pieces play their part in the arena," the state of Salzburg proudly announced at the end of 2003. Messe Salzburg's multi-purpose hall opened in December 2003, one and a half years after construction had begun, with a piece performed by the Vienna Philharmonic – an audible signal that the Salzburg Arena meets even the highest acoustic requirements. The maximum capacity of the Salzburg Arena is approximately 6,800 seats.
The 30 metre tall Hall 11, which was built according to the plans of Jehle, a Berlin-based architectural firm, provides over 23,000 m² of exhibition space on two levels.
The roof construction consists of 12 wooden trusses with steel tension diagonals in the interior of the hall and genuine timber frames with reinforcing plates for drift bolt connections in the tapered edge of the roof. The 78 m clear-span trusses, which together with 2x 19.40 m of cantilever have a total length of 116.80 m, are a masterpiece in timber engineering by WIEHAG. The trusses have a centre distance of 10.4 m and are connected via wooden beams in the top chord area. The wide cantilevered roof, with a length of 200 m, looks like a horizontal slab that appears to float above the structure. Roughly 2,600 m³ of glued laminated timber was used in the roof construction.
The new Hall 11, in which Messe Frankfurt GmbH invested around € 170 million, officially opened in September 2009 for the IAA and started with a highlight: The BMW Group presented its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls Royce "under one roof" for the first time, and "The Ultimate Driving Machine" became more than just a slogan: Visitors were able to literally drive in the cars, something that the Bavarian car manufacturer had never done before at an exhibition.
In 2011, the roof construction of Hall 11 received the recognition award for new structures as part of the Deutscher Holzbaupreis [German Timber Construction Award]. Here's what the jury had to say:
The construction of Hall 11 in Frankfurt is further proof of the exciting possibilities offered by wood for large spans: 78 m spanned, 7.80 m high trusses arranged at a distance of 10 m create the framework of this impressive structure. The diagonals were implemented with minimized steel ties to achieve maximum transparency and lightness in the design. Using universal bolts screwed in at an angle to form the connections is particularly commendable in a support structure of this magnitude and proves that this method is effective.