- Location: Dublin, Ireland
- Client: South Dublin County Council
- Architect: ARUP, Dublin
- Services provided/type of construction: Bearing system
Sunderland Aquatic Centre in Timber in Construction
(Dezember 2007 // pdf-Datei mit123 KB)
Sunderland Aquatic Centre in mikado
(Dezember 2008 // pdf-Datei mit 922 KB)
RedBoxDesignGroup of Newcastle designed the aquatic centre. The architects had already implemented several prestigious indoor swimming pool projects in the past. This project resulted in what is now the largest aquatic centre in Great Britain, with room for over 500 spectators. The new Sunderland Aquatic Centre is the training centre of the British Swim Team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. As such, the centre has an extensive array of fitness, physical therapy and rehabilitation areas as well as the "Olympic-size" pool: With ten 50 m lanes and movable floors and exterior walls, the swimming pool can be used for all types of competitions. The facility also includes a modern spa centre and many activities for families, because the Sunderland Aquatic Centre will primarily serve as a regional leisure and sports centre for the public.
Very high demands were placed on energy efficiency in the planning of the building. Swimming pools usually waste an enormous amount of energy: It takes a lot of energy to move and heat large quantities of water and ensure comfortable air temperatures in the hall for visitors.
In Sunderland, the planners worked hard to increase efficiency and reduce any unnecessary water and energy waste. For example, rain water is collected from the roof, filtered and used for the swimming pool. This is a major improvement compared to other swimming centres, which until now were only able to use rain water for showers and toilets. The Sunderland Aquatic Centre is able to use a lower concentration of chlorine in the water because the majority of disinfection takes place by means of ozone technology. Another key reason that the Sunderland Aquatic Centre received an "Excellent" rating from BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is its ecological construction using wood.
The client's structural engineers at Arup initially only planned to use wood to cover the steel beams. But WIEHAG quickly convinced the British engineers that a complete timber solution was the best choice, both technically and economically. Using plate-shaped steel beams in combination with a wood facing is not ideal because of the different expansion behaviour of the two materials due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity. A welcome side effect was that the decision to use wood proved to be more economical than the original solution.
Eleven glued laminated timber beams with a 52 m free span support the roof of the Sunderland Aquatic Centre. The shape presented a major challenge: According to the plan, the inner radius of the beams had to be very small – just three metres. This, in conjunction with the great forces at the connection points, was one of the most interesting issues. It was also the reason why the structural engineers chose a low laminate thickness of just 16 mm in the arched section of the beams (152 m³ glued laminated timber in total) and 33 mm in the straight section of the beams (148 m³ in total, each in GL 28).
A new mixed-use district is currently being built on a 120,000 m² section of the Dublin Docklands as part of the "Point Village" urban development project. It is a three-year project that will cost over € 450 million.
The plan was drafted around the new Point Village centre called "Point Square" and includes a shopping centre with 27,000 m² of retail space, a convention centre with numerous cafés and bars, a theatre, a multiplex cinema as well as 10,000 m² of office space.
The complex also includes a new 4-star hotel from the Choice Hotels Group - Scott Tallon Walker Architects designed the hotel's spectacular glass façade, which was built and assembled by Permasteelisa, the global façade specialists from Italy.
The double curved hybrid façade, designed as a light-filled foyer of the hotel, is 23 m high and supported by eleven radially arranged glued laminated timber support columns made of European larch. The detail solutions and exceptional payloads were a particular challenge for WIEHAG engineers: The weight of the glass façade, the ceiling loads and the escalator are all supported by the glued laminated timber bearing system. All steel components needed for the glass façade were included in the WIEHAG package – due to the marine environment, all of the outer steel parts are stainless steel. The bearing system only took two weeks to assemble; the hotel opened in July 2010.