Visitor Centre ‘Park Groot Vijversburg’
For the design of the Visitor Centre of ‘Park Groot Vijversburg’ at Tytsjerk, The Netherlands, the limits of structural design are examined, resulting in one of the largest glass bearing structures. The architectural design is by Junya Ishigami and Marieke Kums of Studio Maks. In plan, the shape of the Visitor Centre is as that of a triangle being pulled firmly in three directions while maintaining a central hall. The architectural design exists of a glass façade with roof only. During the design it became clear that it was the architect’s wish not to have any structural elements visible. The critical part of the wings is the cross section, since there is no possibility of adding a lateral resistant element in the section. Using the experience with glass balustrades, the structure is made with clamped glass sheets, that acts like a portal construction. The triangle shape of the main hall is capable of producing lateral support in all directions, just by in-plane actions. The roof structure of steel acts as the diaphragm fixing the triangular shape and distributing the forces to all three sides. By using only the glass façade the load bearing and lateral system is being formed, with simple mechanical principles and use of the spatial effect. All connections are proven techniques in glass balustrades and facades. Combining all these techniques into one building, with no additional structural elements, brings the design of glass structures an important step further. The visitor centre is planned for completion in 2016.