A 'POD' MADE FROM GRP (GLASS-REINFORCED PLASTIC) PANELS
The 'pod' is an organic pebblelike object, nestled under the sloping soffit of Palestra. It forms the main entrance to the LDA's offices, exhibition space and a reception to the groundfloor conference area.
The pod structure is a series of steel frames of 203 x 133mm UBs supporting an outer skin of 6mm GRP panels and a suspended inner layer of 25mm GRG (glass reinforced gypsum) panels. Their complex shapes were achieved using a full-size plywood model to form convex and concave negative moulds for internal and external panels.
Some panels have complex double curvature; others are at and a number are identical.
The primary steel structure was bolted to the concrete oor slab. The GRP panels were installed with neoprene gaskets sealing the joints and the inner surface was sprayed with 75mm foam insulation. 125 x 75mm steel purlins were fixed between the UBs, and service runs were installed. Finally the internal GRG panels and plasterboard ceiling were fixed.
The cavity between the GRP skin and plasterboard (limited to 800mm to comply with fire regulations) holds services including the sprinkler system, air conditioning, electrical supplies and provision for the LED light fittings embedded in the external skin.
Cabling to audio-visual LCD panels in the exhibition space is contained in a cavity behind.