Wolfsburg Science Centre, Germany A worm's -eye view of the Science Centre structure from the car park shows 10 upturned cones rising from the substructure to support the main body of the centre 7m above ground. As well as providing the primary support structure, each core is used to house 'support programmes' (auditorium, seminars, shops etc) for the main centre. The concrete floor, 150m x 70m in plan, will provide the majority of the exhibition space with only four cones rising up to support the roof above. Hadid's concept is a floating box; the structural concept responds by providing a reinforced concrete mass, 'melting'down at the cores. To achieve leaning free-form cones of high quality, self-compacting concrete (SCC), a recent development that could revolutionise the use of exposed concrete, will be used wherever possible . To analyse the structure a complex finite-element analysis model has been developed, comprising 17,000 elements for the superstructure alone. A two-way steel roof system is adopted to span over the four cones and cantilever out to the building perimeter. The project is due to open in late 2003.
CLIENT: City of Wolfsburg ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid