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Swiss Re hedges its bets in Munich

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MetalWorks Round-up

A 'floating hedge' is one of the features of Swiss Re Germany's new office building in Munich. The building itself, designed by BRT Architekten Bothe, Richter, Teherani, consists of a two-storey central building surrounding an atrium. From this radiates four two-storey office blocks, higher than the central building because they are raised on stilts. These, in turn, support the steel 'hedge' structure that surrounds the buildings at a height of 10m. Cantilevering by up to 50m, it includes two staircase-linked walking levels and a third level for servicing. The whole structure is wrapped in X-Tend stainless-steel netting by Carl Stahl which supports the vegetation - Virginia creeper and wisteria are starting to grow up it.

The mesh has a width of 200mm with cables 3mm in diameter plus a UV-resistant polyamide layer that increases the dimension to approximately 4mm.

To look good, the net has to maintain a constant tension along its 150m length. This has been done by drawing the nets on the outer meshes onto tubes 5m long that were subsequently fitted into one another. Stirrup clamps connect these tubes with the square section tubes of the net framework. The engineer for the project is Büro Dr Ing W Binnewies.

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