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Air control tower tripod concept takes off

The team at Web Structures has been working with major international architects Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners on a striking, thought-provoking concept for a modern airport control tower.

Web Structures was part of the team that submitted an entry for the competition to develop the tower at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan.

The result was this stunning tripod structure. Web Structures’ London office produced a concept report and carried out structural studies into the design produced by London-based Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners.

The proposed development included a 14-storey Control Tower Building, hosting a series of functions including an operational control room and weather observation facilities.

The Web Structures concept report demonstrated the viability of proposed structural systems for the key components of the development designed by the Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners team – including the cutting-edge tripod design.

The practice also brought its wealth of experience and knowledge working in areas of high seismic and typhoon activity to the project team.

Dr Hossein Rezai, group director of Web Structures, says: “The purpose of the studies we carried out was to find the most efficient and cost-effective structural solution meeting the architectural concept and the strict structural requirements for air control towers.

“After several discussions and meetings with the project team the preliminary options converged into a final structural scheme: the tripod.

“The tripod structure consists of three inclined columns, or legs, which converge towards one point creating a perfect symmetrical tri-dimensional geometry.

“The columns are then connected together at the top edge by two horizontal ring beams, or belts, which lead all the elements to form a single unique structural system.

“The cabin station is a separate structural component located inside the horizontal ring beams and supported by the three inclined columns. And the stair and lifts core, which is offset from the cabin centre, is a self-standing structure.”

He added: “We were delighted to have been invited to be a member of the Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners team in this high-profile competition and to have brought all our experience and knowledge to help develop the concept.

“The tripod design has created a distinctive modern Air Control Tower Building that delivers all the functions required of it.

“It also provides a very stable structure which equally resists horizontal forces from any direction because of its symmetrical nature, providing a significant lateral stiffness to the tower.”

The tower is part of a larger concept that included an additional low-level supporting building to hold a dormitory, airport police duty room, a plant room and air traffic control offices.

These support buildings would be up to four-storeys in height, with no basement, and designed in a V-shape to merge harmoniously underneath the tower.

The plan also included retaining and refurbishing series of existing buildings at the airport.


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