Parking-Deck Canopy in Linz

Architects: form,art, Graz; Dietmar Hammerschmid (Project architect), Andreas Pachl, Franz Seebacher
Structural engineers: Praher Schuster, Vienna (Concept); Wolfgang Kirchmair, Linz (Execution)

In late 2006 the firm form,art — a recently established, Graz-based enterprise — was commissioned to develop a canopy to cover the so-called “Linienparkplatz 1” in front of the main entrance to the Linz airport. The lightweight steel-and-membrane construction completed in 2008 shelters 130 parking spaces. In case a parking garage is eventually built, it can be disassembled quickly and set up again on another site. Due to the high degree of prefabrication, the construction of the entire roof lasted only four weeks. The primary structure consists of a steel framework with fifteen rectangular fields measuring 11 × 18 m each; they were assembled to a great extent on the ground and then hoisted by a truck-mounted crane to the exact height and position. Each field was then suspended at its centre from a column by means of six tension rods and six compression rods.

The membranes arrived on site fashioned in a ring shape. Prior to the assembly of the steel construction, these membranes were placed around the columns and were subsequently drawn into place. After they were attached via keder rails to the steel-frame construction, the textile funnels were tightened with threaded rods. For the outermost layer — which directs precipitation through the columns to drainage pipes below the asphalt — the architects employed a membrane of PVC-coated polyester fabric with 10% light transmission and 7% solar transmission. As a result, the parking area receives plenty of light, yet automobiles do not heat up due to exposure to the sun. The inner membrane hides the steel: The shadows cast on the membrane change over the course of a day and only hint at the appearance of the actual structure. During the evening hours, thanks to the material’s reflectivity, the structure metamorphoses into a light sculpture.

Each column is illuminated by four recessed floor lights; the membrane’s saddle-shaped curve distributes the light evenly throughout the space.

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This article is an excerpt from DETAIL — Review of Architecture


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