The Largest Project in Lithuania by Grupo Andalucia: Quadrum Business City

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The Quadrum business center: the only one of its kind in Lithuania

On the right bank of the Neris river in Vilnius, the outline of the Quadrum business center, the largest project currently being implemented in Lithuania, is coming into focus. Construction of the tallest of the complex’s three buildings – a 17-story tower of more than 21,500 sq. m – and a three-level underground parking garage underneath it has been entrusted to Mitnija.

The impressive 70,000-square-meter Class A business complex will contain modern offices, multifunctional conference halls, restaurants, leisure and service zones, landscaped inner courtyards, and a 700-car underground garage. Schage Real Estate, a Norwegian development company, is investing LTL 260 million in the project. This project stands out due to not only its impressive size but also the innovative technologies and structural and engineering solutions used, the implementation of which requires extraordinary thoroughness, experience, and knowledge.

The high quality requested for this solution, was to be found in the products from Grupo Andalucia – Spain, due to their experiences of more than 40 years, and knowledge for architectural buildings, as they have many references in this field.

Construction solutions that are unique in Lithuania

The 17-story tower we are building rests on a concrete slab, for which almost 3,000 cubic meters of concrete was poured. Special technology was used in pouring the concrete for this structure and a lot of large-diameter reinforcement was used, while the total length of welding seams exceeded 1,000 meters. The structure of the building itself is complex as well. Part of it above the third floor hangs like a console and is supported by a 200-ton steel girder that is mounted to floors 3-5. Due to the massive weight of the structure and its height, installing it posed a sizable challenge to our construction workers, because such a construction solution was used in Lithuania for the first time. Also unique in Lithuania was the use of monolithic cavity-type overlays with plastic bubbles. They take up a certain volume inside the overlay, reducing the amount of concrete used and the weight of the structure. For reinforcement of the overlay plates, locally tensioned reinforcement (i.e., cables) is used. This technical solution, still new to Lithuania, also allows the quantity of reinforcement to be reduced compared to the standard method of plate reinforcement. The decorative (exposed) concrete surfaces of the building’s open reinforced concrete structures – overlay slabs, columns, and elevator shaft walls – require particular diligence, knowledge, experience, and skill. They are part of the interior, so particularly stringent requirements apply to their quality. Complex, particularly accurate formwork made according to the architect’s vision is used to pour their surfaces. True mastery and diligence were needed to reveal the beauty of the concrete surface. To date, Quadrum is the only business center in the Baltic States to be built according to the standards of the prestigious BREEAM environmental impact assessment and building rating system. This means respect for the environment and for man; ensuring occupational safety and suitable work conditions for construction workers; the efficient use of energy, water, land, and other materials; and respectful behavior towards neighboring residents, keeping them informed about the project and the course of the construction. These seem like simple things – showers, a cafeteria, and a clothes drier at the construction site – but in Lithuania they are still a rarity. The headquarters of one of the largest commercial banks in Lithuania, DNB, will be located in the Quadrum business center’s 17-story tallest tower. quadrum5 kons6 11-copy-1000x736title

Tour Majunga

 

Tour Majunga (La Defènce- France)

BREEAM Awards 2012 winner by Grupo Andalucia´s Products

 

This building designed by the architect Jean-Paul Viguier, consists of three contiguous flats expanding each in its own way, but designed to form a whole. The facades are cut to put gardens with plants, enter into the thermal control system and break the monotony of levels.

The desire for an asymmetric design with regards to the central axis, leds us to design three sides with different thichnesses which are giving a full expression in the resulting volume through an attempt for autonomy of the form. Thus three bracketed plates are used, each one expanding in its own way but designed to form a whole: diversity and uniqueness. The resulting tower is a new-style building with a singularity clearly stated without having to rise beyond 180 meters. This principle enables a response to the specific context of the tower at its base by connecting it to the esplanade and the new gardens below. It also makes possible to manage the tower´s contact with the sky by using an original top which underlines the split of the volume into three parts.

 

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Student Housing – Holland

Student Housing

How do you house students at a new university? This was the dilemma that faced architects Te Kiefte Architecten when asked to provide temporary student accommodation for a new university that was founded at The Hague in the Netherlands. Eventually the university will build permanent accommodation but for the present it needed studio rooms for 122 students – plus some common facilities – with a planned lifespan of five years.

To the untutored eye it might appear that the accommodation that Te Kiefte Architecten has designed is constructed from shipping containers. But in fact the rooms, while stacked up from prefabricated metal boxes of much the size and shape of shipping containers, were purpose made, allowing them to incorporate reasonable quantities of insulation and for the fittings, including the en suite bathrooms, to be carefully planned, rather than retrofitted. At 7.15m long, and 3.3m wide, they provide a liveable but not over-generous space.

The ends are glazed to almost full height and full width, bringing light into the long thin space and also enabling views over the adjacent lake. Access to the units, which are stacked four blocks high, is from simple raised walkways at the rear. While it would have been practical to create one long block, the architect in fact decided to break up the accommodation into three blocks, not only providing access between them but also reducing the apparent bulk. The two edge blocks are in a warm reddish-brown colour, chosen to echo the taller brick buildings that stand behind them. In contrast, the central block, which is the smallest at only four units wide, is in black.

The cleverest move however comes the painted aluminium cassettes with which the architect has surrounded each window. Meeting at cruciform joints, and rising to a peak, these give some modelling to what otherwise would be an entirely flat facade, allowing a play of light and shadow. In addition they provide at least a modicum of solar shading to the spaces behind. On each block the architect has chosen three accent colours, in addition to the main colour of the block, and arranged them in a randomised but pleasing composition. Appropriately for the native country of Mondrian, there is just a hint of his abstract geometric composition in the arrangement of the colour scheme.

This use of colour does not disguise, and does not attempt to disguise, the fact that the buildings are straightforward assemblies of repeating units, but it also make it clear that the blocks were designed with a care that ensures their temporary nature and strict cost constraints. As much as possible, it has also been done to make the studios energy efficient, with air-to-air heat pumps on the roofs of the buildings providing heating in winter and cooling in summer.

Students who occupy these studios in what is the city’s first university will have decent if unexceptional living conditions, and the knowledge that as much thought as possible has been put into the building that they occupy. Frugality coupled with sensitivity is a good lesson for anyone to learn at the start of their adult lives.

Group Andalucia´s reference products Powder Coating APLIMAX

Market Division: Architecture (Shopping Center, Offices & Housing, Public building, others) Automotive (interior), Nautical-Build (interior), While-lines (Eletric Home Appliance), Decoation & Design