Hybrid Forms of Construction
The new Blox building in Copenhagen is a hybrid in more ways than one. With its fully glazed facade, OMA’s multipurpose facility accommodates a lively mix that combines exhibition spaces for the Danish Architecture Center with housing units, co-working spaces, a fitness studio and a café with a terrace, to name a few. In addition to its unusually hybrid use, the striking harbourside building was built as a hybrid: in order to meet the design requirements and their respective material properties, a combination of steel and concrete was used for its load-bearing structure.
For our October issue, Frank Kaltenbach has compiled this and other outstanding examples of hybrid forms of construction. The range of possible structural combinations – be it prefabricated wooden elements with reinforced concrete, steel frames infilled with bricks, or timber frame construction with load-bearing reinforced concrete panels – are as varied as the architectural expression of the individual projects.
Our documentations show to what extent these two aspects go hand in hand, for example, at the new residential complex in Stockholm by BIG, in the renovation of a former locksmith’s shop in Bordeaux by RCR Artotec, or at the primary school in Flanders by Compagnie-O. This issue’s essay considers hybrid timber high-rise buildings and examines how construction types, building owners, architects and structural planners are setting new height records. Our Technology feature highlights one such example – namely the highest timber-hybrid construction in Switzerland; Primin Jung explains the project’s structural design challenges.