A large proportion of building projects today involve the conversion of existing stock. On economic and ecological grounds, the transformation of existing structures will play an even greater role in construction in the future. The modification of structures to meet new requirements or urban planning conditions is not only necessary, it is also an extremely interesting and challenging task.
How the precise integration of the existing and new can become the key issue in a building redesign is demonstrated in the conversion of the former Schlotterbeck car garage in Zurich into a striking commercial and residential complex. Unconventional ideas and approaches from structural engineers contributed considerably to the success of this project.
The unconventional was also evident in the design of the ESO Supernova, the new planetarium at the European Southern Observatory on TU Munich’s Garching campus. The free-form wall shells comprising the structure and facade were designed using software specially adapted for this project to achieve the highest precision in design and construction.
Despite the extraordinarily complicated urban context in which the new Kienlesberg Bridge in Ulm was built, the designers still achieved a coherent blend of structural engineering and architecture. Just in time for the opening in September 2018, structure highlights the special challenges of the design process.