The John Hope Gateway Biodiversity Centre

Richard Harris, P Roberts, I Hargreaves

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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The architectural concept of the John Hope Gateway is that of a floating timber canopy over the entrance to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. This paper presents the Engineering challenges encountered and the bespoke solutions that were generated, which include a diagrid of tapering glulam beams at roof level and the use of cross-laminated timber floors and walls. Slim cruciform steel columns are used to emphasise the elegance of the supported timber structure. The building is on two storeys with an overall dimension of approximately 100 metres × 50 metres. Spans between columns vary between 8 and 6 metres. It uses 2750 square metres of cross-laminated timber slabs, 226mm thick on the first floor and 146mm at roof level. Although timber is becoming used more and more regularly for structures in Scotland, this building is not only very high profile, but also it is also structurally demanding. Amongst the issues discussed in the paper are: Connection details at the tops of the column heads, where the roof is carried on thin steel rods; the manufacturing challenges relating to tolerances in fabrication and erection; the use of large areas of exposed cross-laminated timber in a building with public access; fire resistance and the use of timber in an external environment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventWorld Conference on Timber Engineering 2010 - Riva del Garda, Italy
Duration: 20 Jun 201024 Jun 2010


ConferenceWorld Conference on Timber Engineering 2010
CityRiva del Garda


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