The Crystal in Copenhagen will be joining an impressive international circle. The new Nykredit headquarters at Kalvebod Brygge, only officially opened a few months ago, has already attracted attention abroad. The Crystal was singled out when the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork was identifying the winning projects of this year's awards for the best steel design in Europe. The Crystal will presented with the award in the company of other outstanding European structures such as e.g. the new Holmenkollen in Oslo, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and Immeuble Basalte, La Défense in Paris.Columnless steel and glass construction with a 35-metre free span
Department Director at Grontmij, Lars Bork Hansen, describes this unique piece of construction work as follows: ‘This is a question of remarkable geometry featuring a steel construction with six glass façades set at different angles and thus giving full rein to the play of light from the skies above. The supporting frontage construction is a skeletal welded steel frame only underpinned at three points. Moreover, the tapered front half of the building is a cantilever construction of a 35-metre free span, whereas the columnless floors are supported by the façade construction and the two stairwell nuclei in combination with the cross-top roofing – via suspension roofing. As the consultants, we take much pride in having participated in the construction of this grand construction ranking among the most superb within the art of engineering; and we are honoured to have been awarded such a distinguished prize together with the other project parties’.
In an account of the building work, Grontmij's steel-construction expert, Gunnar H. Isleifsson, explains: ‘With its rigidity and stability, the construction work on the rhombic façade construction represented a unique assignment. The feasibility of 3-D application for design, modelling and planning played a decisive role in achieving this outstanding result – for instance in connection with the detail design of the roof construction with its distinctive geometry and the considerable floor loads requiring to be conveyed to the two connection nodes of the roof's main lattice girder. The day for removal of the provisional columns used for underpinning façade steel and floors during the installation work – and for our calculations of the construction rigidity and settlement to be demonstrated – most certainly was an exciting one’. Extreme flexibility
The Crystal is further distinguished by its low-energy classification 2 rating which, considering the building's many glass facades, is no mean feat. In addition, Nykredit's new building has been designed to provide its users with the greatest possible flexibility; and, also, particular weight was attached to the establishment of a sound indoor climate. Officially, the parties behind the construction of the Crystal will be presented with the European Steel Design Award 2011 at a ceremony taking place in Germany on 22 September this year.
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