Zenith e Horizon, Westgate - MIND (Milano Innovation District)
The design is for the construction of a couple of new buildings for office use located in PLOT 4 in the MIND development area EXPO 2015 – Rho Fair – Milano Metropolitan City.
Zenith, on the North side, is the taller one and features a typical in plan dimensions 54m by 27m with 13 floors above ground for the total elevation of 56m thus being the tallest Italian building with a timber structure.
The Horizon one is lower with 9 floors above ground for the total elevation of 38m and larger in plan dimensions 72m by 33m
Both buildings share a common basement and a ground floor where are separated by a pedestrian way.
In each building a couple of reinforced concrete cores resist the horizontal and a fraction of the vertical loads.
Reinforced concrete is also used for the basement, the ground floor and the columns free standing up to 10m.
Glued laminated timber is used for all other components like the typical columns and the beams; the decks are constituted by XLAM panels; glulam beams are used in the bays with spans of 9m by 9m; composite concrete-timber plates support the higher superimposed loads.
The use of wood, in addition to the reduction of the environmental impact and the CO2 emissions compared to the common construction materials, speeds up the erection, yields a lighter building and allows for modifications of the panel layout, and therefore of the architectural partitions, by means of the possibility of introducing openings in several areas thanks to the research on the resistance through different vertical and horizontal load patterns effected since the preliminary design.
The exhaustive study of problems related to the use of wood and in detail of XLAM panels which encompass vibrations, in plane orthotropic stiffness in addition to the long time resistance and deformability yielded the optimization of structural sections and centrelines of the beams taking into account the large spans and the architectural constraints.
Not withstanding the isostatic scheme, the elements and the relevant mutual connections allow for verification of the safety for accidental load conditions like internal and external explosions