Car Park Exhibition Centre Bologna
Blending designs with EGLA-MONO 4251
The new car park of the Exhibition Centre Bologna demonstrates that a car park can not only be functional, but also appealing from an architectural point of view. With architectural mesh supplied by W.S. Tyler, the façade of this new building combines the advantages of transparency and design in a unique way.
The new development – formerly a simple parking area – has not only generated urgently required space, but has also integrated perfectly into the existing concept of the Exhibition Center Bologna. The architectural mesh plays a prominent role in this concept.
As stainless-steel mesh had already been used for the façade of the two-story exhibition hall, it seemed a natural progression to use the same material for the car park. However, this was not the only reason for specifying the mesh façade. Amongst others it was important that the mesh elements could be tensioned continuously over the full height of the façade without any visual interruptions. Also, the substructure had to be minimal and mainly consists of top and bottom fixing points. The resulting building envelope, with its transparency and reflections, sets a visual cause and simultaneously allows sufficient ventilation through the apertures of the mesh. Furthermore, it remains recognizable as a car park for the visitors.
During the construction phase it was important that the parking facilities remained available to visitors. Consequently, the car park was planned as two separate buildings and built in two stages.
The concept is based on maximum flexibility. Only partial areas are used for small exhibitions or events. For huge exhibitions, the maximum capacity of 6,000 parking spaces is available. Furthermore, a state-of-the-art fare management and monitoring system has been installed, while at ground level a passenger tunnel has been constructed, housing an extensive range of services such as pay machines, cafés, and cash terminals.
To ensure smooth integration of the building into the surrounding area, the external shape and configuration were checked several times. W.S. Tyler proposed several mesh types to meet both the architectural requirements and the desired cost level.
In total, more than 9,000 m² of mesh type EGLA-MONO 4251 were installed. The open area of approx. 69% allows the required ventilation, as well as creating exceptional light reflections, giving a unique appearance of high value to the building. The standard mesh elements with a height of 12.20 m and a width of 2.20 m were supplied by Haver & Boecker ready for installation, complete with tensioning devices which consist of flat tension profiles, clevis screws, and pressure springs. As a result, the installation process was simple and time-saving. The corrosion-resistant, stainless-steel wire assures not only the high-quality appearance but also offers longevity to the whole construction.
Due to the architectural concept, and especially the façade design, the new development not only integrates perfectly into the environment, but also contributed to keeping the total costs within the given budget. With a new traffic concept and urban design elements such as flowerbeds and green areas, this project contributes enormously to the regeneration of the whole Michelino-area.
The total volume of the complex is impressive: 140 meters wide, 220 meters long, and five stories high, offering plenty of space for exhibition visitors.