Peri for Calatrava's Edificio Agora

By Richard High07 July 2009

Part of Valencia's City of Arts and Science, construction of the Eficio Ágora is using a "huge birdc

Part of Valencia's City of Arts and Science, construction of the Eficio Ágora is using a "huge birdcage scaffold" of Peri Up Rosett, to a height of almost 75 m.

Spanish star architect Santiago Calatrava's home city of Valencia is also home to his latest design, the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias's Edificio Ágora.

Construction of the 100 m-long, 60 m-wide, 70 m-high building, which has a construction timetable of just 13 months thanks to the scheduling of the Valencia Open 500 tennis tournament at the beginning of November 2009 as the opening event, saw the main contractor UTE Agora Valencia choose the convenience of the modular Peri Up Rosett scaffold system during construction of the steel-glass structure, and installation of electrical fittings and interior fit-out.

The Edificio Ágora's 49 vaulted steel fins are arranged in an elliptical ground plan that connects to the main supporting arch along its centre covering 5000 m2. Particularly ingenious is the folding roof with its lamellae-type construction: when closed, the building´s shape is in the form of a conquistador´s helmet, open it resembles the helmet of a general.

The hinged glass roof also regulates the amount of natural light entering into the room below.

The key scaffolding requirement was that it should provide safe access and working areas. The complex design of the building and the range of construction activities carried out using the scaffolding meant this was not a completely straight-forward task.

During construction the individual steel fins had to be accessible from all sides. These are arranged with 2 m axis centre distances and curve both vertically and horizontally, with all access ways and work platforms needing to be constantly adapted to match the form.

For subsequent work such as installing the insulation or mounting the glass facade, the scaffold is limited by the internal dimensions of the Ágora. For the assembly of the steel construction, machinery and the drive mechanism for the sliding roof, the scaffold had to be extended to a height of nearly 75 m.

The City of Arts and Science is a science centre in Valencia and has been designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava. Started in 1991, the complex has been constructed along almost two kilometres of the old riverbed of the Turia.

The area features a number of different buildings including L'Hemisfèric, with a 3D cinema and a planetarium. It represents a huge human eye open to the world. With the L'Oceanogràfic, designed by the concrete shell pioneer Félix Candela, the complex also includes the largest aquarium in Europe.

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