During the early years of the 21st century, architecture has shifted towards ever greater freedom of styles and shapes. In many countries, large structures and buildings appear to defy the laws of physics with unique shapes and designs.
Structures of this type allow architects to express their creativity and to put their boldest ideas into practice while allowing financers to invest in works capable of being a status symbol, attracting new capital, tourism, and talents.
An essential element for bringing designs to realization is the continuous development of production technologies. Today, builders can rely on technologies capable of guaranteeing high productivity standards, structural element precision, versatility of design, and greater simplicity of installation of the steel structures needed to create these monumental constructions.
FORST Brewery in Lagundo, architectural project: Walter Pichler.
New technologies for steel construction
The design of these structures must take structural feasibility into account but also construction time and cost.
The transition from reinforced concrete to steel was the first fundamental step that made many innovative constructions like these possible.
Building in steel means being able to make the structure lighter and to increase resistance and performance in response to dynamic stress resulting from natural or human events. It allows the construction of complex structures which would be impossible to achieve with reinforced concrete.
In addition, building with steel allows for faster construction times and buildings that are 100% recyclable.
Steel constructions have the great advantage of using components already produced in the factory with machine tools capable of producing parts ready for assembly on-site.
Laser-cutting systems for large-diameter tubes and sections are proving to be strategic in this sector for the high-standards of precision and superior cut edge quality produced, to the benefit of improved mechanical performance of joints and structures, reducing and simplifying installation time as a consequence.
At the same time, specific, modern CAD/CAM software for programming laser cutting systems such as large-diameter Lasertube systems make it possible to import files in TECLA, STEP or IGES format, make modifications as needed, and convert into machine programs, simply and fast.
Laser cutting applied to HEA beam cutting for structural use.
Maison de la Paix: architecture as a symbol
What could be more suitable than a flower to represent cooperation between peoples?
The spectacular flower-shaped structure located in the heart of Geneva, just a short walk from the United Nations headquarters, Maison de la Paix houses the research centers and offices of the IHEID (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) and various organizations involved in supporting world peace, including the GCSP (Geneva Center for Security Policy), the GICHD (Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining) and the DCAF (Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces).
On the outside, its petals, the steel and glass portions into which the structure is divided, convey harmony and movement to the whole building.
Inside, the innovative architectural solutions amaze visitors with scenic shapes and elegant environments.
The construction involved the on-site welding of prefabricated components deriving from large-diameter beams and tubular profiles for making complex joints that hold the structure together.
Maison de la Paix, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
Ponte del Mare: architecture designed for humans
Ponte del Mare is a cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Aterno-Pescara river that connects the city's seafront avenues.
Its sinuous structure, also designed by Tyrolean architect Walter Pichler, fits perfectly into the geographic and historical background of the city, recalling the shape of a sail full of wind with its central pillar, tie rods, and twin deck branches.
Designed with a human dimension and spanning 466 meters over the sea, the bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Italy.
From its elevated position, users can enjoy a splendid view of the port and the mountains of Majella and Gran Sasso.
The structure is equipped with sensors and an efficient damping system to decrease the vibrations caused by wind and steps to improve the comfort of users.
Ponte del mare, Pescara, architectural project by Walter Pichler.
New "Re Teodorico" entrance: a forest in front of the Verona exhibition center
A forest of colossal trees made of tubular steel elements and supporting a roof made of ETFE, a plastic material highly resistant to corrosion and high temperatures.
This majestic structure covers an area of 6750 m2 and forms a grid for housing PVC sails for advertising and signage on the front.
As part of the New "Re Teodorico" entrance project, the work sets the tone of the entire exhibition complex with its imposing character.
The tubular elements of the structure were prefabricated and welded on-site in an organic pattern to mimic a natural forest.
New "Re Teodorico" entrance, Verona exhibition centre, Italy. | Fotocredits ©The Piranesi Experience.
Aviva Stadium: great architecture in tune with urban life
The construction project for the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, completed in April 2010, involved the construction of a beautiful structure with a modern shape in perfect harmony with its surroundings and the local community with its spaces and facilities that include shops, offices, venues and more.
The materials, shape and size of the stadium have been studied according to the location of the site.
The sloping roof that covers an area of over 19000 m2, with its large glazed surfaces, lets the sunlight through and doesn't block the nearby houses on Lansdowne Road.
Once again, the use of steel lattice structures was the solution to give the structure the necessary performance.
TSteel roof Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland.
FORST brewery: architecture, landscape and modern production technologies
The new FORST brewery in Lagundo is a modern steel and glass construction that stands out like an ice monolith in the beautiful alpine landscape of the Dolomites.
Perfectly inserted in its surroundings, this building is the perfect synergy between innovative architecture and cutting-edge production technologies.
It houses a next-generation production plant capable of producing over 900,000 hectolitres of beer per year, greatly reducing energy consumption and ensuring the highest quality product.
More than 7000 tons of steel was used to make it, much of which is in the form of tubular elements or profiles prefabricated and assembled on-site.
FORST brewery in Lagundo.
ADIGE 7: The architecture of a Smart Factory
ADIGE 7 is the result of the ethical and entrepreneurial vision of BLM GROUP. It is a low-energy-impact building in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment where staff work in a bright and air-conditioned environment.
ADIGE 7 was built with tubular reticular steel structures that guarantee infinite durability and complete re-use, prefabricated elements, and assembled on-site.
Part of the reticular structure with which ADIGE 7 was built.
The use of tubes made it possible to significantly reduce the weight of the structure, as well as the surface to be treated and painted.
ADIGE 7 contains entire Lasertube production and perfectly responds the challenges of Industry 4.0, integrating advanced materials management tools, coordinated by the company's MES system (SAP MII) for just-in-time distribution of materials to the various departments and the fast shipment of spare parts.
In this fully-automated Smart Factory, the machines coordinate their own construction, through digital checklists and generating the data they need to learn as they are built, storing technical and management data, such as measurements, offsets, variables, and serial numbers of critical components to ensure traceability of information throughout their life cycle.
A factory built around humans where architecture, technology and landscape work together to offer maximum well-being in the workplace and allow staff to express themselves in the best possible way in high added-value activities.