Award-winning construction blends with river landscape
20. Jan. 2012
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Panta Rhei – everything flows: This philosophical approach by Heraklit was the inspiration behind the curved roof- and façade-construction of the new “Rhine-Gallery” shopping mall in Ludwigshafen. The curved membrane roof reflects the theme of flowing water in its undulating shape, fitting harmoniously into the river landscape of the Rhine. The 3M™ Dyneon™ PTFE high-performance plastic coating of the membranes will preserve the luminescent white colouring of the roof as well as protect the weight-bearing glass fibre fabric for decades.
Industrial plants have characterised the riverfront of the Rhine in Ludwigshafen for decades. This outlook is now enhanced by the aesthetics of the new Rhine-Gallery with its curved roof- and façade-design that reflects an aura of lightness on the building. The new mall, designed and built by ECE, the European market-leader of inner-city shopping centres, offers around 30,000 square meters of selling space for 130 retail shops. Built on the site of the former customs port, the shopping centre will provide the first direct passageway from the city centre of Ludwigshafen to the river Rhine.
ECE received a gold award from the “German seal of quality for sustainable construction” (“Deutsches Gütesiegel Nachhaltiges Bauen”) for the Rhine-Gallery. The 300 meter long textile roof with its distinctive design has already established itself as an architectural feature in the cityscape of Ludwigshafen. The global membrane specialist CENO TEC GmbH created and installed the roof, which is embracing a freedom of design in textile architecture with this uniquely shaped structure. The design reflects the themes of river, water and waves, in rhythmical arches and the 25,000 square meter membrane roof is vaulted above a steel construction. The roofing fabric is made from duraskin® and produced by VERSEIDAG-INDUTEX GmbH. This weather-resistant material - consisting of a glass fibre fabric and 3M™ Dyneon™ PTFE high-performance plastic - has proved successful in decades of outdoor applications. The coating protects the carrier material over long periods of time and under extreme conditions, ranging from desert climates on the Arabian Peninsula to Siberian winters. The material is free of plasticisers and virtually inflammable.
The surface of 3M™ Dyneon™ PTFE is so smooth that a rain shower is enough to clean the roof and remove most contaminants. This will ensure that views of the white optic are unrestricted during daylight throughout the lifetime of the roof. The translucent membranes, together with numerous elliptically-shaped glass-panels along the central axis of the roof, create an attractive light in the mall all year round.
At night, the roof stands out as it is illuminated blue and white by the mall operating company.
ECE has invested more than EUR 220 million in the new Rhine-Gallery at Ludwigshafen and the retail outlets in the mall have created an additional 1,200 full and part-time jobs.
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