Spanning an astonishing 165 m, the roof to the new hall of the Frankfurt trade fair sets a record for column-free spans. In the competition-winning design by British architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and structural engineer Arup, the roof is a complex, curved folded plate, supported on giant arched trusses of tubular steel. The roof deck is a stressed skin made up of trapezoidal sandwich panels. Some 60 different panel types, typically measuring 8 m × 3 m, were prefabricated on site and bolted at each corner to flanges welded to the steel trusses. Set within a subframe of steel angles, each sandwich panel consists of profiled steel decking and a ceiling of corrugated perforated aluminium, with mineral wool insulation and a vapour barrier in the intermediate cavity. The roof finish is Kalzip-profiled standing-aluminium sheeting, which was delivered preformed to fit the roof curvatures.
Architect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners Structural engineer Arup Main contractor Hochtief/Bilfinger + Berger Roof structural steelwork Stahlbau Plauen Roof decking, flashings and edgings subcontractor Radabau Aluminium roof decking supplier Corus/Kalzip Ceiling panel subcontractor Schmid