Photography museum Charleroi

An architectural and structural challenge

2010 Photography Museum, Charleroi (B)

This remarquable building results of a close partnership between L’ESCAUT Architecture and Bureau d’études Weinand.  The expansion of the building on the park side enhanced the quality of the project, and required an important structural work.

The formal language of the architects led to an agencement of free form structures. From this process resulted a modern cube containing an impressive exhibition room, suspended at 7.30metres above the ground. This huge overhang establishes both and indoor and an outdoor space. The under part is made of reinforced concrete above which stands an overhang wooden structures, of 11metres long and 5.5 metres high.

Form and structure are the expression of a common language. The constructive solution was found by using solid wood panels for the facades, roof and floor of the overhang parts.
The global geometry allows a division of the shape into smaller items. Each part, because of its particular location, has to deal with different openings and assemblies. The final structure is able to stabilize the project in the two main directions.

Location Charleroi, Belgium
Client Communauté française de Belgique
Architect L’Escault Architecture, Brussels (BE)
Structural Engineering Bureau d’Etudes Weinand, Liège (BE)
Timber Engineering Bureau d’Etudes Weinand, Liège (BE)
Surface 2’450 sqm
Cost 3’000’000 €
Completed 2010

Execution
Bureau d’Étude Weinand was in charge for the development of the parts of the plan. First, we fixed the structural plans by dividing and understanding all parts. All details have been studied and drawn for the implementation plans and technical drawings, in collaboration with the working companies.

Each element is clearly designed and described by computer, including all facades, divided in smaller panels. This computational file is then transmitted to a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine.

Dimensioning
Each panel was digitally defined. Thanks to the computational design, the facades have be divided in a certain number of panel. Those panels are 1,25meter wide, and are assembled by glue. Then, the completed plate was set on the concrete structure

Realisation
Wood panel were delivered from Austria (Graz) to Belgium (Charleroi) by truck. The panels, of a maximum length of 23meters were numeroted, to facilitate the assembly onsite.