Trumpf Campus Gatehouse

Laser-cutting, welding, bolting, and pre-cambering produced a mass customized steel roof that is 50 cm (nearly 20 inches) deep.

The gatehouse is the first building in a new master plan for the Trumpf campus. The glass pavilion around the core is composed of two layers of float glass that sandwich stacked tube sections of acrylic glass. This renders the core visible as a blurred, soft shape on the facade.

The roof arrived on site in prefab strips, which were bolted together. Then the whole thing was hoisted onto the column pins. When the crane belts were removed, the roof bounced a meter (more than 3 feet) before rocking into place.

To see the logic of the structural loading, the architects built a series of 1:50 scale roof models based on different geometric patterns. After they made their choice--based on performance and aesthetics--they had the tricky job of scaling it up. The roof varies in density and material thickness in order to meet the changing static requirements: It's compact over the columns, light at the extent of the cantilever.

With the new gatehouse, the architects and their client realized a longstanding shared ambition: to use Trumpf's own technology to construct a building entirely of laser-cut and welded sheet metal. Above the gatehouse's functional core, which is enclosed in a glass pavilion, a honeycombed stainless steel roof cantilevers more than 60 feet.

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