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Austrian company WIEHAG wins crossrail contract

28. September 2012

Austrian Glulam (glue laminated timber) specialist WIEHAG have secured the contract for the Canary Wharf Crossrail station.

This Foster + Partners designed station is 300m long and has 4 levels under the water of the West India Dock, plus two levels above water level and a huge park area on top.

A spectacular glulam grid shell covers the park area and still let’s in enough light for the trees and plants below.
The landscaped park on the roof of the shops and cafés will use native plant species and water features to help expand the ecological biodiversity of the Canary Wharf Estate and surrounding areas.

The dramatic cantilevers at the East and West ends and the four “dog ears” forming the facade elegantly join the roof to the gallery.

“The total Crossrail Station will cost around £500,000,000, with only a relatively small part of the budget being used for the glulam roof - but it’s still probably by far the biggest Glulam contract in the UK to date” says Johannes Rebhahn, Head of International Project’s at WIEHAG.

WIEHAG deliver’s the Glulam frame in a joint venture with the Austrian company Seele who include translucent ETFE pillows and weather louvre‘s.

The client benefits from having less interface issues and having one contact for warranties for the whole envelope.
WIEHAG / Seele developed a solution in close collaboration with Arups, CWCL and Fosters which fulfils Fosters design intent and CWCL’s budget.

The structure consists of nearly 1500 Glulam members with a maximum length of 9m - some of them are double curved to achieve the desired form at the cantilever, and 450 steel nodes connect the glulam elements to form that incredible geometry.

The West and East ends are cantilevering 30m out over the water, which is a design and especially installation challenge. WIEHAG will install temporary timber decks spanning over the West India Dock to achieve safe access to this area during installation.

WIEHAG are currently in the detailed design phase which is followed by production commencing next Spring. The Installation of the Glulam grid starts mid August 2013.
6 month later WIEHAG and Seele will hand over the finished roof including ETFE pillows and weather louvres to the client.

Johannes Rebhahn said “Even in times of recession we are seeing an increased demand for ecological timber projects in the UK, which means timber wins an increased market share from the steel structure business.
After working successfully 8 years in the UK market mainly from abroad we felt that it is time to react to the increased demand and to engage a local Sales Director. With John Spittle on board we have an experienced expert who can give an improved pre contract service in England & Wales”.

“Iconic landmark buildings like the Canary Wharf Crossrail station are an important reference for the whole UK timber industry. A picture tells more than a thousand words and clearly demonstrates the ability of Glulam timber in combination with cutting edge structural design capabilities”, says John Spittle of WIEHAG.

John Spittle
Sales Director England & Wales

Client: Canary Wharf Contractors;
Design Architect: Foster + Partners
Executive Architect: Adamsons Associates;
Roof area: 11.500 m2

Founded in 1848
Glulam Production since 1955
Turnover : 64 mio GBP
370 Employees
Factory and Headquarter based in Altheim/Austria
Providing Design, Manufacture and Installation of Glulam projects in the UK/IRE since 2005