Construction Systems

  • Location: Detroit, USA
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merril LLP, Chicago
  • Completion: 1999
  • Client: General Motors Detroit
  • Scope of Work: Steel Structure and Glazing
  • Cladding: 4.000 sqm line and  point supported insulated glass panels
  • Type of Structure: cable braced barrel vault consisting of curved main girders and glazed grid shell as lattice grid with diagonal cables.

2 general motorsThe ‘Wintergarden’ is one of the main features SOM  designed to transform the castellated concrete agglomerate of the old Renaissance Centre into the modern and transparent General Motors Global Headquarters office building.

The 50.9 m long sloping barrel vault covers up southwards to the Detroit River and floods the interior of the existing complex with sunlight as a consequence instead of the former dark building  complex.  Trapezoidal in plan, it yields in a slightly curved 44.5 m wide and 29,3  m high glass wall to the riverfront.

The lightweight steel structure consists of the glazed grid shell as a steel lattice grid with diagonal cables, nine cable stayed arches with central “floating” hubs for the stabilizing cables., the side walls, and the curved front wall.

The skin system is MERO ‘s flush glazing system Vario-Clip with approximately 1,52 x 1,52 insulated glass panels using the 6,35 cm wide steel lattice grid as mullions. The main door areas are set back from the wall and the glass soffit plus the door surrounds, feature MERO point supported glazing.

This project was built in a very close cooperation between MERO and SOM to preserve the design intent.

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