Coimbra Music Conservatory, Portugal
CVDB arquitectos - Cristina Veríssimo e Diogo Burnay, Arquitectos Associados, Lda
12425,00 m 2
The building, with a basement and three upper floors, was designed in reinforced concrete, constituting a single structural block. This option, taking in function of the architectonic solution and the difficult implementation of the expansion joint, implied a rigorous and careful study of the retraction and thermal variations, due to the dimensions of the structure (70m x 55m) and the existence of some sensitive points.
All slabs are concrete, with the exception of areas on the Great Auditorium, Stage, and its central courtyard, where, given the large gaps due (20.0ma 25.0m) and the difficulty of running casing at a great height, it adopted a solution slab formwork with cooperating metal trusses supported by steel beams (h = 2.50m).
The vertical elements are basically concrete walls – many of them with a decisive role for the good acoustic behaviour of the various spaces – complemented, in some cases, by pillars that were implemented with great criteria. All the walls have a variable thickness in between 0.20m and 0.40m, being in many cases “beam-walls” working in flexion, as they are not continuous to the foundation. It is important to highlight the particular case of the exterior façade walls in the entrance areas that are born on the floor -1 resulting in a “beam-wall” of about 0.25m of clear span supported on another “beam-wall”, transversal and in cantilever, with about 14.0m free.
It is also important to stand out, as an emblematic element and with a specific structural concept, the periphery ramp of the central patio, which evolves “attached” to the exterior walls of the various wings that constitute the building, making it function like an encrusted cantilever in these walls, with a variable inertia (minimum of 0.20m on the free side). Locally and where the span is high, it is possible to use prestress to resist more efficiently to the installed stresses and to control the deformations.
The foot access over the Av. Silva Mendes is done by a foot-bridge independent from the building, constituted by metallic longitudinal trusses with a 2.8m height that beat the clear span in between the pillars. Over these beams the metallic structure of the pavement is supported, that simultaneously assures the combined functioning of the trusses and guaranteed transversal rigidness of the bridge.