- Messeplatz 1, 4600 Wels
In the EU-wide open general planners competition the project for the FAIRCENTER WELS under leadership of architect Heinz Plöderl
(PAUAT Architects) in cooperation with AT4 Architects was convincing beside the clear architectural arrangement, restriction on few materials and good usability also with an innovative energy concept.
The new building in the fair area of Wels creates within the usual inhomogeneous structure of a ‘grown fair area’ a new centre, orientation and order, above all however, a new self-image. A construction complex with generous entrance hall, approximately 15.000 m² of exhibition space and an administrative as well as conference and seminar tower contributes to strengthens and underlines the position of the ‘Messe Wels’ as an urban, international exhibition space.
The specific feature of this project lies in the unusual ambition to create an exhibition hall free of columns with a dimension of 161 x 90 metres. The exhibition hall opens to a long east west stretched entrance hall and can be arranged and divided by adaptable partitions in a total of 7 different exhibition and event sequences. The idea of the free covered and open space is enforced by a highly warm-insulated wooden roof hanging on 3 wooden arches, stretched over 90 m fitted on 6 static concrete discs - a method reminding of bridge building principles rather than conventional structural engineering.
But even in the civil engineering this engineer's construction would count to the masterly achievements: Three, in each case two- part, in the form of a segment of a circle, wooden arches span 90 metres. The bottom chord hangs on tension poles and carries the secondary structure, a glue- wood beam still spanning 25 metres (24x200 cm). In this superlative construction of 3000 m² of wood are used demonstrating the constructive efficiency of modern wooden constructions.
In particular in the entrance hall – as well a hall of more tremendous dimension – visitors can experience the architectural potential of this building material. The project shows paths into new dimensions for a whole country. With the MesseCenterWels a new large-volume energy efficient model- project was realised - high tech in great dimension - made in Upper Austria.