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The Limburg Chemelot Campus is where a large number of technical innovations originate. The campus enjoys a central location in the province, on the A2 motorway and close to both Belgium and Germany. The province wants to build a communication mast on this striking point. Two gigantic LED screens provide information about current events. In the event of emergencies, the mast can also be used to display messages. The main aim of the communication mast is to position Limburg as an international region with a good balance between quality of life and economic power. The latter is expressed through the career opportunities in the area and the innovative, technological developments on the campuses, of which Chemelot is the most advanced. The design of the mast had to reflect this innovation too.
Architectenbureau Broekbakema designed a smooth, twisted mast, and ABT was brought in to take calculations for the structure. To optimise the geometric design and the constructive effect, ABT used the method adopted by the parametric designs: mathematical scripts describe the shape, then the computer calculates the optimal structure.
Thousands of possible solutions
The design of this smooth, twisted mast is full of parameters that influence one another, including the basic width of the mast, the amount of rotation, the configuration of the lattice work and the ratios between the amount of smoothing and the height of the smoothing. A series of thousands of possible solutions was generated with the aid of parametric techniques. Data analysis and visualisation makes it possible to filter for the best solution; the version with the smallest central diameter – in which there was still sufficient space for the necessary maintenance strap.