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In reality, the design of the new National Military Museum only consists of a floor and a roof. However, it is a truly spectacular roof – it not only shields visitors from every kind of weather, it also contains all technical installations. In addition it determines the quality of the architecture; it is the architecture.
The design has references to the McCormick Center in Chicago and Tempelhof airport in Berlin.
The design developed by Claus en Kaan architecten has clear references to the famous buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The roof can be viewed as a spatial framework in the form of a beam grid. This gigantic structure will be 4 metres tall. The problem was that the roof will not be supported on fixed points. This means that the supported roof shape is sometimes a square and sometimes a rectangle. The action of a beam grid is most effective if it can transfer its forces into two directions. The larger the difference between its length and width the more forces are absorbed by the shorter spans only. ABT researched the most optimal ratio between the roof sections. 3D modelling programs such as Evolutionary Structural Optimization (ESO) and GSA were used for this purpose. This involved determining the optimal thickness of each beam. Ultimately 2,000 joints and 90 load-bearing combinations were analysed using optimization scripts. The objective was to avoid using even 1 kilogram of material too much.