At the beginning of June 2017 the “Porta del Sud” near Naples is scheduled to be opened. Christened with this name, the ultra-modern railway station for high-speed trains in Naples Afragola forms the major intersection on the Rome-Naples-Salerno line. The bold architectural design of the station bears all the hallmarks of Zaha Hadid. PERI developed a comprehensive formwork and scaffolding solution for the realization of the curved architectural language of the famous architect.
The new station, designed by the British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was conceived in the form of a bridge that floats 30 m above the railway tracks and links them together. This futuristic station thus acts as a gateway to the city of Naples. With S-shaped arches, curved walls, intersecting and converging halls and pathways, the architecture was inspired by the traffic flows of the travelers. At the same time, the structure is designed in such a way that visitors to the station are optimally guided through the building and thus reach their destination as quickly as possible.
Around 20,000 m² of usable floor space is spread over a total of five station levels. In addition to the two main buildings at the eastern and western ends, four reinforced concrete building cores are being built which will be used to reach the central atrium. From there, stairs and escalators lead to the platforms on the lowest level and to the shops on the upper level. The main building materials used for the “Porta del Sud” are concrete, glass and steel. Reinforced concrete work was carried out for slabs covering an area of around 19,000 m² as well as walls totaling 26,500 m² – of which approx. 16,500 m² featured architectural concrete requirements. In addition, the two platforms, each 450 m long, along with the associated supporting structure were constructed using 44 concrete Y-shaped piers.
Key requirement for the construction work was a very high quality for the concrete surfaces so that, in particular, planning the formwork and scaffolding as well as the concrete processing became the focus of the work preparation. In order to meet the architectural demands, the contractor together with PERI engineers developed a cost-effective overall solution as a combination of standard system components and customized formwork constructions.
For implementing such extraordinary architecture, it was necessary to work out a practical overall solution which, at the same time, is cost-effective. PERI´s Italian engineers made a significant contribution to this: on the one hand, they supported the work preparation undertaken by the contractor before the start of the project and, on the other, the effort and expense could be kept comfortably under control also during the execution thanks to the around 200 detailed drawings created by PERI. Final assembly of the elements on the jobsite was greatly simplified for the construction team by means of approx. 1,100 PERI assembly drawings.
Furthermore, a PERI project manager ensured efficient execution during the entire duration of the project in close cooperation with the site management. The project manager provided on-going technical advice as well as on-site organizational support. In this way, it was possible to optimize material requirements and their utilization thereby being able to adapt to actual needs accordingly.
The curved geometries as well as the defined joint and anchor pattern featured in the design spoke in favour for using VARIO GT 24 for forming the walls. The Girder Wall Formwork proved to be an optimal solution, on the one hand, in order to keep the time and effort needed for the forming operations to a minimum and, on the other, to achieve the required faultless surface quality. Characterized by the special adaptability to accommodate complex shapes and a high load-bearing capacity, the VARIO GT 24 Wall Formwork was used for the curved and inclined walls. The formwork units were planned with element heights of up to 12 m. For the more complex curvatures, polystyrene elements on the VARIO GT 24 formed the negative of the subsequent wall. These polystyrene negatives were developed by means of 3D planning, and mounted on the formwork elements on the jobsite.
For forming all other walls, the construction team used the universal TRIO Wall Formwork with the proven DW Tie Technology which makes a very convincing case through its short shuttering times. With this proven panel formwork, the standard walls with their architectural concrete requirements were also constructed. In the process, a decisive factor for meeting the required surface quality was the use of high-grade 1,500 mm x 3,000 mm FinPly Formwork Panels. The cross-bonded birch veneer sheeting, high-quality bonding and coating on both sides with a 220 g/m² reinforced phenolic resin film ensured even, non-structured concrete surfaces.
In order to meet the high demands of the architecture with high-quality architectural concrete walls, the PERI experts supported the contractor during the entire construction process regarding the selection, planning and delivery of the plywood. The PERI range includes plywood panels for any requirement and is available in various qualities and sizes. For the remarkable railway station in Naples, PERI supplied a total of 30,000 m² plywood panels with different thicknesses (9 mm, 20 mm, 21 mm and 27 mm) and dimensions – including large-sized 7,500 mm x 2,700 mm FinPly Maxi panels. The result was architectural concrete surfaces of the best quality completely in accordance with the architectural specifications.
PERI plans, manufactures and supplies tailor-made formwork for every project – even those with the most complex requirements. For the load-bearing Y-piers under the two platforms, for example, the contractor commissioned PERI to plan and produce project-specific steel formwork. The customized solution ensured easy assembly on site as well as for fast shuttering and striking operations. Due to the strong inclination of the piers and high demands regarding the architectural concrete surfaces, the column formwork was planned and produced complete with 6 mm thick steel sheeting and bracing ribs for installing the external vibrator.
Safety on the jobsite has been given the greatest attention in all areas – consequently, this was taken into account by PERI during the planning process for all areas. For example, PERI UP Modular Scaffolding was used as shoring for the slabs which ensured safe working scaffold and access points at all heights and for every working area. With the self-securing ledger connection on the rosette nodes, PERI UP was installed extremely quickly and safely. During use, the end-to-end guardrails, yellow toeboards along with non-slip decking provided a very high level of safety. In addition, the continuous 25 cm or 50 cm system grid was the key factor for allowing optimal adaptation to the wide range of geometries and loads.
The spectacular projects of Zaha Hadid with their characteristic, elegant forms are unique and frequently border on the impossible. The famous Iraqi-born architect was the first woman to be awarded with the Pritzker Prize in 2004 – the “Nobel Prize” of architecture. Many of the buildings she designed were successfully realized thanks to PERI’s Formwork and Scaffolding Systems including the Aquatics Centre in London, MAXXI National Museum in Rome, refurbishment of the listed Stadtbahnbögen building in Vienna and the so-called Generali Tower in Milan. Zaha Hadid died on 31 March 2016 at the age of only 65.