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MUA students visit Espacio Bertelsmann

Elena de Andrés Laguillo, student of Master's Degree University in Architecture, tells us about the visit

"On Friday, November 4, the students of Master's Degree University in Architecture visited the Espacio Bertelsmann, the former headquarters of the Círculo de Lectores, designed by Miralles. There we attended a masterclass by Agustí Obiol and Juanjo Lahuerta. The workshop focused on the analysis of the work of Miralles, especially in the structure of his works, as his projects were endowed with great structural complexity.

We analyzed several of his works from the point of view of Agustí Obiol, who was his structural designer for many years. He explained the process of design of the works and the problems encountered during the construction of several of them, especially in the project of Huesca. The structural complexity of this project resided in the fact that the roof was supported by several tensors that started from two large masts and ended in large buttresses. As the cables were of different dimensions and did not form a lattice structure, the distribution of the loads forced them to design a beam subject composed of a circular profile and another in the shape of a 'u' to adjust the loads by filling this 'u' with concrete of different densities. This solved the topic of the deck. But on a cold night, one of the buttresses collapsed due to a bad placement of the reinforcements and the city council forced to abandon the idea of the suspenders, resulting in the project that we can see today.

We also discussed other projects, such as the Igualada cemetery, the use of prefabricated elements or the Archery Center, in which the design of the porticos and pillars was complicated until it ended in a pillar divided in two and an inclined tensor, generating a very characteristic aesthetic.

In the afternoon session, Professor Lahuerta spoke about the symbolism and inspiration of Miralles' work, the influence that the works of Le Corbusier and German expressionism had on his architecture. He also made several similarities between the work of Miralles and works of architects such as Gaudí, the Smithsons or Stirling".

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