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Structural challenges

Alexandria Library

This unique structural design presented Dr Mamdouh Hamza with some considerable engineering challenges:

A large, almost circular cylinder of a building, designed architecturally in such a way that it inherently wants to overturn.

A cathedral-like interior - high roof, slender columns.

Proximity to the sea and saline ground water required a waterproof structure.

Earthquakes, Zone 2.

Joints in the superstructure for expansion and contraction.

Requirement for zero differential settlement, with shelving units running on rails with a 14m span.

Expansion and contraction of the roof.

Air conditioning - huge volumes, no ceiling.

Fire detection and protection of ancient manuscripts Building security, controlling the accessibility and security of the contents.

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