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Plant review

There will hardly be a straight wall in St Cyprien College, a new high school being built near Perpignan in the south of France.

The ground plan shows an elliptical body with outer walls sloping outward to their final height of 7.3m. The exterior will be fair face concrete, the inside wall will be lined.

Steel and glass sections give the whole the look of a space capsule.

However, the shape of the assembly hall is not a classical elipse. The wall inclinations along the longitudinal and transverse axes were designed with random changes between 72infinity and 86infinity. In order to produce the timber gauge system for the wall formwork, Noe technicians created the individual elements three-dimensionally as volumetric bodies using CAD to calculate the necessary pitches for bore holes.

For the changing wall inclinations, the radii had to erected in seven tensioning levels, constantly increasing. Another 11 elements for the outer formwork took the total to 145m 2. The formwork structure is conventional: The skin consists of 15mm plywood, H20 girders for the lining, the prefabricated wooden gauge system on double profiles made of Combi 20 girders as binding elements. Heavy formwork supports bear the load of the double profiles on the ground as well as on a 4.5m high platform of Noe ST 200 stacking towers and two rows of Noe ADS supports. Saddled on the towers, yokes consisting of Combi 20 girders and H20 cover girders carry the formwork base.

Most of the total forms used were hired in, with parts taken from tunnel formwork systems, which represented a considerable saving. Transport was an additional factor which worked in favour of Noe's bid: it took only three articulated lorries to carry the prefabricated formwork from Süssen to Perpignan, where the elements of the ellipse tip were delivered fully pre-assembled to site at the full formwork height of 7.3m.

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