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Work commences on timber structure for pioneering project The Cradle

© Derix Gruppe

The concrete shell construction of the basement floors, ground floor and core were already completed in 2021. Work on the timber structure for the upper floors has been underway since 15 April and should be completed by the end of August.

A total of approx. 2150 m³ of sustainable, European - mainly German - timber is to be used. The prefabricated v-supports of the weight-bearing external larchwood construction of the first floor are already assembled on the construction site in Dusseldorf’s Medienhafen.

The varying depths of the framework are clearly visible – designed according to the angle of sunlight depending on orientation and time of year. Besides its weight-bearing function, the structure also serves to shade the glass façade behind it and provide accessible loggias with views over the harbour and inner city, as well as the forecourt. A reflection of the principle: “Outside is the new inside”.

The advantage of the timber structure is evident in the building process too. Large, preassembled elements arrive on the construction site from the works of the Derix Group and are lifted into position by a mobile crane. This enables the building time to be reduced to less than one month per storey.

The implementation of the ‘design for deconstruction’ concept is illustrated most inspiringly in the way the intersection points to which the supporting elements are fixed are designed to bear the resulting load without the need for any e.g. glues. In line with the Cradle-to-Cradle® principle the building is to be considered a material depot. All the building materials used are selected for their material health, single origin and separability. Thus, 97.7 percent of the materials and products used in The Cradle are recyclable and therefore reusable.

Compared to an identical construction in steel concrete, use of the renewable raw material wood reduces the carbon footprint of The Cradle by around 1900 tons. In comparison to traditional buildings, this represents a reduction of approx. 40%. The use of wood is also proven to have a positive effect on future users of the building, whilst the wood’s natural regulation of air humidity ensures a better room climate.