Glass cortex - steel single layer lattice shell

'Glass cortex' is the world's largest translucent structure without exterior walls. Area of roof from the steel framework and glass triangles - 8.7 thousand square metres.

Glass cortex - steel single layer lattice shell

Yury Lunev, Alexander Morozov, 'Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd.

Design model of RC structures : TPO 'Rezerv', Moscow
Design model of steel single layer lattice shell: Yury Lunev, Alexander Morozov, 'Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd., Novosibirsk
Design model of steel triangular supports - columns of variable section: Andrey Golovin, 'StalProekt' Ltd., Moscow
Customer: AO 'Mosinzhproekt'
General designer: TPO 'Rezerv'
Technical support: TSNIISK named after Kucherenko
Design of RC structures of the philharmonic hall (stages 'Design and detailed documentation'): TPO 'Rezerv', Moscow
Chief Project Engineer: Andrey Kvyk, TPO 'Rezerv'
Design of steel structures of the shell (stages 'Design and detailed documentation'): 'Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd., Novosibirsk
Main specialist on the shell structures: Yury Lunev, 'Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd., Novosibirsk
Design engineer/Specialist on computer simulation: Alexander Morozov, 'Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd., Novosibirsk

Parkland 'Zaryadje' is one of the most significant present-day projects in Moscow. The large team of designers took part in its construction according to tender project of concortium 'Diller Scofidio+Renfro', 'Hargreaves Jones', 'Transsolar' and 'Citymakers'. The concert hall structure is included into the parkland; it is the largest above-the-ground structure in the park. The structure is located in the furthest eastern part near Kitajgorodsky passage. The philharmonic hall has total area 23 800 m2. Design of concert hall was presented by Sergey Kuznetsov and Valery Gergiev at St.Petersburg International Cultural forum in 2016.


Philharmonic hall 

Design of the concert hall and 'Glass cortex' was developed under direction of Vladimir Plotkin (TPO 'Rezerv') and Moscow's chief architect' Sergey Kuznetsov. The project lasted three years of hard work with a great number of agreements, clarifications and modifications almost every week.

Andrey Kvyk, Chief Project Engineer in TPO 'Rezerv' supervized the design process. Main specialist on design of lattice shell was Yury Lunev ('Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd.); generation, parametrization, optimization of the model as well as preliminary analyses of lattice shell was carried out by Alexander Morozov ('Nesushchie sistemy' Ltd.).

Peculiar features

'Glass cortex' is the world's largest translucent structure without exterior walls. Area of roof from the steel framework and glass triangles ' 8.7 thousand square metres.

Man-made hill is the element of the parkland (it hides the concert hall and it is covered with 'Glass Cortex'). It is designed by Russian design engineers and builders according to the concept of British engineers from the 'BuroHappold' company. The structure was put into operation on September 10, 2017.


Shell of arbitrary shape - 1300 nodes, more than 8000 beams,
106 supports-columns and more then 2400 glass units.

The roof of the 'Glass Cortex' represents single layer lattice shell of free form. The shell consists of more than 1300 nodal elements, more than 8000 beams, 106 supports-columns and more than 2400 glass units and all of them have individual dimensions. Aerodynamic test of the 'Glass Crust' model was carried out before the design performed under the guidance of TSNIISK named after Kucherenko. Architects of TPO 'Rezerv' set high standard of aesthetic requirements. So, it was necessary to minimize the sections of load-bearing elements while providing the reliability of the structure. All these tasks have been solved due to well coordinated work of designers (TPO 'Rezerv', 'Nesushchie sistemy', 'StalProekt'), the customer (JSC Mosinzhproekt), erection contractor (PSF 'Stalkon') and representatives of the manufacturer of steel structures ('KurganStalMost', 'Nesushchie sistemy'). Although the Glass Cortex is a budgetary project, but thanks to enormous work done by the Customer, the support of the city authorities and especially the Moscomarchitecture, headed by Moscow's chief architect, Sergey Kuznetsov, it was possible to realize all ideas proposed by architects and engineers.


Erection of the 'Glass Cortex'

Description of design models

Design model of the lattice shell represents 3D shell-bar finite element model generated in LIRA-FEM program with rigid and elastic connections between elements. Stiffness parameters of nodes are determined in field test results of full-scale joints and fragments of structures. Received parameters are included into parameters of design model of bar FE to account compliance of joints.

Climatic loads are determined by field tests in the wind tunnel (various combinations of wind and snow loads).

In the FE model of the lattice shell, the bearing steel elements of the framework are simulated, including inclined welded columns of variable cross-section along the length. Glass beams 'Windows' are considered in the design model. Glass panels of the roof are simulated with shell FEs with certain stiffness. Elastic (linear) analyses of the lattice shell model are the main analyses. As lattice shell has dimensions of 130 ' 80 m and is located in the open air, the analysis is carried out with account of temperature loads. Analysis is carried out on stability of structure in progressive collapse. Analysis is carried out with compliant supports accepted by stiffness of the certain underlying structures.

Steel sections of the lattice shell are selected in LIRA-FEM program with account of all possible load combinations. There are dozens of different variants of calculations.

Analysis on general stability of structures is also carried out. Analysis is carried out together with the underlying structures of the concert hall.



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