MOL Park is becoming a new modern landmark in Budapest
World-renowned architectural curtain wall expert Agnes Koltay came to Dubai in 2005 out of love for high-rise buildings and founded his curtain wall consulting company there in 2011. Because she will be in charge of the facade design of the MOL campus building in Budapest, a new residential and commercial district in Budapest, she has the opportunity to return to her home country, Hungary. Like other well-known projects rich in free-form skin design, Quanex/Edgetech's Super Spacer® super spacer products are also involved. Koltay specified thermoset elastic super spacer for complex structures. Glass manufacturing, includes flat, single-curved, and multi-curved insulating glass.
Figure 1 The MOL Campus Building by BudaPart 1
Due to the location on the bank of the Danube, the free-form building skin design concept: "everything is in the flow" and "everything is constant and impermanent" become the guiding principles of the entire building. At a glance, the 120-meter-high building and the public garden on top form the prominent feature of the new MOL headquarters in the south of Budapest. It is the tallest building in Hungary, and it is likely to remain so for a long time after the Hungarian capital passed a tall building ban in 2018. With an elegant and dynamic façade, it integrates the 5-story podium accommodating restaurants and conference halls with the 29-story tower, making the MOL campus a real architectural highlight.
Commercial Architecture Design for Office Environment in the 21st Century
The design, a collaboration between London-based Foster and Partners and Studio Finta, reflects the changing paradigm of collaboration in architecture in the 21st century. Demands such as telecommuting, changing project teams, work sharing, and spaces for collaboration and relaxation require modern office buildings to have maximum flexibility throughout their life cycle. The combination of workspaces and garden areas, from the atrium to the tower top of the MOL Campus, connects not only the floors but also the people, aiming to create an inspiring and relaxing atmosphere. According to the architects, sunlight, fresh air, and the unique views of Budapest allow employees to live in harmony with the natural and urban surroundings. The location in the city center makes it possible for many people to walk or cycle to work.
Convenience and Sustainable Benchmark Project
Like many companies, the Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is going through a sustainable transformation process in preparation for a low-carbon circular economy. The new corporate headquarters, with a total area of 86,000 square meters and a capacity for 2,500 workplaces, aims to achieve BREEAM Excellent and LEED Platinum certification to become a benchmark project. The entire heating and cooling system will be powered by renewable energy – including photovoltaics and a geothermal system with a total borehole length of 32,800 meters. Rainwater is collected and used to water plants and flush toilets.
Figure 3 The New Headquarters of Hungarian Oil and Gas Company
The aluminum-framed glass curtain wall consists of 24,800 square meters of unit facades and 1,700 square meters of beam-and-column facades, prefabricated and assembled by Scheldebouw. AGC Interpane Plattling provided a total of 14,000 square meters of coated flat insulating glass, about 500 pieces of cylindrically curved arcs and multi-curved hollows, and some of the ultra-difficult curved insulated glass were produced by Finiglas in Dülmen.
Figure 4 Four-sided all-glass curtain wall building structure designed by Koltay Façades 1
For the building structure with all-glass curtain walls on all sides, some opening fans are used, and some sound insulation films are used. The whole glass uses a neutral color self-cleaning film layer, and the outer glass uses Stopray Vision 50/50 T double silver Low-E Glass. In the part of flat insulating glass, double-glass single-cavity hollow is composed of outer laminated safety glass and inner part of 6 mm tempered safety glass or laminated safety glass/TVG. The outer part of the three-glass two-cavity hollow is made of 10 mm tempered safety glass, the middle part is made of 6 mm tempered silk screen 2# glass, and the inner part is made of tempered laminated coated glass. The curved hollow glass unit adopts double-sided laminated glass. The spacer adopts a 16 mm and 18 mm Super Spacer® SG super spacer.
To ensure a distortion-free appearance, Koltay Façades used hot-bent laminated glass as much as possible. Thanks to the large area of glass, 90% of the rooms receive direct sunlight. Modern building automation, individual shading systems, and cooled ceilings prevent overheating and ensure comfort. The U value of the curtain wall of the whole building is ≤1.4 W/m2K, while the U value of the glass is ≤1.0 W/m2K. Although triple glazing is only used for skylight glass, it still meets the local requirements for passive houses.
3D modeling enables free-form geometry
A constant exchange of digital information between the design, engineering, planning, and production teams ensured that the building's iconic shape could also be implemented as efficiently and economically as possible. Although the double-curved insulating glass units play a key role in the building's elegant and dynamic appearance, they are used as little as possible.
Figure 5 The role of hyperboloid hollow glass units in glass curtain wall buildings 1
Agnes Koltay explained: "The transition between the podium and the tower of the MOL campus is only two stories high, so double-curved glazing was considered in this area to ensure a smooth façade rather than fragmented into small panels.
In addition, the two podium floors and the tower floors are differently shaped and not coplanar, which also results in a curved shape. To simplify buildability, we optimized bend radii and module arrangement, among other improvements in modulation, and fine-tuned geometry. "BIM technology is now standard for large-scale projects of this type, and Koltay Façades relies on parametrically designed free-form façades to optimize geometry and individual modules and to be able to update plans automatically. In addition to planar, curved, and hyperbolic Wind loads vary, structural, acoustic, and safety requirements must also be included and simulated. The nearby railway line and train station increase the external noise level on one side of the building.
Koltay Façades Engineering used in-house developed Rhino scripts for 3D modeling and digital tools for finite element analysis of the aluminum frame and glass structure. Agnes Koltay added: "Our responsibility was to convert the surface model into a 3D model with exact dimensions, including all details such as fastening areas and seam gaps."
The application of Super Spacer® in curved insulating glass
For insulating glass spacers, Koltay Façades specified Super Spacer®. Zaha Hadid's Dubai "OPUS" building and Killa-designed Dubai's spectacular "Future Museum" are two of the most prestigious multi-curved building skins, designed by Koltay Façades and realized with SuperSpacer® super spacers. Agnes Koltay concludes: "The decision was driven by the curved insulating glass, which is almost impossible to achieve with rigid spacers. In addition, during the manufacturing process, the edges of the curved glass may exhibit small tolerance deviations, super spacers The strips adapt by their elastic deformation to bridge the tolerance gap between the glasses."
Mr. Joachim Stoss, Vice President of Quanex International Sales and General Manager of Edgetech Europe, is convinced of this: "The free-form multi-curved building skin is one of the most important architectural trends in recent years. Without a continuous 3D model chain from design to production, Also without flexible components like super spacers, achieving such multi-surfaced buildings would be uncomplicated, slow, and expensive. We are delighted to be part of this prestigious European project once again.”
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