Steel Marvels

VMRDA Children’s Arena, Visakhapatnam

The Children Arena is an auditorium which is owned by VMRDA (Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority). This auditorium is meant for children which is multi- functional with a seating capacity of 1000.

Ideation
The idea of children arena started with the following:
“Every child, when starts writing first there appears directionless and confusing lines. Then, the first form he writes is the circle… may be representing the philosophical, natural and celestial link with life. The first form recoginsed by and always held close to them clearly is the circle aesthetic, functional and psychological attributes of the form “ circle” are exploited and taken advantage of .. To form the central concept of vuda’s “children arena”

Structural Specifications
This structure is located in the heart of vibrant city of Visakhapatnam. The floor space was well designed with all the circulation with multiple entries and exit routes. The structure contains a grand foyer with front elevation circular in shape for height of 16m. The main auditorium width is 21m with passages of 4.1m on either side. The main building elevation is circular in shape with two level variations to enhance the aesthetics.

The consultants, we were asked to design entire envelope as per the Architects intent. The main structure has been designed as a plain lattice of depth 1.35m which starts from plinth level on both sides and making a beautiful curvature at the roof and it is seamless. The max overall width of the structure is 38.5m and the height at the peak is 18m. There are multiple lattices which are placed at a distance of 5.7m and the total length of building is 57m. The lattices were fixed at 6 locations thereby we could make each lattice into 5 segments for the ease of fabrication and erection. For some portion of length the architect has given height difference in the same profile. To address this problem, double lattices were provided at these location without hampering the idea of architect.

Facing Challenges
The main challenge in this project was front elevation. During the erection of lattices, inspection of lattices was done at site and there was a discussion about the front elevation. VUDA engineers did not want to dig anything in the front to support the elevation lattices, as they have finished the RCC Structure which they have laid foundation 20 feet below the floor level. They wanted to avoid any kind of excavation. Understanding their problem the consultants started thinking affresh, and came up with a solution. They re-analysed the RCC Structure for staircase on either side of the building for lateral loads due to wind, and luckily the structure found to be taking lateral loads and also the foundation was safe for the intended loads.

Then the front elevation was designed by providing horizontal lattices which were supported onto RCC structure on either side and the vertical lattices were supported on these horizontal lattices. All the lattices in this area are triangular in shape to take care of the vertical bending due to self weight and glass weight and horizontal bending due to wind load. Ultimately a world class auditorium was designed which was appreciated by one and all.

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