Degree of Freedom, as the structural engineers in collaboration with EKJ, participated in the architectural competition for Denmark’s largest timber building as one of three finalists. The Danish Building and Property Agency’s (BYGST) vision was a 31,000m2 office hub with the ambitious climate goal of an all-timber construction. The 4-6 storey building was planned to be built at Lerchesgade 35 in Odense. In addition, the new office hub would house 1,600 employees of state agencies and institutions. The purpose was to provide a good, sustainable, flexible office workplace with associated common facilities such as a meeting centre, reception, canteen and more.
The proposed building, despite its extensive volume, is adapted to the scale of the surroundings and forms a harmonious connection to the nearby townhouses. It has been broken down into seven blocks of different heights, angled to the axis of the building. Façades are set back with green terraces separating the different blocks.
Timber is a fundamental part of the building’s visual aspect. Various components such as floors, walls, stairs, balcony fronts, and window frames are clad in distinct types of timber.
The timber structure is exposed so that users of the building come into direct contact with the material and can interact with it. Above ground floor there is a loadbearing timber structural frame with reinforced concrete services and communications cores. The structural frame is formed by double continuous glulam beams spanning between glulam columns. Continuity of the structural elements is a key element in guaranteeing the progressive collapse requirements to the Danish code. All structural timber elements are designed for a fire rating of R120.
Timber is also extensively used in the central atrium to form the balconies, bridges and roofs that are a feature of this space.
One of the main goals of the project was to create a building that is sustainable, flexible, and futureproof. This is manifested in the choice of solid materials, such as timber and aluminium, in the building’s zoning, which ensures that it can be adapted to changing requirements and capacity (by 20%), and in the extensive green solutions, which reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and lifetime costs while increasing employee well-being and job satisfaction. All structural timber used will be certified FSC or PEFC.
Structural engineering during architectural competition.