OPEN Architecture was invited to participate in a competition to design a zeppelin hangar situated in the serene landscape of Ma’an Mountain of Anhui Province, China. The challenge is to design a single structure with a clearance of 100 meter wide by 300 meter long and 100 meter in height to house the production and storage of the zeppelin. The structure also demands a single door with a clear opening of 100 meter by 100 meter to let the zeppelin go in and out. Heavy duty cranes are to be hung off the ceiling of the structure, adding substantial loads to this super structure.
OPEN Architecture collaborated with structure engineer CABR to develop a prefabricated concrete frame and panel system, an innovative and fully integrated structural skin that carries vertical loads of structure, roof installations and ceiling crane while opposing lateral forces with highly optimized shape that minimizes material while expressing the combined efficiency of structure, economy and form. Flexible and highly efficient structural framework minimizes maintenance and construction costs while permitting a highly differentiated and modular system of cuts and openings that modulate natural light, facilitate ventilation and rain water management, as well as generate sufficient energy to realize a zero maintenance green roof.