The new cancer research centre, called "AGORA", is located in the centre of Lausanne, Switzerland, and is built adjacent to an existing building. Within the framework of this new centre, our project consists of covering the courtyard that connects the two buildings with a sloping ETFE roof. The entire courtyard has been covered with 14 ETFE cushions, each in different sizes covering an estimated surface area of 745m2, which adapt to the shape of the metal structure. This transparent roof will allow the passage of light throughout the courtyard, creating an outdoor recreation area. The novelty of the project is the application of a 5-layer cushion that creates 4 air chambers inside, thereby providing better results in terms of thermal insulation.
The roof has 14 ETFE cushions positioned transversely across the entire area, with the aim of achieving a thermal resistance value equal to 1.3 W/m²K. A 5-layer cushion is thereby created, with screen printing on the outer layer, together with the modification of the aluminium frame.
One feature is that the cushions have a double anchorage on the perimeter formed by the combination of a 4-layer cushion and the top layer, thus creating 3+1 air chambers with thicknesses of 100 µm and 300 µm. This includes a single air inlet with outlets on both outer layers.
Another prominent feature is that the aluminium frame is adapted to the requirements of the project and to the new creation of the cushion. In particular, new EPDM and insulation sections are included along with a new aluminum frame for a double anchorage of the cushioned perimeter.
This engineering work represents an improvement in the ETFE cushion system and its use in more demanding conditions.