The Student Activities and Athletic Facilities (SAAF) project comprises ten buildings, with a combined gross built up area over 200,000 m2. It contains sports and recreational facilities that will serve the 40,000 students in this new university campus. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) from the USA, were the design architects. They worked in association with Gulf Consult (GC) of Kuwait, who were the project’s engineering consultants.
The centre of the campus is occupied by two six-storey main buildings, an “Athletic, Recreation and Aquatic Centre (ARAQ)” each for men and women. They contain centres for competitive, recreational and water sports as well as parts of the student union. A courtyard physically divides the women’s and men’s sections, each of which provide the same services and are of the same size. The project also includes two smaller sports facilities, two information points, the student union headquarters, a bus stop for the campus public transportation system, a tennis hall with 2,000 spaces in addition to an outdoor football and athletics stadium with capacity for 15,000 spectators.
A limestone facade gives the main buildings (ARAQ) a sophisticated and natural appearance. Three triangular windows facing the direction of the sun provide a distinctive feature. Parts of the 75,000 square metre facade were attached with 15,000 FZP II M8i internal threaded anchors. Construction began on the facade in 2019 and had already successfully been completed by early 2020.
“We convinced the facade construction firm with our comprehensive range of technical support services, ranging from planning and calculations to on-site installation support”, emphasises Jan Zimmermann, Market Manager Facade Systems. “The advantages of our Zykon panel anchors speak for themselves”. The form-fit FZP II are installed in natural stone via the conical undercut drill hole without expansion pressure, which achieves lower plane bending moments and higher load-bearing capacity than edge fastenings. This also achieves higher load-bearing capacities compared to alternative solutions. “The fact that the internal threaded anchors are placed flush in the prefabricated panels is another benefit”, highlights Jan Zimmermann. “This saves space during transportation, as there is no protruding thread”. One further advantage is that the anchors can be attached to any part of the reverse side of the panel, providing more leeway during planning and implementation while ensuring optimum use of the stone’s technical material properties. This also allows individual panels to be replaced, should the case occur.
“Our undercut anchors are concealed between the panels, which gives the facade a high-quality harmonious look”, Jan Zimmermann states, naming another advantage. “This combines a secure hold with the high aesthetic requirements of the ARAQ Centres.”