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Floating Theatre - AUS Student Center Building

Location Sharjah, United Arab Emirates 
Services Structural and geotechnical engineering
Sector Education
Client American University of Sharjah
Architect MR2
Imagery © MR2

Richard Stratton

T +971 (0) 4 323 2629

The refurbishment of the student centre included the addition of an innovative ‘floating’ theatre. Cundall provided a practical and efficient structural and geotechnical engineering solutions which helped the project to be delivered within the construction budget and programme whilst minimising the effect on day-to-day operations of the University.

The architectural shape and geometry of the theatre overhangs from the existing concrete balcony level, giving the impression that the theatre is floating and cantilevered by approximately eight meters. Cundall designed a structural frame for the theatre with structural steel members accommodating the architectural geometry, minimising weight and enabling a fast construction programme.

Cundall assessed the existing building’s structure and identified which key structural members required strengthening, designing a solution that was cost effective and minimised disruption to university operations. Careful consideration was drawn to the steel to concrete interfaces of the structure which required rigorous analysis to safely sustain the reaction forces and accommodate the architectural intent.

Considering the sensitivity of connections, Cundall’s scope of services was expanded during the site supervision stage to ensure compliancy with the structural design intent and quality assurance.