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Success story - Gare Maritime

Formerly the largest freight station, the “Gare Maritime” looks back on an eventful past. Now, the historic railway station in the heart of the Belgian capital Brussels is going down in history as Europe’s largest glulam project of the modern era. 

All-wood construction 
The historical site comprises seven interconnected halls and has been converted into a large covered event complex that is home to shops, restaurants, offices and event spaces. Twelve four-storey uildings were erected on a total area of 45,000 square metres with a pure timber construction made of cross laminated timber and glulam. A large staircase and utility core were built in the centre of each building. This supply core simultaneously serves to brace the building. 

(@ Tim Fisher) A new and attractive district in the heart of Brussels has been created on a huge site.

An architectural attraction
The “Gare Maritime” station has been transformed into an architectural attraction. To achieve this, the Belgians banked on expertise from Austria: The Hasslacher Group from Carinthia contributed 5,760 cubic metres of glulam from its sites in Hermagor and Kleinheubach and 170 cubic metres of cross laminated timber from its site in Stall im Mölltal to this major project. “Larger projects are always carried out in combination with other sites from our group,” explained Georg Dürregger, Managing Director of Hasslacher Holzbausysteme GmbH, based in Hermagor. The ready-to-install timber elements were delivered with the support of Hasslacher Holzbauteile GmbH (Kleinheubach) and NORITEC Holzindustrie GmbH (Sachsenburg and Stall).

SHERPA innovations
The construction also used innovations from SHERPA in Styria. A total of 1,400 pieces of the SHERPA M40 connector type with special screws (6.5 by 106 millimetres) were installed in the roof structures of the twelve building complexes. “Two advantages of the new ETA proved decisive for the use of our connectors,” Josef Kowal, Technical Key Account Manager at SHERPA, refers to the “European Technical Assessments”. Longer screws for the M, L, XL and XXL series (same connector price with up to 80 percent higher load-bearing capacity) as well as the R30 and R60 fire protection certificate for visible connectors and also milledin with a remaining joint of up to five millimetres all provide these advantages.

(@ Filip Dujardin) 

An attractive district to live in
The completed “Gare Maritime” is more than just an ensemble of buildings: It is designed as an indoor, green quarter that offers various areas for retail, gastronomy, businesses and public events. The blend of existing cast steel trusses from the Art Nouveau era and modern timber construction technology makes the huge area a new and attractive part of the city.

(@ Filip Dujardin) 

(@ Filip Dujardin)