The affordable student accommodation building known as A Place To in Esbjerg, Denmark, is comprised of three towers with 309 student apartments and 122 hotel apartments, in addition to common facilities such as bicycle parking, storage and landscape breakout spaces. By rotating every other terrace while keeping the core in place, the units achieve generous balconies and a characteristic profile.
BG&E provided structural engineering services for A Place To and for the architecture firm BIG, while working closely with ABEO A/S in a multidisciplinary project team from inception to construction completion of the student accommodation. BIG Engineering also supported the project as Engineer of Record, while third party checking was undertaken by INGENIØR’NE.
Prefabrication enabled the complex looking building to be broken down into simple construction solutions, providing the structural system behind the facades, balconies and core wall structures. Repetition of specialised work processes were carried out in an indoor environment, with quality control and limited delay due to bad weather. Construction time benefited, since it was possible to produce several elements at the same time.
A Place To was also designed to limit material waste in future, with flexibility to create larger apartment sizes without interfering with the structure. Flexibility was enabled by open floor plans, supported by a prefabricated flat slab solution, involving custom-made cake-shaped prestressed slabs, spanning from the core to the perimeter ring-beam.
This project demonstrates that it is possible to build tall and affordable, by using a highly repetitive, customised prefabrication solution that limits material waste.