Ring beam installed for the 'Zeppelin' at the West London Academy Quad


The 'Zeppelin' structure is a unique feature of the Quad building at WLA and will house the media suite for the new Design and Technology department of the Academy.

The ring beam which has been designed to support the floor and a system of ribs and columns forms an integral part of the structure, and provided one of the biggest challenges to the Zeppelin construction, both in terms of structure and installation.

Alan Dowdall, the Ramboll Design Engineer for WLA stated that "Glue laminated timber was a natural choice of material for the ring beam, with curves in the member easily produced to fit the geometry of the Zeppelin structure and achieve the architectural vision".  The structure once complete, will be covered with GRP cladding on a metal frame system fixed directly on to the timber.

Due to transportation and installation constraints the 'ring' was split into four elements - two longer elements of 18.0 meters in length weighing 3.12 tons each, and two shorter elements of 4.9 meters long and weighing 0.85 tons.

The Zeppelin, which 'sits inside' the Quad building will be a unique feature and provide an innovative space which will enhance the environment in which the students will learn.