- Metal frameworks and structures
Tjibaou cultural centre
Agence de développement de la culture kanak
Architect: Renzo Piano
Between ocean and lagoon, a few kilometres from Noumea, ten high open-work metal-and- wood shells set up a strong signal of Kanak culture. Inspired by tribal habitat, these gigantic circular-plan 'huts' have an elaborate dual structure that brings together vertical, straight and curving members in iroko wood tied together by metal braces and struts to ensure overall rigidity.
With the highest at 28 m, the shells have to withstand important wind-strain, hence the presence of steel wind-bracing boxes set into the wood, onto which converge rods and stays. The most complex federate components splayed in nine directions. At mid-height inside, a steel disk sloped at 45° closes the internal volume.The fine blend of metal and wood in these structures called for craftsman execution to preserve the geometric purity of the design.