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Sihl City Webnet

Jakob Provides Webnet for Landmark Shopping Complex

A range of systems from Jakob has been installed at the landmark Sihl City Centre in Zurich, delivering a number of sustainable, aesthetic and cost benefits.  Opened in spring 2007, the 100,000 m2 Sihl City centre in Zürich is one of Switzerland’s largest and most advanced shopping and leisure complexes. Designed by architect Theo Hotz, the centre sits on the site of a disused paper mill on the banks of the river Sihl.

Jakob was involved in several elements of this development, including the design and installation of a Green Wall for the eastern façade of the 850-car park, and the covering of a large part of the southern façade of the same building with stainless steel Webnet. In addition, Webnet structures were prominently used in the hallways of the shopping centre.

While the Green Wall is notable for its scale, the Webnet curtain over the building’s southern façade represents a first for the application of this product.  For this elevation, the architect wanted a ‘skin-like’, large-area structure that would add a different element to the building’s aesthetic, whilst helping to preserve its original character as far as possible.  Viewed from a distance, the fine-mesh Webnet appears like a tightly stretched film over the edges of the fair-faced concrete building. Closer inspection reveals the Webnet structure discretely attached to the front surfaces of cantilevered floor slabs.

Almost as remarkable as the Webnet façade, is the design of the stairways inside Sihl City, where stainless steel Webnet has been used in place of conventional banisters – and in the case of the spiral staircases to secure the structures’ cores.  For these applications, Webnet is attached to the concrete ceiling of the staircase with a metal hoop and held in shape by vertically arranged stainless steel ropes running along the internal surface and fixed to the lateral surfaces of the slabs and steps.

Through the creative use of Webnet, the architect has delivered building elements which are not only visually exciting, but which have been achieved at relatively low cost and with minimal maintenance requirements.

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Jakob Rope Systems is part of the MMA Architectural Systems family, who also provide solutions for Green Walls, Car Park Safety, Animal Enclosures, Bridge Safety and Geggus Matting Systems.