University Buildings in Turin – Campus Roof

University Building Campus Roof Turin, Italy Development, Italian Architecture

University Buildings in Turin

Italian roof membrane canopy – design by Foster + Partners

19 Aug 2013

University Building Roof in Turin

Design: Foster + Partners, Architects

Location: Turin, north west Italy

Campus Luigi Einaudi, Torino

University Building Roof in Turin
photo : Michele D’Ottavio

University Buildings in Turin

A membrane canopy for the roof planned by formTL and Foster + Partners, London

Radolfzell, August 2013. Since the 1990s, the esteemed university of Turin has been gradually modernising its architecture. This has involved moving all the university faculties to a new campus situated on former industrial land bordering the River Dora. The new campus is to be completed with a building complex designed by the architects Foster + Partners of London to house the faculties of law and political science. The five-storey buildings are aligned along the outside edges of a triangular plot of land. Inside the triangle is a circular open area. The facades feature rounded corners and curved shapes, giving the surrounding continuous strip windows and metal surfaces a pleasing continuity.

Another to a large extent eye-catching feature of the whole ensemble – and at the same time its unifying element – is the impressive cantilevered membrane roof which gives the appearance of floating above the structure. Its substructure is formed by a complex three-dimensional steel structure which gently arches above the buildings. It serves also to carry the tension from the membranes. Due to the unusual shape of the roof and the different curves it entails necessitated sophisticated engineering and confection of the membrane roof. Some bays require the PTFE-coated glass fabric to compensate deformations resulting in the event of an earthquake.

Campus Luigi Einaudi Torino Italy
photo : Michele D’Ottavio

formTL was responsible for the entire engineering of the membrane cladding including its design, the complex interaction with the steel structure and authority approvals, execution and workshop drawings.

University Roof Canopy Turin – Building Information

Membrane surface area: 16,710 m²

 Rise of arches up to approx. 12.60 m
 Length approx. 270 m
 Width approx. 140 m

 PTFE-coated glass fabric:
St.Gobain Sheerfill I approx. 4,400 m²
St.Gobain Sheerfill II approx. 12,310 m²

Client: University of Turin, Turin/Italy
Design Group: Maire Engineering with Foster, Giugiaro, Prof. Ossola and others
Membrane fabrication: Canobbio SpA, Castelnuovo Scrivia/Italy
Steel structure: Stahlbau Pichler, Bozen/Italy
Membrane engineering: formTL,

Campus Luigi Einaudi Torino – University Building Roof Turin images / information from formTL

Foster + Partners

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University Building Roof in Turin