The German Mining Museum in Bochum is the most important mining museum in the world and attracts over 400,000 visitors a year.
Designed by Benthem Crouwel, the new building will house special exhibitions. Arup contributed significantly to the structural engineering concept.
The new structure has a distinct cubic shape. The exterior walls are opened up by incisions for open passageways, their form resembling mining galleries. The height of the cube also complements the existing museum.
The structure of the building is a reinforced concrete construction. The exterior façade can bear direct vertical loads only in a few areas because of the incisions made by the museum’s exhibition galleries. Arup solved this complicated issue by designing the solid façade as diaphragm beams. The structure of the ceiling of the interior exhibition spaces is made up of hollow-core slabs, creating a clear span over the entire exhibition gallery space.
Two enclosed pedestrian bridges connect the existing museum with the new building. The bridges criss-cross in the form of an X in plan. Their structure is a reinforced concrete trough with superimposed steel frame to which the façades are fixed.