At the foot of the Lascaux hills, construction work has been taking place on the "Centre International d'Art Parietal". The museum complex is dedicated to showcasing cave paintings with the central feature being a complete replica of the "Lascaux 4" cave. PERI has supported the project by providing an overall concept comprised of detailed technical preparation, absolute safe formwork solution and continuous consultation. This resulted in, among other things, up to 13.50 m high walls with complex designs and the best-possible surface quality.
The Lascaux cave in the French department of Dordogne is home to some of the oldest known artwork in the history of mankind: the cave paintings are estimated to have originated in the period 17,000-15,000 BC although some researchers consider the cave even older than this. Since 1979, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Currently, an exact replica of the cave is being realised on a scale of 1:1. The valuable cave paintings will be presented using a range of modern visual effects. Thus, visitors will be able to move through the historic cave virtually in future by means of augmented reality. In addition, interactive thematic applications of the wall paintings, for example in the form of films and 3D animations, provide very special kind of experiences for visitors.
Even the atmosphere in the structure aims to recreate that which is found in the real cave: the interior of the museum will be dark and damp while all sounds are considerably muffled. With the creation of this unique building, the organisers want to present this exceptional and important legacy of human history to visitors as authentically as possible. The opening of the "Centre International d'Art Pariétal" is scheduled for June 2016.
The new visitor centre is perfectly integrated into the hilly landscape as the building follows the contours and is pushed as it were under its surface. The result is a very impressive design with a range of inclined, very high walls.
Complex architecture formed with system components
The main challenge regarding the construction of the museum's shell, undertaken on a cooperative basis by the building contractors LAGARRIGUE and SOPRESCO, was the dimensionally-accurate realisation of approx. 2,500 m² of wall surface with heights of up to 13.50 m along with variable inclinations. PERI engineers from the Meaux office near Paris developed a solution that featured the maximum use of standard systems complete with a full range of safety equipment.
TRIO panel formwork was the preferred choice for the wall formwork which, in combination with the MXP platform system, fully met all the requirements of this very unusual construction site. The circumferential struts of the TRIO panel formwork along with the element connections through the BFD alignment coupler provide a high degree of rigidity and allow large-sized units to be moved. With the proven panel formwork, the inclined walls could be easily and quickly formed in spite of the required angle changes.
The modular MXP platform system provides safe, all-round access to the TRIO panel formwork. All anchors and element connections are therefore easy to use, and the corresponding end platforms and guardrails provide end-to-end anti-fall protection. As the platforms also match the element widths of the TRIO, the high flexibility of the panel formwork is maintained.
The operating conditions for the wall formwork are, among other things, particularly challenging because self-compacting concrete is used. This not only requires stringent processes during concreting but also a correspondingly tailored and well thought-out formwork concept.
Where necessary, the panel formwork has been supplemented with customized elements on the basis of the VARIO GT 24 wall formwork system. Realisation of the corner areas, in particular, features two wall surfaces with inclinations in opposite directions.
In order to achieve the high demands placed on the concrete surfaces, the entire wall formwork was covered with new PERI FinPly formlining at the plant or workshop prior to being shipped from the PERI formwork assembly facility.