Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Linen pattern
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Luma Foundation Arles
Copyright: Rimex Metals
Linen pattern
Copyright: Rimex Metals

Luma Foundation Special

23 september
The new LUMA Foundation in Arles, France has an exceptional façade and outstanding design from architect icon Gehry. The full height of the building is 56 meters. The façade is a clear reflection of the contemporary artistic innovation that the foundation supports and its design is inspired by the craggy rocks of the region’s mountain ranges.   

With the focus of the building clearly on the façade, the Rimex Linen pattern and the way it interacts with light in this heavily faceted design was selected from the broad choices on offer as giving both the look and feel required. The patterned finish of Rimex Metals is instrumental in creating a character, lighting effects, product longevity, and durability. The building has been clad in 14,500m2 of Rimex’s OneTex BA Linen in 316L (1.4404) grade stainless steel. 

We asked Alexander Laguardia, representative of Rimex Metals from Solutinox in France, how this unique project came together. 

  •  Can you tell us something about the process of selecting this particular material?
It was very easy to deal with the architect because they already knew our products from past projects. The fact that this experience was successful and that they actually came to us with a specific texture in mind, made the process very easy. The more complicated part was the choice of surface treatment among the multiple options we can propose in terms of color and brightness.

They wanted the building to be in the natural color of stainless steel. Regarding the LINEN BA finish that we supplied, this is one texture among many options we can propose. Textured material tends to maximize the light reflectivity since it breaks the directionality of the light and therefore, increases the reflectivity. The architect was very attracted to this idea.

Furthermore, stainless steel is just a more durable material comparing to other metals and which maintains its brightness for a lot longer. The original state of the stainless steel can be preserved for many years with just a standard cleaning regime. Light reflectivity was ‘non-negotiable’ for the architects, which made of stainless steel the perfect choice when comparing to aluminum for example. The architect has a lot of experience using this material, so I guess they are happy with this look.

  • Can you tell us more about the manufacturing process of the finish/material? 
Patterned stainless steel is a cold rolling process using rolls with specific patterns which are transferred to the sheets or coils. The embossing process of stainless-steel releases tension from the sheets providing a flattering look. At the same time, the sheets become more rigid and the surface harder, which makes them not only decorative but ideal for external use and in areas where vandalism can be a problem. However, the quality the architect wanted to exploit was the increase of light reflectivity.

  • Can you tell us something about the way of application?
It was a block system that would allow them to orientate each one of them into different angles. However, the main challenge was to supply 220 tones maintaining a homogeneous look in terms of brightness among several mother coils to fall within agreed brightness parameters. For this, we had to put in place a specialized quality control team and use special tooling.

About Rimex
Rimex Metals (UK) Ltd specializes in the manufacture of stainless steel finishes. Their products are used across numerous sectors in various applications. This includes architectural metal finishes from Rimex’s DesignScape Collection which are ideal for stainless steel cladding, interior and retail design. The wide range of metal finishes is shown in our showroom in Amsterdam. 

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