There may be no polar bears around, but there is an iceberg in Westphalian Sauerland, more precisely in Neheim. A newly built consumer electronics store has been given a remarkably sophisticated silhouette. The building stands in a prominent position at the entrance to town on an asymmetrical plot of land with a steep downward slope on the narrow side. A tricky site for a building with a large footprint. The architects duplicated the diagonal format in their ground plan, elevated the rear of the building on the west side and followed the curving line of the road on the east-facing side of the building. They opted for narrow ALUCOBOND® tray panels, measuring up to eight and a half metres long, in spectra White Gold for the façade. The panels were installed on a steel substructure in rows but staggered in terms of depth. This allowed the architects to emphasise the volume and create a façade with real character. Above the entrance, the construction soars almost eleven metres aloft and protrudes to form an acute angle. The architects used the building’s apex to mark the most important position in the façade and, at the same time, to create ample height for an outsized, sacred-looking, arched front entrance. Here too, the subtle longitudinal twist, fan-like slant, and neat alignment of the ALUCOBOND® tray panels fashion a complex, symmetrical, decorative relief and create two sharp, curvilinear edges in the façade. Precision work on this level requires accurate planning, production and assembly of the panels. As the building is so tall, the smallest inaccuracies when aligning the joints would have led to large gaps at another point. The ethereal iridescence and fan-shaped folding of the white-gold ALUCOBOND® panels mean the immense building changes depending on the viewer’s perspective. The result is a glittering iceberg with a sharp break-off edge. Its shadows wax and wane throughout the course of the day, melting into the grey dusk but never melting in the sun’s rays.
Project: Euronics Berlet, Arnsberg-Neheim | Germany
Architect: Zakowski Generalplanung, Arnsberg | Germany
Fabricator & Installer: Athens GmbH & Co. KG, Hövelhof | Germany
Façade System: Tray Panels Special Design
Year of Construction: 2019
Product: ALUCOBOND ® PLUS spectra White Gold
Photos & Drawings: Zakowski Architekten GmbH