Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky
Inside, Switzerland
Copyright: Radek Brunecky

Inside, Switzerland

17 juni
Project: Inside, Volketswil | Switzerland
Architect: Holzer Kobler Architekturen, Zurich | Switzerland
Fabricator & Installer: Aluform Alucobondverarbeitungs-GmbH, Bad Rappenau-Bonfeld | Germany, Ammann & Thürlemann AG Fassadentechnik, Zuzwil | Switzerland
Façade System: Riveted, Screwed
Year of Construction: 2014
Product: ALUCOBOND® A2 anodized look C32 + solid Black
Photos: Radek Brunecky

FACES BEHIND THE FAÇADE GLISTENING GOLDEN CURTAIN

There is an American feel to Industriestrasse, Volketswil, Switzerland. A five-lane road bordered by advertising and signs, cantilevered traffic lights and street lamps, advertising banners and flat-roofed commercial buildings. Behind the road, only about one hundred metres away, there is a village-like residential area. A shopping centre has just been built on a plot of land here, between a furniture market, a fast-food restaurant and a large car park. The pivotal questions in determining its architecture were how to create a striking exterior against the background of a major thoroughfare whilst, at the same time, providing an urban open space to benefit people instead of cars, and how to reconcile the urban and rural environments. In response, the client and the planners opted for an exceptional urban design in an unexceptional suburban setting, featuring mixed use and, most importantly, beauty. The outcome: the building itself has become the unifying brand for its different occupants and leaseholders. It stands out from its surroundings with its curved geometry and façade, five storeys in staggered tiers and luxuriant green roof gardens. The base storey, where the shops are located, is surrounded by storefront glazing. Above this, an ALUCOBOND® façade is draped like a light curtain in C32 anodized look and solid colour Black. Rising up on the upper section are two towers, housing restaurants, medical practices and service companies. They, too, are enveloped in alternating bands of glass and ALUCOBOND®. Great accuracy and precision was required to create the curtain, which conveys a visual interpretation of the themes of fashion and beauty to the outer world. In order to achieve this natural-looking rippling, draped effect, there was to be no visible repetition of the folds across the width. However, each ALUCOBOND® element had to align with the fold pattern in the floors above because only then can passers-by experience the building-length curtain as a single entity despite the bands of window. Depending on the position of the sun, the waves are more or less obvious; so when evening draws in, the shadows become broader and the light reflections on the surfaces more burnished. The façade looks more dramatic and more memorable, and simultaneously the people in the building behind the curtain become visible. The unreal environment becomes alive, human and to scale.

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