Translated from French for information…
Jan Meyer | 1 décembre 2010 | Métal Flash n° 0094
A stainless steel wall
covering that communicates with the street.
The Oxygène Tower in Lyon has certainly been one of the
landmark buildings among those built in 2009. With 28 floors and 115 meters
high, it is the latest HRB constructed in France. If, on the constructive plan,
we maintain a relatively conventional concrete frame and glass curtain wall and
aluminum scheme, the operation is distinguished by extremely reduced time: just
two years separate the preparatory work for the arrival of the first tenants.
Located opposite the Part-Dieu train station, the tower stands out both for its
elliptical shape and its lobby. It is housed in an oblique overhang in front of
the facade. This 26 meter-high notch serves both as a shelter and a strong
signal to mark the entrance. However, this overhang is achieved at the expense
of the floor space in the lobby.
“The narrow sloping hall forced us
to be candid and to show everything. The structures of the building serve as a reflection
of the city. There was nothing to hide so we played with the design,” explained
Stéphane Quigna, Project Director of the interior architecture and design
department at Arte Charpentier Architects, the project manager. With a
minimalist treatment, he opted for a large metal screen of 11 meters long, a
stainless steel surface whose sole purpose is to create “a vibration that can defragment the light.” The architect was able to convince the client,
initially reluctant to invest in such works, “that has no function except
to dilate the space.”
A delicate 8/10 sheet.
This screen, called the covering, consists of 35 sheets of 8/10 in polished
stainless steel and ribbed. This product is not common. “We were given the obligation by the architect to work with this
sheet distributed by Modul France,”
explained Christophe Pitance, director
of Pitance Metal in Saint-Genis-Laval (69). This is the N2 profiled polished
stainless steel sheet by Fielitz, a German company focused on special metal
solutions including those for interior fittings. Delivered in a 2800 x 1100 mm format
the N2 still weighs 22 kg.
Given its limited the thickness, it is very sensitive to shock and is difficult
to handle. It needs to be transported with extreme caution. In order to stiffen
it, the metalworker chose to stick it onto a sheet of aluminum. These panels
were then fixed on a light steel pipe structure, which is itself mounted onto a
primary HEA frame, fixed onto the concrete wall. This structure is a way to put
the screen in a cantilever overhang under which was placed a metal staircase
giving access to the lobby mezzanine.
The space created in front of the wall also made it possible to imagine a fine
adjustment in all three planes of each element with a screw system. Between
each panel is a hollow joint of 5 mm behind which, to make it more discreet,
the metalworker was careful to place a U in polished mirror stainless steel.
“So that the joint blends into the
screen,” specified the metalworker. Another finishing detail: the edge
of the screen was created with a sandblasted stainless steel edge, an unpretentious
way to “close” this “work of art”.
According to Yann Tollet, foreman at Pitance SAS, “this work is one of the
most complicated to have been installed in the tower.” Precautions needed when
bonding in the workshop, but especially during the on-site installation, were somewhat
underestimated by the metalworkers, even though they are experiences in
decoration projects and stainless steel developments.
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