DuPont™ Corian® is often thought of as a high end interior product. The youngest town in France, Val-de-Reuil (Eure), has used it instead to create a unique and innovative faÃ§ade.
One of its buildings, put up in the Sixties, was in need of renovating, both inside and out. Its original use was as an apartment block for social housing. The Mayor of the town has led a regeneration project that included turning this particular building into office space for local businesses.
The Architects on the project, Bernard Malecamp et Nicolas Mevel, came up with the concept of creating a tree-like theme for covering the building. This was felt to be in line with the approach taken by the town in general in the regeneration scheme - innovation and renewal.
h3. Complex 3D Cutting and Bending
Corian® fabricator, Créa Diffusion from Metz in France, headed up by Thierry Delles undertook this complex project.
Against the background of the existing facade which was painted dark brown, Corian® branches intersect at three levels, 20, 30 and 40 cm from the exterior wall.
Each element is fixed to the wall by at least two threaded fixing points anchored in the concrete. Stainless steel tubes serve as spacers. The Corian® required thermoforming into different 3D shapes as well as cutting precisely on a CNC to tolerances of only a few centimetres.
A series of tests were carried out and successfully passed on this innovative cladding technique to ensure the Corian® would deal with necessary wind loads and pull tests.
There are few materials available that can be made to look so spectacular whilst at the same time putting up with the demands of external facades. The list of Corian® clad buildings is growing as designers start to see the potential of using it outside as well as for more familiar interior design projects.