In recent years contemporary architecture has realised the innovative potential of designing with aluminium. One of the most versatile metals, aluminium’s strength and lightweight flexibility has enabled the construction of many famous architectural landmarks.
The Shard is one of the most recognisable buildings in London. With more than 11,000 window frames distributed over eighty-four storeys, exterior maintenance presented a difficult problem. The solution was to use the superior, anti-corrosive properties of anodised aluminium. Anodising is a chemical process that enhances the strength, colour and durability of mill finish aluminium producing a metal that is guaranteed to be weatherproof. It ensures the Shard will remain as rust free as the day it was completed in spite of the British weather.
Strong And Stable
Aluminium extrusions have been used to great effect in the Ballingdon Bridge that spans the River Stour in Gloucestershire. Extrusions are manufactured from softened aluminium to create intricate, lightweight components. The incredible strength of aluminium extrusions has enabled architects to design the bridge with an unobtrusive framework that has had a minimal impact on the beautiful local scenery. Although the structure is lightweight, the use of aluminium extrusions provides the strength and stability needed to withstand the force of harsh winter gales. The bridge is equally stunning at night when it is illuminated by a series of aluminium bollards.
The Rich Mix in London is a fine example of how an extensive use of recycled aluminium can significantly reduce the cost of a building project. The process of recycling aluminium is uncomplicated and uses 95% less energy compared to producing an equivalent amount of mill finish aluminium at a fraction of the cost. Recycled aluminium is not an inferior version, retaining all the properties of the original metal. Powder coating uses electromagnetics to create a hard glossy finish in brilliant colours. At the Rich Mix, an interesting combination of both powder coated and anodised aluminium has been used for external louvres and cladding.
The anodising process produces a superior aluminium with an attractive metallic sheen in a range of more than two hundred customisable colours. Additional texturing can be included to create a truly unique metal. The 41-storey Gherkin in London demonstrates how anodised aluminium of different colours and textures can be combined to create a stunning architectural masterpiece that will never fade or rust. Contact Edmo for further advice on using aluminium in architecture.