VMZINC and renovations
Today more than ever, renovating existing buildings is a challenge for architecture and construction. Renovations are not just about cosmetics: creativity, understanding and finesse are required when revamping or extending an existing building. Zinc provides solutions for all types of renovation.
Although renovated buildings are less valued than new buildings, they represent a significant proportion of activity in the building industry. At a time when ecological issues are leading to the introduction of new standards, especially concerning the thermal performance of buildings, renovations are becoming increasingly widespread. The re-use of existing buildings makes it possible reduce “grey” energies consumed during the manufacture of building materials.
Extending and raising buildings are practises similar to renovating. Additions are grafted on top or on the side of existing buildings, making it possible to intelligently extend the life of a building for new uses.
These three types of work – raising, extending and working on the thickness of the envelope - inevitably necessitate a choice of materials. Several strategies are possible: integration or contrasts, imitation or assertion, tradition or modernity. Zinc is malleable and flexible and offers a broad range of creative possibilities for all types of design.
Private housing, Watchberg (Germany) – Architect : Kay Künzel
Raising and Extending Existing Buildings
In roof extensions, architectonics often include the visible difference of materials. The roofing material on top of a building is often different to that used on the facades, in order to highlight the attic marking the top-end of a building.
Palais du vêtement, Roubaix (France) – Architect: Tank architects.
ANTHRA-ZINC is especially appreciated for roof extensions, probably because it is modern in appearance yet reminiscent of traditional roof colours such as slate.
Colour is another factor that can be used to differentiate contemporary touches. Preweathered zinc – grey, black, blue, green, red or brown - introduces discreet touches of modernity and creates an elegant contrast with the colours of brick, stone and plaster. When imitation is impossible, the best option is to assert the differences!
Extension of offices for an architecture studio in Hoboken (USA) – Architects: Justin Nardone & Dean Marchetto.
When extending these offices housed in a redbrick church dating from the beginning of the 20th century, the architects opted to add an unusually shaped apse with a skin of zinc scales that are meticulously positioned
Because zinc is extremely malleable, it is possible to create relief effects that cannot be so easily obtained using other materials. The creative possibilities that zinc offers are an indisputable advantage for side or roof extensions in an urban context. Architects appreciate the recent new applications of this roofing material, which they regard as a useful, modern transgression.
Jewellery Store and Studio, London (United Kingdom) – Architect: John Zhang - DSDHA.
This modest jewellery store and studio echoes the imposing neighbouring buildings with the subtle relief effect on its facade, which features a succession of vertical lines and small square cross-section wings covered with PIGMENTO red zinc.
The different solutions provided by the VMZINC offer and the variety of surface aspects can be used to alter or even completely transform a building.
The entire cladding of an exisitng building makes it possible to define a new volume, making its shape more legible or more unusual, thus symbolising new use and contemporary techniques.
Education and Childcare Centre - Former Saddle Room of the Military Arsenal, Turin (Italy) - Architects: Comoglio Architetti
Giorgio Comoglio's project conceals the chaos created by uncompleted past renovations... A large perforated zinc skin defines a new volume, giving the building a more legible form, incorporating the numerous emergency staircases required by regulations in educational establishments. Here and there, the envelope is interrupted and the original building reappears, a testimony to traditional industrial architecture, identifiable by the large, brick-framed windows.
The mutation of a building can also be generated by a change in its use, transformation of spaces, or a combination of both. Renovation can be an opportunity to give new life to the ruins of an old building.
Private house, Grimbergen (Belgium) –
Architect: MarS Architecten bvba.
Only a few external walls of this old farm building were retained. The QUARTZ-ZINC cladding contrasts strongly with the redbrick walls. Installed horizontally in finely grooved profiles, it pays tribute to the corrugated metal of traditional farm sheds.
Sometimes the material used to cover a roof extension is also used on the facade, making it difficult to distinguish between the new and original parts of the building. This is often justified by the decision to improve the thermal performance of the existing building.
To this end, the well known technique of external thermal insulation is used, which consists of “wrapping” the new and old parts of the building on the outside using a cushion of insulation that must subsequently be protected.
This building technique has the advantage of eliminating thermal bridges and loss of calories, for example at the junction between the facade and the floors. At a time when everybody is striving to reduce energy consumption per square metre, the radical nature of this technique offers many advantages.
However, it necessitates the use of continuous external cladding to protect the insulation, which otherwise would be exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Bringing buildings into compliance with thermal regulations is often an opportunity to change their aspect entirely. Installing a continuous zinc skin is usually justified by the fact that the material is extremely lightweight and malleable. Zinc absorbs numerous emergences easily, making it possible for the architect to work discreetly yet effectively on the many seams of the new envelope.
Carsat, Clermond-Ferrand (France) –
Architect: Laurent Gauvin, CRR Architectes Associés
This large renovation project made it possible to completely transform a high thermal performance office building with stone wool insulation on the outside (55 mm + 120 mm cross-installed), and complementary internal insulation (expanded polystyrene + BA13 plasterboard), all clad in preweathered QUARTZ-ZINC and PIGMENTO green and red.
Join the VMZINC Community