Zinc opposite Mont Blanc!




Roger Baltus's column #11

Zinc opposite Mont Blanc!

Following “The Lighthouse at the End of the World” previously featured in this column, here is another example of zinc installed in extreme conditions

Double roofing in natural VMZINC was installed on the roof of the gondola lift station in Planpraz des Houches, dominating the Chamonix valley in the French Alps at an altitude of 2016 metres. Our material is not affected by changes in temperature or snow and its resilience is ideal for the constraints of high mountainous areas.

This building is a real technical feat. The zinc roof, most of which was installed in 2008 on a concrete structure, is made up of double roofing with a watertight membrane and counter battens on which the decking that supports the zinc panels is installed. To ensure optimum performance over time, the zinc installation standards were rethought. The width of the strips, the distance between fixing clips, the thickness of the zinc, the staggered seams: our technicians worked closely with the transformer to find the perfect solution, especially for the upper part where the material is more exposed to the vagaries of the local climate.

The Planpraz gondola lift station is also an example of a building that blends harmoniously with the environment. The sleek rounded form of the roof was chosen over the traditional two-slope chalet style roof. The building seems to emerge from the ground like a rock. Zinc seemed the obvious choice to the architect for its elegance and its capacity to blend into the mineral landscape.

Why not take the Planpraz gondola lift this winter and discover the perfection of the roof for yourself? We will be putting the best photos on line!

The “1,000 Buildings Plan”, which has just been voted by the Paris City Council, is a first in France “in terms of the scope in question – the entire territory of Paris – and the City's commitment alongside private co-owners” said Célia Blauel, Deputy Mayor in charge of the environment and sustainable development.


Roger Baltus
Engineer- Architect
VMZINC Communication Director


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