Mobile elements for occlusion in architecture
"Some people say houses are made of walls. I say they’re made of windows."
Openings take up much of architects’ focus because they impact significantly on the design and thermal performance of buildings. As particular features of a wall, openings and occlusions can present architectural opportunities that architects gladly seize.
One of the current keys to elegant envelopes, especially for facades, is the quality of continuity between the cladding material and the openings. With a constantly expanding facade applications offer, VMZINC offers a number of solutions.
Traditionally used for roofing, zinc - which is a multi-purpose material offering a variety of surface aspects, attractive mechanical characteristics and guaranteed watertightness - makes it possible to create innovative metal flashings and surrounds.
Protruding window unit
The opening becomes an element of architecture when it has a distinctly thick, deep frame that plays with light. Seen from the inside, these frames give thickness to the wall and gradually bring light into the room. In repetitive blocks, they structure the composition of the facade.
Zinc’s main strength is its capacity to discreetly ensure material continuity between the elements of the facade and the frame claddings, while at the same time providing watertightness.
Openings that can be concealed with shutters clad in the same material as the facade
Casement or sliding shutters
Whether simple sliding panels covered in zinc, with visible mechanics and rails, or more sophisticated systems, shutters are like pieces of the facade that are taken away during the day and then return to take their place at night. Sliding shutters blend perfectly with the outline of the facade and, once they are closed, make the building look like a monolith or a protective armour.
Vertically sliding shutters
If windows are the eyes of a facade, shutters would be the eyelids. When closed, the zinc cladding of the shutters discreetly extends the grooves of the facade. When the occupants open the shutters arbitrarily, with the very distinct shadows they create, they become the main elements animating this metal skin.
Openings concealed by perforated shutters
See without being seen! Simple panels with perforations add a certain transparency to the traditional role of the shutter. When closed, the perforated shutter gives the impression of a continuous smooth skin and serves as a visual filter through which the exterior becomes visible.
Zinc can be used to elegantly create perfect continuity of texture on a door with that of the adjoining cladding. Doors become invisible until they are opened. Panels are carefully adjusted to perfectly match the edge of the industrial door frame that is inserted precisely into the cladding.
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