Plasticity and Diversity of Aluminum Plates: The original Aluminum Plates of seven buildings are ingenious details of Aluminum. This expensive and unstable metal was not used for construction until the early 20th century. Aluminum was first widely used in architecture at the Empire State Building (1930-1932). The tower body structure and the spire are made of aluminium, and the entrance, elevator doors, decorative panels and more than 6000 window arches are also made of aluminium.
As a material, aluminium has excellent strength-weight ratio, which means that the exterior wall system made of aluminium can be smaller than steel plate. Modern aluminium also supports the weight of heavy glass spans, maximizing the building's ability to utilize natural sunlight. The metal and its alloy compositions are light in weight, durable, corrosion resistant and can be used indefinitely. According to statistics, nearly 75% of aluminium products are still in use.
To explore the structure and details of aluminium, we have collected a series of projects to show how some of the world's most innovative architects use aluminium in modern architectural projects.
The balanced barn of MVRDV, a Dutch pioneer company, is located on a beautiful lake in Solington, Suffolk, UK. The barn responds to the site conditions and natural environment through its buildings and projects. The traditional shape of the barn and reflective metal sheet can be used for reference in local architecture. In a sense, the purpose of balancing barn is to realize the teaching purpose of re-visiting the countryside, and at the same time make modern architecture accessible.
In the middle, the barn began to hang on the slope, while the structure remained balanced on the central concrete core, and the ground was made of heavier material than the cantilever part. The long side of the building is well hidden by trees, providing shelter for the inside and outside of the barn. The exterior is covered with reflective metal sheets, which, like sloping roofs, use the local building environment as a reference to reflect the natural environment and the changing seasons.
The New Canaan Multifunctional Architecture and Landscape Project, designed by Handel Architects, provides an open space for people to experience nature, experience art, pursue justice, nurture communities and explore beliefs. Sana'a was inspired by the idea of architecture as a river in the landscape. Although this element has not been noticed, the result is an elegant building that rethinks the relationship between architecture and landscape.
Grace farm's River project floats above the hilly landscape in the form of glass and steel bars. Working with Zahner, SANAA wants to bring architecture into life and make it part of nature. The building combines shelters, libraries, courtyards, public spaces and terraces under aluminium roofs. The roof adopts a double curvature plate system, which consists of standard size external anodic alumina plates. The project uses a lightweight system to form a channel between aluminum shells through several customized aluminum profiles. Here, floating aluminium panels provide a visual transition between panels.