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Impressive Architectural Designs Abundant In Aluminium

4 Sep 2019

Impressive Architectural Designs Abundant In Aluminium

In the last century, aluminium has left its timestamp in the world of architecture, one that is only set to continue.

Thanks to its flexibility, durability and impressive energy-efficiency, aluminium is being increasingly used in architectural designs. Its aesthetic presence and fire-resistance qualities make aluminium an ideal choice for roofing and exterior rainscreen cladding.

In this article, we take a look at three examples of how aluminium has been used to exceptional effect in modern architecture and reveal why architects chose aluminium as a primary building material.

Impressive Architectural Designs Abundant In Aluminium
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Ferrari World, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Given Ferrari’s reputation for delivering the need for speed, it’s no surprise the evolution of the company has turned its attention to building rollercoasters.

The Italian car manufacturers chose the Abu Dhabi capital, Yas Island, a playground for the rich, to build its 100,000 sq. m extreme entertainment centre. Covering the size of seven football pitches, Ferrari World is the largest indoor theme park in the world.

The buildings pièce de résistance is the 201,000 sq.m aluminium roof which has now become the centrepiece of Yas Island and the photogenic focal point to airline passengers flying overhead. The roof contains enough aluminium to cover the Vatican City in Rome.

Due to its lightweight properties, aluminium is a favourite building material for the construction of roofs. It reduces the load heaped on the buildings support pillars, provides energy-efficient solutions for a variety of extreme climates and can be shaped into various designs.

As a matter of fact, the aluminium roof at Ferrari World was chosen so that architects could mimic the lines of the classic Ferrari GT. The rolled edge joints allow the roof to breathe, deflects the sun to assist the buildings cooling system and remains watertight on the rare occasions Abu Dhabi experiences a downpour.

The Wave, Almere, Holland

Aluminium’s flexibility and formability provide architects with unlimited design potential. The extrusion process guarantees highly-versatile designs and its lightweight qualities makes it easier for construction workers to shape, weld and screw the panels together.

An eye-catching example of aluminium versatility and flexibility can be found in the Netherlands. The aluminium cladding of The Wave’s residential building in Almere has pronounced curves lines, like a wave, but also fulfils other conditions that satisfied the owners’ specifications.

The objective for architect, René van Zuuk was to combine an interesting design which offers value for money. Located on the fringe of the sea, the building also needed to weather-proof and water-resistant.

Aluminium rainscreen cladding was the rational choice. The metal is light, strong and anti-corrosive thus able to withstand salty and humid coastal conditions without damaging the aesthetic appearance over time.

One Angel Square, Manchester, UK

The Co-Operative Groups sparkling new headquarters in Manchester, UK is a statement building that has won awards for design and sustainability. Designed by 3D Reid, the gargantuan office building forms part of NOMA’s £800m development project to transform the northern part of the city.

Built with a double-skinned facade combining bronze and white aluminium frames, the architects were able to create a curved three-sided building and a full-height atrium which allows light to flood into the building.

Thanks to its strength and lightweight qualities, the aluminium frames support the weight of the glass facade whilst removing some of the weight from the building support.

Energy-Efficiency was also a principle consideration for the design. The goal was to be awarded the BREEAM for sustainability. The use of aluminium cladding plays a central role in helping the building to reduce heating during the summer and insulate the building throughout the winter. Watertight and anti-corrosive, glass and aluminium are a perfect combination for Manchester’s notoriously wet climate.




Scottish Architecture

New Edinburgh Buildings

Charlotte Square Edinburgh New Town Square

Edinburgh New Town




Caledonian Hotel Building

Jenners Store

Scottish Parliament Building

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Website: Architecture