Award-winning use of perforated metal
A unique auditorium for the Faculty of Humanities at the Uppsala University campus stands out like a precious jewel among the surrounding traditional buildings. The architects chose RMIG ImagePerf to reproduce the work of artist Ann Lislegaard, resulting in a unique and breathtaking facade for the auditorium.
The auditorium for the Humanities – Humanistiska Teatern – is now being used for various events at Uppsala University in Sweden. It is situated in the part of campus called The English Park and consists of two separate building blocks, one for administrative offices and one for the auditorium itself. The Swedish architect firm, White Arkitekter, designed both the office building and the auditorium.
Whereas the office building merges with existing buildings on campus, the horseshoe-shaped auditorium stands out as a powerful symbol of humanistic activities and events at the university. It is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-video technology that allows everyone to express their opinions and be heard both inside the auditorium and around the world. This unique arena encourages participation and exchange, thereby achieving its goal of creating social connection.
For the architects, it was important that the uniqueness of the building was reflected through both its interior and exterior design. Therefore, they chose an untraditional approach to the construction of the facade and joined forces with an accomplished artist as well as world specialists in perforated metal at RMIG.
Artwork reproduced with precision
Danish-Norwegian artist Ann Lislegaard was commissioned with the task of designing the artwork for the facade of the oval-shaped building. She developed an intricate, abstract pattern of circular shapes that was – in part – inspired by the natural images drawn by internationally acclaimed Swedish botanist Carl von Linné. Ann Lislegaard’s vision was converted into digital format and the image was then reproduced by means of picture perforation.
The use of perforated metal and the technology behind picture perforation were of great interest to the architects. RMIG ImagePerf is part of the RMIG City Emotion concept and presents elegant and innovative solutions to the challenges of architectural design by converting perforated metal into a ‘projection screen’ for art, photographs, illustrations and graphic designs.
Aluminium with hexagonal holes
The artwork of Ann Lislegaard was to cover a total of 800 m2 enclosing the whole building and to accomplish this, the intricate pattern she created was transferred to 308 aluminium EN AW-5754 sheets, with a thickness of 3 mm. The artwork was reproduced with hexagonal holes in the aluminium sheets and the sheets were subsequently powder coated in a bronze colour to give the facade a warm hue when displayed in daylight.
In addition to the picture perforation and powder coating, RMIG was also responsible for bending and numbering the perforated metal cassettes to make them ready for delivery and to ensure a time-saving process once the installation had begun.
Multi-purpose facade cladding
Once installed, the aluminium cassettes serve several different purposes. Firstly, they are a large-sized canvas for the unique artwork of Ann Lislegaard. The successful transition of her vision to the large-scale facade provides guests and passers-by with a vibrant blend of graphic poetry and inspiration from one of Sweden’s great scientists.
The cassettes also serve as an elegant and discreet solution to the challenge of mounting sun screens on a building without making the solution visible and ‘technical’. The cassettes are mounted 500 mm from the outer wall of the building and provide shade without consuming extra energy or requiring supplementary installations.
Finally, the picture perforation technology forms the perfect platform for a creative LED-lighting solution that accentuates the building further and helps create a unique ambience when darkness falls. Perforated metal is ideal in connection with tailor-made lighting when the goal is inspiring, creative and varied facades and other urban installations. In Uppsala, the LED-lighting behind the perforated facade varies in colour to change the ‘mood’ in a refined way that compliments the aesthetics.
The first award is already a reality
The bronze-colour coated cladding with the integrated LED-lighting solution is made of robust materials that can withstand the Nordic climate and the shifting weather conditions. It is also a creative statement at the campus in Uppsala and as such it has already won its first award. PLÅT18 (SHEET18) is a Swedish architectural prize with the purpose of promoting the use of metal sheets in the architecture of the future. The judges awarded White Arkitekter this prestigious prize for the innovative use of perforated metal and for the building’s unique connection between academic traditions and a digital future.
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