A facade, inspired by the crystalline structure of copper molecules, this is the symbol of the Russian Copper Company RMK. The facade consists of a latticework of pyramids, the sides of which serve as protection from the sun, so that the high summer sun is shielded and the low winter sun can provide additional heat for the building.
The facade reflects the office units, which are organized over 2 floors each. This creates elements of up to 6 × 12 meters with a weight of up to 12 tons. Sounds like a highly complex task – sounds like a classic case for Priedemann.
We came on board with the contract for the implementation planning, tendering and the cleaning plan. Later on there was a requirement for Russian materials and products and local production.
This raised concerns as to whether the proposed design could even be implemented. We met these doubts head on and suggested changing from planning to implementation in order to transfer our planning know-how into the engineering phase.
Our change from Foster + Partners to the Russian client side and the continuous project support ensured that the proposed design could be delivered. From then on we were responsible for all of the engineering with system designs, glass and facade structural analysis, thermal building physics, construction planning and manufacturing documentation.. And also for the test and visual mock-ups.
And how do the trims and sealing levels run in a junction node with 12 different profiles?
Virtual 3D models were pushed to the limit. We ran tests with 3D-printed profiles – then we were sure that everything would fit.
Until then, everything had been well thought-out, thousands of data records had been generated right up to machine control, but how could we guarantee the agreed qualities and deadlines in such a complex production process?
IKEA inspired us – we wrote a manual for the assembly of the elements in the factory and on the construction site and we also supervised the work on site.
With ideas, commitment, the application of digital technology and our responsibility for the facade from start to finish, we succeeded in bringing a unique facade to life.
From the Architects: Foster + Partners
The new headquarters of RMK, one of the world’s leading producers of copper reimagines the conventional cellular office to set new standards in quality, comfort and flexibility. The 15-storey building’s innovative modular office units are enveloped in an energy efficient enclosure, which provides a distinctive symbol for the organisation in Yekaterinburg. The triangulated form draws inspiration from the chemical structure of copper, and the crown of the building integrates RMK’s new logo – a rebranding which has, in turn, been inspired by the architecture.
The starting point for the office floors was to reinvent the headquarters as a ‘house for staff’ – instead of the conventional large, communal workspaces, the rooms are of a more intimate, domestic scale. The practice’s workplace consultancy group analysed the client’s operations, and helped to devise the innovative modular system for these rooms. This was then developed with the in-house engineering teams to enable rapid construction and ensure ideal levels of natural daylight for concentrated work. Each two-storey module comprises a pair of offices, stacked one on top of the other – this is expressed externally through the double-storey cladding module. The modules are arranged in rows on either side of a central hallway, which functions as a break out space, with lounge seating and views of the city through the glazed lift shaft. At level fifteen, the space is top-lit to create a flexible space for company-wide gatherings and events.
Responding to Yekaterinburg’s wide temperature range between seasons, the balance between solid and glazed areas is designed as a reaction to low level winter sun, while mitigating the heat of direct sunlight during the summer. The site is next to a public park and overlooks the city and river – the design enhances the connection with this setting. Extending this greenery to the base of the building, the footprint is shifted to create a private garden for staff. The landscaping echoes the cellular internal arrangement, with a sequence of ‘external rooms’ that provide peaceful spaces for staff to relax and eat lunch. Further facilities within the building include a gym, sauna, meeting spaces and an executive dining area.
Article courtesy of priedeman facades