Nordic Brass copper alloy cladding, sunscreens and ceilings help to define a new museum designed by architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in the Swiss Jura mountain region.
The Musée Atelier for Audemars Piguet houses the watchmaker’s collection of timepieces. Located in the Vallée de Joux, home to the company since 1875, the new building is linked to the original workshop and slotted discretely into the hillside landscape with a grass roof.
The plan form is conceived as a pair of parallel spirals, referencing mainsprings – the beating heart of the complicated mechanical watches that the company is famed for. The spirals are formed of structural glazing, highly-insulated from the outside and creating column-free space to allow visitors extensive views of the landscape and interior. The watch reference also extends to the restrained materiality of the building, as many watch parts are made from brass.
Nordic Brass crown
Externally, a band of Nordic Brass cladding crowns the curved glass facades. Then, a transparent brise-soleil screen extends down over the tops of glazing and clerestory windows, protecting them from the sun. The sunscreen comprises interlaced Nordic Brass ribbons, adding depth and varying transparency from different viewing angles. It was carefully adapted to the changing curvature of the plan, as well as differing height requirements for solar protection around the building.
Internally, perforated panels of Nordic Brass clad ceilings track the gently sloping terrazzo flooring with brass joints. The ceiling also acts as a cooling medium with the Nordic Brass providing efficient thermal conductivity.
Copper and its alloys enjoy unique characteristics particularly in terms of safety, sustainability and long-term performance. With an ‘A1 (non-combustible material)’ fire classification to EN 13501-1, copper is inherently fire-safe and suitable for cladding tall buildings, using appropriate constructions. It is also, therefore, rated ‘Class 0’ surface spread of flame, making it suitable for wall and ceiling surfaces. Particularly important today, copper is non-toxic and its inherent antimicrobial qualities make it ideal for touch surfaces.
The extensive Nordic Copper range of architectural copper products is available from Aurubis, part of the world’s leading integrated copper group and largest copper recycler. It includes Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper offering lighter (Nordic Brown Light) or darker shades of brown determined by the thickness of the oxide layer.
The extensive Nordic Blue, Nordic Green and Nordic Turquoise ranges have been developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. As well as the solid patina colours, ‘Living’ surfaces are available for each with other intensities of patina flecks revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.
Copper alloys include Nordic Bronze and Nordic Brass, which can also be supplied pre-weathered. The innovative Nordic Royal is an alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc, retaining its golden colour. A wide choice of Nordic Decor mechanically applied surface treatments is also available.