The Stadthaus Kriens was ready for occupancy at the start of the year. BWB manager René Ooms looks back on the planning and implementation phase.
The 6-storey building looks neat and tidy all round, though still vibrant thanks to the warm bronze façade. Half the building is used as an office wing for over one hundred workers, while the other section is residential, with 30 apartments. An elegant and effective way to separate the concepts of living and working.
The Burkard Meyer architects describe the Stadthaus as a 'simple, striking structure' and an 'element of order in a heterogeneous environment'.
Property: Stadthaus Kriens Mitte, Stadtplatz 1-3, Kriens
Architect: Burkard Meyer Architekten BSA, Baden
Façade construction: Ernst Schweizer AG, Hedingen
Surface finishes: BWB-Altenrhein AG, Oberflächentechnik, Altenrhein
Images: Ernst Schweizer AG, Hedingen
Insights into how it all began – An interview with René Ooms
René Ooms, manager and contract co-ordinator at BWB-Altenrhein AG.
René Ooms has worked at BWB for over 10 years, and has been involved in the construction of hundreds of properties across Switzerland and abroad. His job is to act as co-ordinator between architects, building owners and project managers. He is responsible for ensuring the façade makes the building gleam at the right time and in the right colour. In this role, René Ooms is a sought-after contact, with many people seeking out his advice, his well considered solutions, and his decisiveness
If you were to move into the Stadthaus Kriens, which level would you live on?
The corner apartment on the top floor – then I'd have the best view of Kriens and the surrounding mountains. And after a tiring day of work, I could relax on the balcony and enjoy the vista.
You've been the one attending to this project on BWB's behalf. Are you happy with the end result?
It's great – a real flagship property all involved can be proud of. I'll stop by next time and have a leisurely look at the Stadthaus Kriens. For me, it's not just the finished building that's impressive; it's the whole project. We had a finely tuned plan, easy communication, and fantastic co-operation between the project managers.
As contract co-ordinator at BWB-Altenrhein AG, do you get to see each planned building? Do you know what it's going to look like beforehand?
Often, yes. In this case, we were in contact with the architects from Burkard Meyer from the start. We were able to see initial impressions and sketches of the building very early on.
What colour finish was chosen for the Stadthaus Kriens?
BWB Bronze 4 with E4 finish. We buffed the project's profiles and then colour-anodised them. The façade's aluminium sheets were delivered already buffed; we then dyed them through electrolyte adsorption.
How does the pre-treatment influence the finish?
The E4 finish is not just decorative. The buffing process, for example, gets rid of small scratches – or other marks caused during manufacturing – before the anodisation process. I recommend this mechanical pre-treatment, depending on the quality of the components. The finish on the end result is even with a subtle texture. The natural character of the aluminium has been preserved.
How crucial are samples when it comes to refining the surface of aluminium?
Building contracts are always sampled in the original alloy beforehand. Once the colour has been chosen, the spectrum is calculated using the limit-value samples (target-minus-plus), and serves as the reference for production.
How long did BWB-Altenrhein AG need to anodise the profiles and metal sheets for the Stadthaus?
The profile buffing and anodising began in October 2017, and was completed 4 months later, following various stages and consultations. The metal sheets were refined a bit later; the last delivery left the factory in Altenrhein at the end of 2018.
What are contact points? And why are they so important if they're ideally not even visible?
The contact points are where the workpiece is left untreated. During the anodisation process, the profiles and metal sheets are mounted onto a support frame. The points where the frame and sheets touch are known as contact points. These enable unimpeded current flow – a pre-requisite for successful anodisation. Accurate data and technical drawings relating to visible surfaces, buffed surfaces and contact points are very important for ensuring project success. The contact points for all of the Stadthaus' profiles and metal sheets were planned and established together, so there were no nasty surprises.
It's an exquisite façade all round. What does the city of Kriens now have to do to ensure it stays that way?
Basically nothing! Anodising aluminium creates a resistant, non-corroding protective layer. With regular care, the façade of the Stadthaus Kriens will be gleaming in BWB bronze for decades to come. Surfaces anodised by BWB are light-fast and non-fading. Our cleaning recommendations will help ensure correct maintenance for a long-lasting product.