In last month’s blog we discussed how the many unique traits of aluminum give the metal a special place in architecture. From high corrosion resistance, to high-strength and lightweight properties, this economical, eco-friendly metal can be rolled or molded into nearly any shape. Surface properties give aluminum a leg up on the competition by allowing it to be painted and dyed.
This month, we’re closing out our two-part series by showcasing some of the famous and unique structures made possible by aluminum extrusions and building materials.
- Empire State Building – New York, New York
One of the most recognizable and iconic buildings ever created, this 85-year-old skyscraper has been an eye-catching piece of the New York skyline with the help of aluminum. Although some of the building is concrete and steel, 730 tons of aluminum were used on the exterior of the building. Aluminum is also found throughout the Empire State Building’s interior:
- A two-story welcome mural, featuring a dedication plaque, clock and a scaled artistic representation of the building are all made of aluminum.
- Metallic accents on floors and building fixtures.
- A 204-foot TV broadcasting tower added after initial construction finished.
- Farnborough Airport – United Kingdom
The Farnborough Airport needed to be built quickly and with cost in mind. With the help of aluminum, the project resulted in:
- A sleek, modern and appealing main terminal and aircraft hangar. The flat-rolled sheets of aluminum allowed for faster setup of stronger structures than traditional brick or concrete.
- As populations rise or fall, the adaptable materials make for easy changes to the size of the building.
- Commerzbank Tower – Frankfurt, Germany
Elevated over the skyline of downtown Frankfurt is the Commerzbank Tower, home to Germany’s second largest bank. With a focus on modern design and architecture, aluminum aided in creating experimental features such as:
- Sky gardens located throughout the building that allow employees to step outside. The small gardens on outdoor decks improve the beauty of the building, health of workers and reduce the building’s ecological impact.
- Heating and cooling systems assisted by aluminum ducts designed to draw from outside air, improving energy efficiency.
With all the features listed above, the Commerzbank Tower was recognized as the first ecological skyscraper.
- Tête Carrée – Nice, France
Literally meaning “thinking inside the box,” Tête Carrée is the world’s first inhabited sculpture. Built by Sacha Sosno, a world-renowned French sculptor, the structure features:
- A framework made entirely of aluminum. The lower three floors, forming the neck, act as supports for the library offices in the upper four floors.
- An exterior aluminum mesh covering to protect the building. The covering gives the appearance of a smooth, flat surface while visitors inside of the building can see through.
Now that we’ve highlighted the creative ways in which aluminum can be used and shown examples of aluminum structures from around the world, if you’re feeling inspired to start your own project, click here to see how we can help.