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A concave and convex facade – clad in brick

by Ofentse Sefolo
A concave and convex facade – clad in brick

A unique building, De Cammeleur in Dongen, a municipality and a village in southern Netherlands were earmarked for redeveloped to create a series of new multifunctional accommodation (MFA). However, its rounded and convex facade presented a number of challenges.

Bespoke development

The original idea was to create a rounded facade of brick, which meant that the municipality set up a public contract with competition procedure (design build contract), to challenge participants to be both creative and cost conscious in finding a solution to clad the concave and convex facade, using brick.

“With precisely that in mind, following an incredibly creative and collaborative process with our team, we were able to develop a bespoke, once-off new product, but the result is nothing short of spectacular,” says Jan Reynders, E-Board® product specialist at Vandersanden Reynders.

Architectural facade

The rounded facade resulted in a number of major challenges, as the round shapes made it impossible to use traditional brickwork. Instead of cladding the facade with costly rounded woodwork, Vandersanden demonstrated how their bespoke E-Board® enabled the use of brick slips in different thicknesses to create embossed exterior walls.

The E-Board system contains the necessary corner strips to finish corners, edges and facade openings. Even creating an overhang, ceiling or sloping surface with the appearance of masonry is perfectly feasible.

They demonstrated the E-Board facade panel with brick slips affixed on top. The EPS panels are not round, but can be curved. They worked with a construction model which seemed to work, but it was too small for the enormous surfaces.

XL facade panel

The second solution came from a specialist firm that creates shapes and fantasy shapes from EPS material – for example, a decorative piece like the big hand from the TV programme The Voice or a piece of artwork to support a viaduct. With their 3D laser-cutting machine, virtually anything is possible.

The company created large E-Board panels, especially for this project, 600cm by 220cm in size. For the installation, a steel structure was used, thus creating a new prefabricated structure. One employee spent the entire summer working on a design that would fit the 34 elements together.

Workshop on affixing the brick slips

The engineers calculated everything and collected the materials needed for installation. They even developed special trestles to hold the prefabricated elements in a hall. The brick slips were carefully affixed to the elements in the hall, one by one. It sounds very straightforward, but there was a one-day workshop beforehand to show everyone how to affix the brick slips. After that, it went quickly.

Prefabricated installation

The building was adjacent to a park of beautiful, majestic trees, which made it difficult to reach the building with a crane. However, the prefabricated structure with E-Board panels needed to be suspended over the site with a crane that could span 40m.

It was an ambitious project, but with the contractor’s thorough preparation beforehand, all the support points were in the right place. A long procession of semi-trailers arrived with the facade elements, whereafter the hour of truth was approaching, and the project was now in full swing.

Satisfactory results

The facade was divided into 34 parts – some convex, some concave. Each was six metres in height and built with a steel-frame package, which is a sturdy, self-supporting and insulating steel frame. The prefabricated elements were made from acoustic interior cladding, an insulated and self-supporting steel-frame package, EPS shells, and finished with ceramic brick slips. After all, the thermal and acoustic insulation needed to satisfy strict requirements.

The facades at the rear are brickwork, while the other facades are made from E-Board facade panels with ceramic brick slips. The result is a complete brick finish, regardless of the subsurface.

Our sincere thanks to Vandersanden for the use of the information contained in this article. For more information, visit www.vandersanden.com.

Click here to watch a short video: https://youtu.be/vlliV9BWgEUJ

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