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Copper

Floating in copper

By John Loos

August 2009- It looks a little like a deep-sea vessel from 1950s science fiction. Boldly green and suspended in the center of a 3,890-sq.-m atrium in a Dutch shopping center, the Villa ArenA restaurant seems at once out of place and seamlessly integrated into its space.

The Villa ArenA home furnishing shopping center in the Zuidoost district of Amsterdam, Netherlands, is itself a modernist architectural wonderland, but the floating restaurant is arguably its most striking centerpiece.

Villa ArenA was designed by Virgile and Stone, London, an interior design, architecture and graphics specialist, in 1996. It was constructed from 1998 to 2001 in conjunction with Benthem Crouwel Architects, Amsterdam.

Covered in copper
The oblong restaurant is set on eight slanted concrete struts and is reachable from second-floor walkways in the six-story building. Its sharp green sets it apart from the silvery coloring of the surrounding mall area, but it's not painted.

The color comes from a specialized TECU copper from KME Germany AG, Osnabruck, Germany, a subsidiary of KME Group SpA, Firenze, Italy, and an international manufacturer of copper and copper alloys.

The TECU patina copper sheets used in the Villa ArenA restaurant underwent a specialized process that prematurely oxidizes the material's surface. Normally, atmospheric conditions cause copper structures to oxidize over long periods of time.

The specialized process allows for varying shades of green, including some bluish greens, depending on the customer's or designer's needs. Ultimately, each sheet is a unique color, as noticeable in the subtlely varied panels on the Villa ArenA restaurant.

KME offers several other distinct copper surfaces, including TECU oxid, which oxidizes both sides of the material to attain a dark brown color; TECU zinn, which is tinned and surface-treated for a matte-gray finish; and TECU gold, which is a copper-aluminum alloy that begins a yellowish gold and softens over time. FFJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources

  • KME Germany AG
    Osnabruck, Germany
    phone: +49 (0) 5 41/321-43 23
    fax: +49 (0) 5 41/321-40 30
    www.tecu.com

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