It’s once again time for our regular Innovative Applications feature, and this year we have dug up some really astounding things to share. In this seventh installment we bring you some things that are sure to amaze any fabricator! We hope you like what you find here and that these unique exploits will give you something to think about in your own operations.
Hotel Of Dreams
“Hotel of dreams” is what the Silken-Group calls its new hotel Puerta America in Madrid, which was opened in July, 2005. The list of 17 architects involved in the project reads like the “who’s who” of the current international designer scene. Every architect involved was given absolute creative freedom. John Pawson, for instance, could realize his idea of an atmospheric lounge in the foyer he designed, and Zaha Hadid tried out all potentials of CAD-supported 3-D design on her floor. The project had a budget of approximately 75 million Euros (just under 90 million U.S. dollars).
In 2003 LG Chem Europe heard of the Silken-Group’s hotel project and that different designers planned to use both 2-D and 3-D formed solid surface materials. LG quickly recognized the complexity of such a project and, having approved it, the company’s head office in Geneva looked for a fabricator able to deal with an assignment of that size and complexity. Because of the experience in forming and its highly qualified engineering team, Rosskopf & Partner was selected as the fabricator for the project and were presented with data and drawings by the architects. Rosskopf & Partner began work on the project in March of 2004 and finished in May 2005.
The task of using LG HI-MACS solid surface on four complete floors of the hotel marked a completely new dimension in processing solid surface for Rosskopf & Partner. All three of the company’s production locations had to be restructured, production and logistics had to be reorganized, the fabrication team had to be doubled, and additional equipment had to be brought in.
In addition, up to 60 assemblers had to work on location in Madrid. These workers were mostly subcontractors who had to be trained intensively and prepared for their work by Rosskopf & Partner for three weeks.
The 1st floor of the building, which won this magazine’s annual design contest, was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, who made a 3-D CAD model of the room modules. Rosskopf had to split 3-D surfaces in parts to make forming them possible and 1,200 molds had to be made. The segments were prefabricated and delivered to the building site to be installed. (see images 1-3)
The 8th floor, designed by Kathryn Findlay, required Rosskopf to produce a bathroom alcove consisting of tub, washing stand and alcove paneling entirely in white. The elements were manufactured by Aquaform Inc., Krakow, Poland, and assembled seamlessly in Madrid.
The rooms on the 12th floor, designed by Jean Nouvel, were to be produced in a specially mixed color. The task at hand was to completely line the room with 9mm LG HI-MACS. Additionally, basins, free-standing bath tubs and settees had to be produced for this floor. Especially difficult both technically and statically were the bath tubs as they had to bear a 300 kg glass plate (more than 660 lbs.) as a shower divider. (see image 4)
The Laptop Of Luxury?
Wood Contour Corp. offers a line of PC peripherals constructed from DuPont Corian®, which include an optical mouse (wireless or USB), keyboard and flat screen LCD monitor. The fully functional items are custom-designed and made in Europe. The manufacturer uses 1-in. solid surface and can make them in 120 different colors. According to the manufacturer, it takes nine hours to completely finish one mouse, 20 hours for a keyboard and 60 hours for a monitor. They can be made for either PC or Mac platforms and a complete set weighs between 18 and 22 lbs. These high-end computer parts are strictly for the design conscious or solid surface enthusiast, as a set comes in with a price tag just under $5,000. As of mid-2005, the company had sold more than 20 of its solid surface computer accessories. Thankfully they come with a lifetime guarantee. What’s more, the company manufactures the same items from luxurious and rare woods and is currently researching the possibility of making these same items from quartz surfacing. (see image 5)