Bringing International Quality to Façades
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Bringing International Quality to Façades

Edited By Redazione The Plan - 1 September 2020

In the global world, businesses have to reach beyond domestic borders to weave relations with firms in other nations, pooling know-how and skills to create synergies that produce ever better products. The Simeon group began as a local Italian company specializing in designing and creating building envelopes, façades and structures, but over the past 50 years, it has spread its wings as it gained knowledge and expertise, initially moving into Europe before, recently, entering the US market.

In recent times, despite the added complications brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the company was part of two projects, one in France and one in the United States, that were successfully concluded precisely because every player in each team worked towards the goal.

In Paris, the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 university campus was designed by 2Portzamparc to forge links between the university buildings and the surrounding city by offering facilities that would also be open to the public, including a library and spaces to put on shows and theater productions. Simeon’s role here was to install 15 different types of façades and cladding totaling 17,000 sq. m. The main type of façade used was cellular, with a single or double skin depending on how exposed the side was. On the northern elevation, a single skin façade was installed, but on the southern, eastern and western sides breathable double skin façades with integrated Venetian blinds in the naturally ventilated air gap were chosen. The double skin was tested to see if condensation formed or the air gap overheated, as these aspects could have prevented the blinds from working properly. One of the pearls of Simeon’s design was that it brings a sense of visual uniformity to the project, while providing solutions for different functional and performance requirements. The addition of yellow, green and light blue infills adds character to the façade and gives the complex far greater visual impact.

Palo Alto in California was Simeon’s first foray into the United States, where it was involved in a project for offices designed by Form4 Architecture on Page Mille Road called Innovation Curve. The traditional mullion-transom façade is given a dynamic touch through the addition of a wave shape created with prefabricated blocks made of composite sheet metal, and architectural fins in laminated glass with a colored interlayer. This project pushed Simeon to explore new ground for project management, especially logistics, as the shipping had to fit precisely with the construction schedule and progress. The company was also responsible for on-site quality control and supervision during assembly and installation.

In both the projects above, full scale visual mock ups were used to thoroughly assess all of the technical and architectural choices, making sure the final product was truly in line with the standards demanded by the architects.

Simeon also recently launched its new testing laboratory, named SIMLAB. Operational since June 2020, it can perform air, water and wind testing on prototypes up to 6x8 m, and a range of other engineering tests, including earthquake and impact testing.

The laboratory has the facilities and characteristics necessary for European
(EN 13830) and American (ASTM E283, E330, E331, AAMA 501.1-17) standard testing, and it offers the benefit of testing façades near the company’s workshop, a factor that can greatly speed up the process of making changes and/or adaptations, which are such an essential part of finalizing a façade.



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