12 September 2019
Copper is a wonderful material for cladding roofs and walls, offering creative solutions for architects and designers in which the material is almost alive as it evolves over time, aging as the building itself ages.
KME has an extensive product range for surfaces, but its TECU® line has a diversity that can become a defining feature for projects, while maintaining the common thread of being resistant to the elements, mechanically and physically sound, and easy to mold and install. The essence of this line is copper, alloyed with specific metals to produce multiple different cladding options. For example, TECU® Brass is a copper (70%) and zinc alloy, while TECU® Gold is the same special copper, zinc and aluminum alloy used for the 10-, 20- and 50-Euro cent coins.
The bright TECU® Brass line produces a surface in which the depth of color is evident, developing a natural patina over time that turns the initial shimmering yellowy hue of the metal into a matt brown with iridescent hints from green to grey. This variety of color has caught the eye of many architecture practices, including GEC Architecture, which used it to clad the Shane Homes YMCA in Rocky Ridge, Calgary. The building is a regional hub for physical activity and multipurpose gathering space for the community with a low, undulating form that nestles into the surrounding landscape.
The adoption of TECU® Brass deliberately exalts this effect, as the width and thickness of the tiles make them ideal for special finishings, with holes, streaks, intertwined meshes and embossed geometries. KME’s TECU® solutions can be used to clad flat and curved surfaces. For example, the City Plaza Wuppertal flagship store, built in Düsseldorf by Chapman Taylor, has TECU® Brass panels on the curved main façade of the complex. Additionally, KME’s TECU® solutions work easily with modern or traditional installation options, bringing much needed versatility to a building site.
The color of TECU® Brass evolves over time, but TECU® Gold is largely stable, with the elements causing only a slightly opaquer finish as the brass yellow slowly takes on warmer golden hues. This cladding was chosen by archi5 and Tecnova Architecture for the La Fontaine gym in Antony, France, using the color to stitch the building perfectly into the surrounds. TECU® Gold is remarkably durable over time, ageing nobly without losing its key characteristics.