The new façade adds a sparkle to the school. Photo Cabinet Toa architectes © F. Delangle

Innovative stainless steel architecture

Stainless steel is renowned for its ability to elevate architecture, building and construction projects to a higher level. This article looks at two very different examples.
^ The new façade adds a sparkle to the school. Photo Cabinet Toa architectes © F. Delangle

Text by Aperam Stainless France

Sustainable school design

Inaugurated in 2019, the new MiriamMakeba primary school has added a touch of modernity to a traditionally immigrant neighbourhood in Nanterre, France. Named after the legendary South African jazz singer and anti-apartheid advocate, the 4,050 square metre building blends in perfectly with its surrounding neighbourhood, including the adjacent 113 m high Hauts-de-Seine tower. Capable of accommodating nearly 400 students and 50 staff, the building also satisfies the city’s commitment to sustainable building.

Wanting to use only recyclable materials in the school’s design, the architects naturally choose stainless steel – which is 100% recyclable.

With a façade clad in Aperam’s Uginox 304 grade of stainless steel, the building has a uniquely bright finish that brings a touch of sparkle to the neighbourhood.

Historic Fouquet’s Barrière hotel

The building that is now the Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris has a long, eventful history. Located on the world-renowned Champs-Elysées, the Haussmann-style building dates to 1863 and, at one point or another, has served as a popular bar, meeting place for World War I aviators, luxury brasserie, and cinema. Named a historic monument in 1990, it has been the home of the Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière Paris since 2006.

A recent renovation has restored the building to its original state. In addition to refurbishing the guest rooms and amenity areas, the project also reworked the interior courtyard.

To hide the ventilation ducts that run through the space, architects added an 18 m high, 10 m wide stainless steel wall that essentially serves as a screen. Adding a contemporary aesthetic to the landscape, the material’s mirror finish (Aperam/ Uginox MECA 8 ND®) increases natural light and reflects the opposite façade, giving the impression that the courtyard is more spacious than it really is.

Resistant to the corrosive effect of city pollution and easy to maintain, the stainless steel wall is the latest chapter in this building’s fascinating story.


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