Situated in the low-lying coastal municipality of Almere, near Amsterdam, this striking apartment block is intentionally disturbed - even slightly disturbing - in appearance. Its reflective façade elements appear as if hovering precariously above the ground, like a teetering, about-to-topple pile of books.


Yet this undeniably attractive edifice, which houses 49 apartments, sits comfortably and appropriately in its commanding lakeside setting, reflecting the changing light and weather conditions as if it were covered in giant fish scales.


According to the architect, this autonomous expressive block reacts to the urban conditions. On the harbour side, the billowing end responds to the neighbouring Silverline building, with both buildings acting as gatekeepers of the harbour entrance. At the other end, the building fits in with the right-angled grid of the adjacent glass high-rise housing blocks.


Given its low-lying topography and proximity to the North Sea, the Netherlands has unusually strict corrosion-resistance requirements for construction materials. And the tough Novelis FF2® sheeting used on this building, with its ALMg3 alloy and standard grey aluminium (titanium-look) paint, and four-layer polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coating, more than complies with these stringent requirements.


The sheeting is described by supplier Novelis Deutschland as the best possible technical response to situations where filiform (thread-like) corrosion is likely: The four-layer paint structure, created by stove-coating the aluminium four times at 240 degrees celsius, ensures optimum resistance to corrosion.


The mounting of the 2mm-thick aluminium sheeting, via stainless steel bolts and PVDF washers is described by Novelis Deutschland as unusual, as well as being only visible when the façades are viewed up close. We deliberately selected PVDF as the aluminium panels have PVDF paintwork, there would be scarcely any friction at the joint,explains Andreas Schmelzer, Technical Service Manager of Novelis Deutschland. This allows the panels to take up considerable thermal expansion without cracking or creaking noises.


Assembly was easy, quick and extremely inexpensive, he adds, particularly as the sub-structure comprises nothing more than 20mm x 60mm wooden slats. The sheeting was simply overlapped horizontally with 0.7mm-thick Novelis Falzonal material (in the same colour) applied along longitudinal seams.

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