The Copper Triangle

Three buildings of typology and different applications share a material: the copper.

percebe de cobre 001

Hi, to think that the experiences do not change our way of life is something that, pardon me, doesn’t make much sense, my cousin Frenchwoman would say “au contraire”, the experiences always lead us to a different world. The dimension of the change that we experience is a refreshing and dialectical discussion, it is also the preferred theme when we are faced (my cousin and me), she is the main protagonist in this article, she and the copper, clear.

I don’t know as Sigmund Freud think, one of those doctors who has played a crucial role in the current methods of the Psychiatry (there are who calls him the father of the psychoanalysis), but I do not think that knowing it could change my point of view. With the permission of my cousin, you know, French and model of success (almost a cliché), I transcribe here an e-mail that he sent me recently, also she love my articles and she could not help looking with new eyes the constructions that she visited in her professional career. But I leave, that she described how he came to appreciate a very particular metal: the copper.

 

Dear Rodolfo: I discovered the triangle of the copper

As you read it, Rodolfo, I discovered the copper triangle and yes, I know that you say that it is impossible to find such triangle unless, of course, that we forge the metal, but let me explain. I followed the advice that you gave me the last time we saw us, do you remember? The of “when you have a break between sessions of photos, enjoy of the architecture of the place”. As well, ending January I was in Tokyo (capital of Japan) and I went to Fujitsubo a beauty salon.

 

It’s a rectangular building that occupies only 108,31 square meters and has two main features: three large skylights in the roof, right at the top of the three pyramids with offset axis and an envelope (you the flames so) of concrete covered with a layer of copper. The copper, according to users of the salon, I was told that it change over time, because the rust of the outer layer will change its colour. The architects are the team formed by Yoshihiro Hirotani and Yusaku Archivision Ishida and believe me when I tell you that they are quite proud of his work, whose impact is very strong if we compare it with the small area in which acted.

Centro minero 003

Later, in February, we were in Chile (also for work) and I accompanied my friend to visit her father in the complex Andrónico Luksic Abaroa. This complex was inaugurated the last year and houses the Department of engineering of the mining of the Pontifical University Catholic of Chile. It occupies an area of 3,500 square meters with underground facilities and also has 1,200 square metres of green areas (or gardens). The architect responsible for (Enrique Browne) was based in the form of a mining crack for the design of the complex.

 Centro minero 002

As you like the numbers, I will tell you that the building cost 4.6 billion pesos (about seven million euros), has an auditorium, offices, a Faculty Club with casino rooms (funny isn’t it?), gym and living rooms. A museum protrudes towards the surface where it is exposed the history of the school of engineering, a space dedicated to the founder (Andronico Luksic) and a large rock in the Centre (10 tons), which was the first stone that came out of the mine, chosen by the Lord Andronikos personally. The Museum impressed me much with its cylindrical shape lined of copper foils.

museo del fuego 001

But my trip did not end in Chile, ended in the city of Zory where the team of architects OVO Grabczewscy Architekci have designed (and built) another building whose base is the copper. In this occasion I discovered the construction when I went to do a story on the outside (you’ll see it, soon, not you impatient) in the month of March. Called the building the “Museum of the fire” because the place, Zory, means fire since it was built where a forest that had burned down.

The construction have an area of 642 square meters and consists of three walls coated with copper panels. The irregular arrangement of these panels and the asymmetrical outline of them makes that the light reflected in them dance in a very unique way, almost as if you look flames, obviously, this is the main idea of the designers. It should be noted that, for than copper not be oxidized with the passage of the time, using a very special varnish, so that the ‘fire’ effect is always present in the building.

 museo del fuego 002

It was there, in Poland, where I discovered the copper triangle that form the three buildings with their three studies in architecture, in three places in the world, with three distinct geometric shapes, three different functional uses and whose common denominator is the fantastic copper, we must not disregard the use of three different languages and that I discovered in three consecutive months… kisses!

What my cousin obvious in his story are the fantastic qualities of copper as a building material. The copper is a metal that can be found in nature, this and the high ductility and malleability (property of the material that makes it can be cutting in thin layers and unless it breaks) is used by the humanity since (at least) the year 7000 b.c., in addition, is recycled in its entirety. It has many possible uses as you can imagine: ornaments in the form of figures, kitchen utensils, work tools, conducting electrical, mechanical elements (thanks to its thermal conductivity), water pipes, etc.

If you look to you around, it will be likely that you see some element of this material, and if you don’t see it, is that you’re not in the right place. Bye bye.

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