Copper in Architecture and Interior Design: Eco-sustainability, Use and History

Editors
06 maggio 2022 di Luigi Luca Borrelli
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PLANIUM is attentive to the green building discourse in which companies have been investing for some time with a view to sustainable architecture and construction, a theme that has found a strong social response in recent years. The naturalness of Copper plays a further impact to the advantage of eco-sustainability. This discourse also includes its nature as pure metal, whereas in common language we are used to defining metals as elements that are not metals, and which are instead alloys, because they are formed by the union of several metals. It is therefore a natural element, which does not require further processing to be obtained, it does not require an energy expenditure. Furthermore, only gold and silver are more heat conductors than this metal, and from this derives its usefulness and immediacy: no further steps are required to obtain the desired yield. Only Copper, on the other hand, is 100% recyclable, and does not emit substances that damage the environment: in Europe, in fact, almost half of that used comes from recycling.

Use and Historical Examples

The relationship between Copper and Architecture is particular because, as we know, although this metal is initially resistant to oxidation, its chromatic stages change over time. Which, from an environmental and aesthetic point of view, can even be an advantage, because the Green color it takes on over time is special and has its own personality. It is also the ability of Copper to combine with other metals that generates its use in Architecture and Interior Design as a coating or detail: just think of its ability to bond with other metals to form many alloys, the most famous of which are brass and bronze, but it is believed that more than 400 are used! What is used for the facades, moreover, has a degree of purity that even exceeds 99%.

Examples of the use of Copper in Architecture bring great names with them: Frank Lloyd Wrights, Michael Graves, even our Renzo Piano (think of the NEMO-Metropolis Science Museum in Amsterdam), the Swedes Marianne Dahlbäck and Goran Mannson, who designed the Vasa Museum, a building of a certain size that also imposes itself on the skyline of the city. The historical use of this metal in architecture also has its own considerable importance (often Copper was also used with its alloys, including Bronze); in Copper we can still see some external details of Kronborg Castle in Denmark, immortalized by Shakespeare's Hamlet; or roofing in Germany of the roof of Hildesheim Cathedral, one of the oldest Episcopal Churches in Germany.

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