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Case Study


Choosing the name “L’Orangerie” for the building in conjunction with CMI’s corporate values, the company required an innovative look to reflect the name. The architects chose Novelis J57S® batch anodized aluminum in a golden champagne color to make the statement CMI desired.

A mechanical engineering group, CMI built its new headquarters to house more than 600 employees. The name L’Orangerie was chosen for the place based on some 18th century Belgian history.

Cockerill Castle was known for its unique garden with exotic greenhouses and the orangery, supplying the court with fruit and vegetables. It is said that the existence of the garden was threatened by war in 1784, so the gardener, Englebert, had to defend it with his heart and soul. CMI intended to convey that emotion with the new building, strengthening its values and conveying a capacity for innovations – an homage to the Belgian Orangery.

City: Seraing
Country: Belgium
Products: Batch anodized aluminum J57S
Application: Facade cladding
Color: Champagne gold

Thickness: 2 mm and 3 mm
Quantity: 6,500 m2
Architect: Reichen et Robert Associate (Paris)
Installation: Metal Yapi (Istanbul)

Metallic Brilliance and Color Consistency

Architect Nina Ghorbal of Reichen et Robert Associate, chose Novelis J57S for the 6,500 m2 of anodized aluminum facade. Its anodized quality produces an aluminum surface with metallic brilliance, as well as color and gloss consistency.

The three-dimensional aluminum facade cladding heightens the visual interest. The combination of glass elements and batch-anodized aluminum with 2 mm and 3 mm thicknesses in the golden champagne color provides a lively play of natural light and shadow. A second layer of suspended, perforated aluminum in the same color provides a visual highlight of L’Orangerie due to the reflection from the exterior facade.

Novelis J57S is specially designed for the demanding requirements of modern architectural applications. The chemical composition of the alloy is formulated to achieve a distinctive metallic appearance after anodizing. The aluminum can also be colored using either the immersion process or the electrolytic process with metal salt. Novelis applies very narrow tolerances to the J57S microstructure to ensure the best possible consistence for color and gloss after anodizing.

The weather-resistant properties of anodized aluminum have been proven globally for both interior and exterior architectural projects. Durable and easy to maintain, the material is also non-flammable according to 96/603/EG and non-combustible according to DIN 4102.

Creativity Extends to Construction

Additionally, the team of architects had creative ideas for the construction of L’Orangerie. The combination of unalloyed and thermodynamic steel for the basic structure allowed for a highly durable construction of lattice girders with a high load capacity. With a large span width of some 35 meters, the construction was prepared for installation in a nearby production hall, which meant the steel girders had to be transported by crossing the Meuse River to the site where they were installed in the building complex.

An exposed atrium in the outdoor area, as well as an overhanging building edge, underline the modern architectural style, and this is demonstrated with the large structural dimensions and intelligent use of space. Meeting rooms, an auditorium and a company restaurant are contained within this inspiring facade, emphasizing and promoting the character of CMI.

L’Orangerie received the European Aluminium Award in 2016.