The fire and rescue services building in Libourne (France) is a striking construction made up of two distinct, but complementary buildings. Designed by Atelier des Architectes Mazières and Agence Ragueneau et Roux, each building has a separate purpose. The silver-coloured technical structure houses the firefighting and rescue equipment as well as living quarters, while the red administration block contains offices and training facilities. A monolithic watch tower defines the complex as a fire station and doubles as a training facility for the firefighters.
ArcelorMittal’s Aluzinc® was chosen by architect Jean-Marie Mazières to enclose the technical building. “The choice of Aluzinc® was extremely important; this is what makes the construction,” says Mazières. “Its impact on the local region and community is undeniably positive.” The area surrounding the fire-station includes a football stadium and housing which is set for complete redevelopment. “This construction, in all its modernity, sets the scene for further ecologically responsible construction in the area,” notes Mazières.
Sustainability was an important factor in the choice of materials for Mazières: “Steel is reusable and 100% recyclable. Aluzinc® is extremely resistant to corrosion which gives it a long lifespan, saving on precious raw materials. It is also light and very manageable which, when it comes to transportation, means less CO2.”
The Aluzinc® panels were stamped with a wave pattern, symbolising the importance of water to firefighters. “We knew what we wanted but we didn’t know if it would be possible,” explains Mazières. “ArcelorMittal helped us locate a company (in Belgium) who could produce the wave effect. They normally produce car parts!”
A fire truck mounted on a stand was Mazières’ inspiration for the red administration block. The top level is clad in ArcelorMittal’s ST Lumière® which is often used as a second skin for roofing or walls. “The steel reflects the sun’s rays so much, the building is surprisingly cool in summer,” says Mazières.
Windows are also covered by sliding panels made of ST Lumière® which can be opened to allow light and fresh air to enter the office space. When sunlight hits a façade, the panels can be closed. This blocks the heat but allows air to circulate through the building. “It is so effective that there is no need for air-conditioning,” notes Mazières.
The entire fire station was constructed in just 12 months. “The fact that it is almost entirely made of steel meant that construction was quick and easy,” says Mazières. “It also means that there is no problem in adapting spaces or enlarging the building in the future.”
Completed in 2009, the fire station has gained wide acceptance from the local community. “We have only had good responses, especially from the firefighters. The office workers are also delighted with the simplicity and practicality of the construction.”
And would Mazières use Aluzinc® and ST Lumière® again? “We are quite obsessed with longevity. All our buildings are built to last. We have already used Aluzinc® again for another project which, funnily enough, was for a fire station in Pau.”
Aluzinc® consists of a steel substrate coated on both sides with an aluminium-zinc alloy. The alloying properties of the two metals provide Aluzinc® with its excellent corrosion resistance as well as an attractive glittering appearance. Thanks to a thin transparent layer of aluminium oxides on the top surface of the coating, this appearance is preserved as the Aluzinc® ages.
Aluzinc® also offers:
Aluzinc® can be supplied oiled and/or with a chemical surface conversion, or with an Easyfilm® thin organic coating.
Lumière® from ArcelorMittal’s ST range is typically used as a roof covering, sun-breaker or cladding and is highly valued by architects and designers. The perforated, 3-dimensional structure of ST Lumière® allows natural light to penetrate the structure, yet protects it from the heat of the sun’s rays.
Straight or curved, ST Lumière® ensures the flowing lines and shapes created by the designer can be implemented during construction. ST Lumière® is also suitable for use wherever the highest levels of fire-resistance (M0) are required.
ST Lumière® is available in a range of colours and finishes.
Note: ST Lumière® may not be suitable for use in locations with an aggressive atmosphere. ArcelorMittal can provide advice and recommend alternative steels that may be suitable.
ST Lumière® is a product from ArcelorMittal Construction – Arval.