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Arts Maebashi

Curving facade of Arts Maebashi

Gently curving aluminium perforated facade

Dual curved thick aluminium perforated sheets

Perforations emphasized by the lighting at night

■Gently Curved Perforated Aluminium Façade

Kikukawa contributed to the metal façade conversion project of Arts Maebashi, which received the 2013 ZENKEN Award organized by the Japan Construction Engineers’ Award for its contribution to architecture and related technology.
Arts Maebashi was converted from a large-scale shopping mall into an art museum to revitalize the downtown area and serve as an active public place that connects art and citizens.
To honour the memories of the building and the place, the renovation project was designed to fully utilize the gentle curvatures of the original building. Bespoke perforated aluminium panels enfold the original building as if to dress the building in new clothing, to serve as the new symbolic face for the city.

Click here to learn more about projects that received the 2013 ZENKEN Award (Japanese Link)


■Gradient Perforation and Dual Curving

Kikukawa participated from the early stages of the project; from the basic design stage and the design study, the feasibility and optimal solutions were reviewed and considered.
To finalize the design of the perforation, multiple mock-ups and samples were fabricated. The selected pattern is a gradient circular perforation; the higher the placement of the perforation, the smaller its diameter.
The finalized design emphasizes the curvature of the building with a new facade. All the borders of the upper, lower and concave areas are curved, thus the outside and inside corners are dual-curved.


■Perforating Thick Aluminium

To ensure the rigidity of the perforated façade panel and remove the necessity for reinforcement backing frames for better aesthetics, the selected material was 10mm thick aluminium. The mounting frame is designed so that it is unnoticeable from the perforated holes to implement the translucent physique.
Given the thickness of the aluminium panels, a typical perforating methodology with machines was not a feasible option. Therefore, each circle ranging from 80mm to 140mm were perforated by hand with endmills.
Curved surfaces, including dual-curved façade, were perforated after it has been curved to ensure the uniformity and continuity of the circles. As a result, the perforations have sharp, clean edges that contribute to the creation of a solid and sharp façade.

Click here to learn more about Kikukawa’s perforation


■Dual Curving Thick Aluminium

The dual curving of thick aluminium sheet is far more challenging than working with thin aluminium sheets. In order to overcome this condition, Kikukawa fabricated 3D models to fully understand and study the shape and metalworking methodology, our experienced craftsmen added their own insights and considerations for optimal fabrication methodology, and specific jigs were designed and crafted.
By doing so, Kikukawa’s team was able to fabricate and install high-quality products that are true to its design.

Click here to learn more about Kikukawa’s dual curving technology


■High Weather Resistant Polyester Powder Paint Coating

Kikukawa proposed the use of high weather resistant polyester powder paint coating, instead of the originally planned fluororesin baked coating, as the finishing touch for the white façade. In addition to performing just as well as fluororesin baked coating, high weather resistant polyester powder paint coating is recently attracting attention within the architecture industry for being chromium-free, which makes it eco-friendlier. Moreover, powder paint coating tends to adhere around the edges better than paint coatings. Aesthetically and functionally, polyester powder paint coating was the optimal finish for the perforated panels.


■Exterior Façade in Day and Night

This renovation fully showcases Kikukawa’s craftmanship from detailed design, fabrication to installation. The perforated panel façade faithfully implements the design concept and intent.
The thick perforated façade creates a solid yet translucent ambience- and the contrast between the’ composed physique during the day and the chic illuminated perforation in the night makes this façade exceptional.

Product Material Metal Finishes
Perforated Aluminium Façade Thick Aluminium Sheet (10mm) High Weather Resistant Polyester Powder Paint Coating
Dual Curving
ProjectArts Maebashi
ClientMaebashi City
ArchitectToshihiro Mizutani Architects
ContractorSpecial Construction Joint Venture of Sata Cosntruction Co., Ltd., Ugawa Kogyo Co., Ltd., Hashizume Kogyo Co., Ltd.
LocationMaebashi City, Gunma