The new building aims to give an iconic civic focus to the German town of Litzendorf, as part of an urban development promotion programme. It provides a new community centre including a library, exhibition and presentation rooms, and offices. The result of an architectural competition, architects H²M’s design for the 3-storey library is a prominent landmark defined by its crisp edged crystalline form, veiled in a golden copper alloy mesh, interrupted only by deep-set, glazed incisions.
Achieving surface continuity across walls and pitched roofs proved no easy feat. The facades were conceived as freeventilated curtain-wall constructions with waterproof mineral wool insulation over a concrete wall structure, protected by a facing sheet. Panels of copper alloy ribbed mesh were then fixed to the outside on a sub-structure incorporating clampsprings to allow for tolerances demanded by the mesh. The specialist installer likened the installation and alignment of mesh panels to: “papering with decorative wallpapers. You have to do it very precisely and look after both horizontal and vertical sides at the same time.”
Then, the transition from façade to roof is almost seamless, with a gutter hidden above copper-alloy sheet formed cappings which contain the façade mesh. Below the copper alloy roofing mesh is a standard copper covering fully supported by a substrate, insulated beneath. Copper downpipes are cleverly concealed in the void behind the mesh facades.