A vibrant envelope
Ewald Wellig (GriwaArchitektur)
HG Commerciale Interlaken
The Jungfrau Center complex is an iconic mixed-use building (residential, retail and business) recently built in the Swiss town of Interlaken in the canton of Bern and strategically located in terms of transport flows close to the east train station and the river Aare.
The imposing complex is enclosed in a ventilated rainscreen façade clad with natural stone effect porcelain tiles. For this purpose, the company Ceramiche COEM supplied about 5,000 square metres of Cardoso collection tiles inspired by sandstone from the Apuan Alps, evoking the material’s characteristic dark ash colour and slightly paler undertones. Inspired by the dense forests and dark rocks of the surrounding mountain landscape, architect Ewald Wellig opted for the two colours dark grey and anthracite. The chosen tiles also have pale streaked veins that bring a sense of movement to the otherwise uniformly coloured surface and reveal a distinctive surface texture when exposed to sunlight. The ground floor is devoted to retail and administrative areas, while the upper floors house new 3- and 5-room apartments and offices. Architect Wellig’s practice GriwaArchitektur AG has chosen the complex for its own offices.
The building is enclosed in a multi-layer envelope where the individual elements are mounted using mechanical anchors in such a way as to leave an air cavity between the loadbearing structure and the cladding. This cavity generates convective air movements that improve the building’s breathability and, in conjunction with the insulating material, reduce heat losses in winter and avoid heat accumulation in summer. The outer ceramic skin was then secured to the building using mechanical anchors; the various modules are supported by exposed stainless steel hooks. Porcelain was chosen for the façade due to its excellent aesthetic and technical qualities, including high mechanical strength, high resistance to thermal shock and smog, very low weight, excellent workability and limited maintenance requirements. Available in a wide range of sizes, the Cardoso collection offers plenty of scope for creativity, allowing the architect to choose from a variety of modules for the open-jointed external cladding which envelops the building in such a way as to emphasise the architectural elements. The complex features numerous large loggias on the upper floors and a spacious double height arcade on the main elevation. Stone effect ceramic tiles are also used in the interior, where they bring a touch of elegance to the communal connecting areas, the stairs and the balconies facing onto an internal courtyard. The same ceramic floor covering is used on the terraces and is reprised on the bathroom walls in the form of staggered strips from the same collection.
Antracite, Grigio scuro
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant