Material Matters vol. 2: Aluminium ― 

The architectural event Material Matters vol. 2, dedicated to aluminum in architecture, took place at the Benaki Museum in Athens on September 20th. AkzoNobel was a Sponsor at the conference, showcasing our superdurable Interpon D2525 powder coating colors alongside the leading aluminum companies in Greece, and a panel of speakers including some of the most prominent architecture firms in the country, which showed to the audience a vast array of creative uses involving aluminum building components.

The AkzoNobel stand caught the visitors’ attention, featuring our new powder coating color sampler for the first time in front of the public: The Case for Color, which will circulate in 2021-22, is a lightweight, compact color swatch box, including 60 curated superdurable color samples that can be applied on an aluminum or steel substrate. The color samples are removable, making the Case easy to use both at the office as well as at the construction site. The Case further includes references to the main shade and technical features of each powder coating sample, facilitating color selection.

The speakers showcased infinite aluminum applications in architecture, with case studies including projects in Greece, either recently complete or in the final stages of construction. Rena Sakellaridou, of RS SPARCH, presented the photographic documentation of the Element office building, highlighting aluminum applications in the facades, curtain walls and claddings. Next, Nicolas Travasaros of Divercity Architects presented the construction challenges of their upcoming office development in Athens, resolved with composite aluminum product solutions. Pavlos Chatziangelidis of 314 Architecture Studio elaborated on the sculptural potential of aluminum surfaces in their new private housing development on Athens’ waterfront; Natassa Lianou and Ermis Chalvatzis -LC Architects demonstrated the great versatility of the material in three of their projects, using aluminum either as cladding, as curtain wall or as a lightweight yet resilient structural frame. Nicolas Patsavos elaborated on the local architectural culture involving aluminum from a historical perspective, researching the Aspra Spitia industrial settlement by Doxiadis Associates, further presenting an ongoing research project involving the untapped potential of bauxite processing by-products. Thodoris Makridis of Makridis Associates and Loukas Bobotis of Bobotis+Bobotis Architects presented aluminum applications in a vast array of projects by their respective offices, followed by Angeliki Athanasiadou of AVW Architecture, who gave a detailed account of the design and development of the new terminal at Athens International Airport. The last speaker, Ilias Papageorgiou of PILA Studio, shared the ongoing façade engineering research for the redevelopment of the Piraeus Tower, scheduled for completion in 2023.

Color applied on an aluminum substrate is our field of expertise. Naturally, we would be present at such an event. As about our new Case for Color sampling box, we were surprised at the great interest shown by all attending architects. Soon, Color /n Architecture will feature an in-depth presentation of the ideas behind the Case design, sharing insights by its designers. This way, we will show how our new color sampling tool will facilitate architects and specifiers in making the right color selection for their projects.