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New metal weave adds shine to “masterpiece of contemporary religious architecture”

Award-winning project highlights Luvata’s superior bronze wire

December 17, 2007
A new type of metallic mesh developed from Luvata’s premium copper bronze wire has been hailed as the “defining theme” of the award-winning Jewish Centre in Munich, which was officially opened last month (9 November 2007).

Designed by Saarbrücken architects Wandel Höfer Lorch + Hirsch, the Jewish Centre was the winning European project of this year’s Copper in Architecture Awards. The Award judges commented: “Copper linked to transparency and light is a defining theme of the Centre and the building’s beauty is apparent both during the day and at night. This deceptively simple elegance won the judges over.”


This new application comes from a successful partnership between world-leading metal fabrication and component manufacturer Luvata and metal weave experts GKD - Gebr. Kufferath AG. The mesh forms an eye-catching “glittering skin” covering the centrepiece of the complex – the synagogue "Ohel Jakob".  Werner Freialdenhoven from GKD added: “We are delighted with the excellent response to this innovative new use of copper in architecture. For such a historically important and architecturally innovative project it was only right that we partner with the world-leader in copper. Luvata’s heritage and global reach made it the perfect choice.” 

Decorative and functional

The synagogue is a cubic structure of travertine stone, topped by a glass cube that gives worshippers inside a view of the heavens. The copper metallic weave surrounding the glass cube is the first application of its kind and adds both decorative and functional enhancements.

The eight tonnes of 6.00 mm copper bronze wire was supplied by Luvata’s Pori plant to Dueren-based metal weaver GKD (Gebr. Kufferath AG). GKD widened the spirals of the mesh to create the optical impression of an equilateral triangle. An impression reinforced by the similarly triangular construction of the glass façade behind the mesh. The overlapping of the elements creates an abstract Star of David.

The visual appeal of Luvata’s alloy with is its gold-like colour, caused by high tin content of between 7.5 and 8.5 percent. As time passes, the bronze will oxidize and lend the building an aged look, in keeping with its historical significance. The temple is built near the site of one of 1,000 synagogues that were looted and burned during the "Night of Broken Glass" (9 November 1938). In commemoration, the new synagogue was officially opened on the anniversary of this event.

Norbert Weidehoff, Sales Manager for Luvata’s Pori plant which supplied the product, commented: “The historical and practical elements of copper bronze wire were ideally suited for this project in terms of functionality and visual appeal. Copper bronze wire and other similar copper products can add significantly to the design and architectural appeal of a structure. The new Munich synagogue represents just one example of its decorative aging elements. Furthermore, the durability, very low maintenance and recyclability of the woven metal mesh make it a technically and economically attractive solution.”

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About Luvata

Formerly known as Outokumpu Copper Products and acquired from Outokumpu OYJ by Nordic Capital in 2005, Luvata is a major international supplier of solutions, services, components and materials for manufacturing and construction. Luvata’s solutions are used in industries such as power generation, renewable energy, telecommunications, architecture, automotive, medicine, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and a wide range of consumer products. The company’s continued success is attributed to its longevity, its technological excellence and strategy of integrating with its customers’ businesses. Employing over 8,500 staff in 18 countries, Luvata works in partnership with customers such as Siemens, Toyota, CERN, Shaaz, and DWD International.


***Please note that, since the sale of the Rolled Products division to Aurubis on 1 September 2011, enquiries concerning this product should be addressed to info@aurubis.com.***


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