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Zero Maintenance Reclaimed Steel Retro-Fitted Façade
By: Uttaran B. Ray
The design brief for Liber Pub, Bengaluru was simple but challenging; “The existing glass façade panels had to be removed & replaced with a material to look at distressed, zero maintenance and made from reclaimed.” Just the kind of challenge Studio Form Techniques (SFT)were looking for!
The entire modelling was done on solid works. There were various profiles of louvers, some facing upwards and some down to create a look of randomness. The architects proposed naturally weathered hot rolled steel sheets which was accepted after a mock up and a few tweaks.
The designers were under the impression that the sourcing of rusted scrap sheets would be the easy part. However, only 40 per cent of the total requirement was available at all the scrap dealers in Bengaluru put together. The rest of the material was either new or grease coated to prevent rusting. With time running out, it was decided to go forward by accelerating the weathering process ourselves. Many weathering methods were tried including sand blasting & spraying with Harpic and mild cleaning acids. What eventually worked was the combination of ordinary salt, bleaching powder, synthetic vinegar and warm water spray. After spraying this concoction, SFT let the sheets drench in the monsoon drizzle open air. Within a week the new sheets looked almost vintage grade. The rest of the process was straight forward and almost mechanical. CNC shear, bend and unitize onto modules of 5 feet widths.
Once retro-fitted onto the facade structurally, there was a need to seal the surface to prevent rain water surface run-off that would cause staining of the signage and paving below. SFT applied a surface sealer which was UV stabilized and copious enough to be brush applied. The IP 67 grade warm white LED illumination was an after though. Again to intentional randomness was the theme. Some of the louvers at arbitrary levels were accent illuminated.
The team enjoyed the entire retro-fit process, specifically the designing and hand crafting of the suspended gliders.
Project: Liber Pub Location: Bangalore Client: Smitha& Sachin Chugh Architect: Monsoon Design, Bangalore Materials used for façade: Hot Rolled Scrap Mild Steel Sheets 1.5mm to 3mm Thick Façade Area: 2100Sq ft
Uttaran B. Ray
Founder & MD
Uttaran Baidya Ray is the Managing Director of Bengaluru-based design firm Studio Form Techniques Pvt Ltd. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture from MIT Manipal, Mangalore University in 1998. With an overall 18 years of experience in engineered glass design & turnkey contracting, understanding working with various other composite materials & fabrication methods is not a challenge for him. Uttaran Baidya Ray, with his innovative approach to provide design solutions by integrating emerging technology, has designed a number of remarkable projects. His mission is to be the market leader in the customised architectural products segment and steer the company as a corporate entity that will take “innovation India” to the rest of the world.