Bricks and lintels for the Bern Musikhaus!

We are proud to have participated in this majorredevelopment project thatresulted in the transformation of the power plant, on the vonRoll site, into the Musikhaus Bern, a new training center for teachers in the field of music.

The power plant on the vonRoll site dates back to 1910, and the building was recognized as a historic asset and registered in the inventory of buildings to be preserved; this led, in 2004, to a call for bids, the result of which was a design based on the NAAN (Neu Alt Alt Neu - New Old New) concept that involved the preservation and reuse of two existing buildings and integrating them into two new large buildings.

Involved in this project Agglomerati di Cemento SA, together with Giuliani.Hönger Architekten and the engineering firm Dr Schwartz Consulting AG, developed a new brick, the modern and technological evolution of the traditional fair-faced BKS. The goal was to devise a brick that would allow the construction of large interior partition walls, with a reference to the old stone blocks of the existing building, while giving the building a fresh, modern look.

The collaboration between Agglomerati di Cemento, the architectural firm, and the engineering firm thus resulted in a brick with special dimensions (24 x 20 x 7.5 cm), high strength, and with a perforation such that the walls can be post-compressed to ensure their stability. Given the importance of the static aspect, a series of blocks was sent to the research institute in Sursee to carry out the necessary strength tests not only of the block but also and especially of the specially created masonry in the laboratory.

The blocks also had to have a particular color appearance. In fact, the existing walls have a light gray coloring with beige shades, obviously altered by the years, so the need had to be met to recreate interior dividing walls whose individual concrete bricks had similar color shades, different from each other. After numerous color samples, a range of 5 shades was chosen; then these facing bricks were randomly assembled on site in order to achieve the desired color effect. To better bring out the coloring of the bricks, a very light-colored mortar was also chosen, practically white. The final result? A true masterpiece inaugurated in May 2018!

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