Schwäbisch Gmünd in the state of Baden-Wurttemburg has been home to producers of gold and silver handicrafts since the 17th century. The new building for the Precious Metal Association has been designed to help reinforce the importance of this craft to the city and create a visible landmark.
The new home for the Association will cater for special events linked to the industry as well as a jewellery store, exhibition and presentation space. Inner simplicity and external elegance characterise the design by Isin Architekten. The core of the building consists of a 19 x 19m cube of reinforced concrete. Gold coloured panels wrap around the concrete to give it a jewell-like finish. The facade is randomly cut with 850 irregular shapes to signifying the age of the city and portray the facet cutting of precious stones during manufacture. Over 800 rectangular copper-aluminum alloy panels form the external facade structure which is in turn supported by a complex substructure of galvanized steel. Approximately 65 tonnes of galvanized steel were used for this purpose. The new building merges design, art and architecture and has been described locally as a gold coat of armour turned inside out. It has however helped to raise the profile of the Association.
Image: David Stifani