When Ludwig Hatschek invented fibre cement in the late 19th century, he combined the basic elements of the earth: mineral materials, water, air and fire (heat) in a simple filtration process. He named the resulting material ¨Eternit¨, hinting at the superior durability of this new material. Our mother company, Etex Group, has been manufacturing these materials since 1905. The most recent and most prestigious incarnation in this prould heritage of unique materials is the EQUITONE® facade material.
The Hatschek production process makes each panel unique wth an individual fibre cement texture. Most EQUITONE facade materials are not treated with artificial colour coatings, giving the through coloured materials a raw, unfinished character.
In the 1950´s leading architects like Walter Gropius pioneered the use of coated fibre cement panels using the ventilated facade (rainscreen) system. Designer Willy Guhl created the famous ¨loop chair¨out of 1 piece of fibre cement in 1954. This design today still testifies the core qualities of the fibre cement base material: Thin, light yet indestructible and beautiful.
In 1987 Herzog & De Meuron created a building that would change the development of fibre cement facade materials forever. The Ricola storage building in Laufen used uncoated fibre cement panels. The resulting shutter facade, making a reference to the cardboard boxes inside, inspired our company to start the industrial development of raw untreated fibre cement materials.
Today EQUITONE has a full range of through coloured, untreated fibre cement materials. Leading architects of our time like Souto De Moura, Herman Hertzberger, Delugan Meissl and many others have explored and transformed the EQUITONE materials into remarkable facade designs.
EQUITONE facade materials can be fixed to the building structure using a number of face and backfixing options. The facade panels are assembled on a vertical support structure that consist of metal profiles or wooden battens.
Face fixing options include riveting and screwing on metal or wood supporting frames. Backfixing options are bonding or mechanical fixing on metal frames.
EQUITONE facade materials are assembled using the ventilated facade (rainscreen) system. The panels use open joints, that add visual depth and allow for maximum back ventilation of the facade system. The rainscreen system is gaining popularity worldwide, as it creates healthy, breathing buildings. Driving rain is kept outside the structure, yet it allows water vapour from inside the structure to escape.
One of the focal installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 is The Smith pavilion in St John's Square by London designer Je Ahn from Studio Weave. The pavilion has been built entirely with fibre cement facade materials by manufacturer EQUITONE.
The Smith pavillion pays homage to the trades associated with Clerkenwell during its history. The project showcases the making processes of a number of ‘smiths’ synonymous with the area such as silversmiths, goldsmiths, watchsmiths, and, bringing things bang up to date, even coffeesmiths are included. During the three days, a group of contemporary craftspeople including letterpress printers Harrington and Squires and the Goldsmiths Centre, are in residence, hosting a variety of workshops and demonstrations.
The pavilion has been structurally erected with new ribbed EQUITONE [linea] fibre cement facade panels to form subtle patterns across the surfaces of the freestanding structure. The ribbed texture of the material set in different angles creates an ever changing play of light and shadow.
The pavilion's saw-tooth profile is designed to look like the roof of an industrial building. "It's a caricature of a factory," said Ahn. Corrugated plastic panels let light in through each of the steps in the ceiling.
Inside, angled panels of the EQUITONE material are waterjet cut and layered up to create pictures that depict the various trades that used to be prevalent in the area.
Due to variances among colour monitors and different operating systems, the colours that appear on your screen in our material chart and other places throughout our site may not be totally accurate.
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