Familistère is an exercise in highlighting the capabilities of five partners in one architectural practice, archi5, who rose to a challenge to build their own homes together in Montreuil, France adjacent to their offices. It also beautifully showcases how stainless steel, most often used in public buildings, is a versatile material of choice for private buildings.
The architectural approach was to design a building with a light touch to avoid an overpowering visual impact. KARA stainless steel was archi5’s choice of material to achieve the building’s façade – lightly fluted with shallow waves adapted to suit the scale of the building – reflecting sunlight to surrounding buildings during the day and reflecting street lights at night. The Uginox® Bright covering, with its brilliant finish, takes on all the colours of the seasons. The result is a dynamic façade with a genuine sense of motion.
Stainless steel has a harmonious application and the façades were entirely laid out based on the measurements of the sheets used, which meant that the window modules could be inserted at regular and precise intervals. The sheets were fitted to a primary frame structure and attached using visible stainless steel hexagonal screws. A hollow 5mm joint is inserted between each sheet. Edging on the building is also made from stainless steel.
KARA is Aperam’s unique brand of ferritic stainless steels, which, unlike other stainless steels, do not contain nickel, rendering KARA immune from the erratic price fluctuations of this alloying element. This is a big advantage for the construction sector where project costing and economic design are key elements as the absence of nickel holds prices for these products at a more stable level over time.
The entire Familistère project took two years from funding, conception, design and construction.