Valmont Coatings Australia, one of Australia’s largest hot-dip galvanizing companies and a recognised leader in protective metal coatings, has won the industry’s most prestigious global award – the Global Galvanizing Award for the University of Melbourne’s Arts West Building.
The award is presented by the European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA) every three years for outstanding hot-dip galvanized steel architecture.
Valmont Coatings shares the award with ARM Architecture, Architectus and Fab Metal Specialists. The Arts West Building was part of the University of Melbourne’s $66 million Arts West Redevelopment Project.
The company’s ground-breaking use of steel on the new Faculty of Arts building’s louvered façade has resulted in a stunning new look for the building which now basically has two skins: a glass wall and a structure of parallel horizontal steel fins or louvres.
“The fins on the façade serve two main purposes, to provide sun shading to the tall glass curtain wall behind and to house images of objects from the University’s Cultural Collections. The steel plate was laser cut in plan to form the negative relief of the images. Utilising steel for the purpose of sun shading is reasonably unique, as many buildings with a second skin use aluminium instead. Steel was chosen as it allowed us to use very thin steel, only 8mm, which performed well in shading the teaching spaces, but also allowed minimal interruptions looking out,” said Aaron King Managing Director of Valmont Coatings in a media release to Australian Manufacturing.
“Galvanizing is—of course—a wonderful way to protect steelwork, but they also liked the mottled and crystalline effects that galvanizing provided. It will change over time, from a bright reflective material to a dull grey. Galvanizing provided the façade with the kind of raw surface that the project team was after.”