Living rust patina as a stylistic element

An impressive combination of glass and Weathering steel, designed by Molestina Architects from Cologne, has been decorating Martin-Luther-Platz in Düsseldorf since the middle of 2018. Vis-à-vis St. John's Church and the historic brick facade of the Shadow Arkaden, an eight-metre high catering pavilion creates a new public space. Around a third of the glass outer shell is given a monumentally curved shape with the help of curtain-type Weathering steel sheets. The pavilion blends in harmoniously with its surroundings thanks to the geometric and colour reference to the surrounding buildings. The Weathering steel sheets measuring up to 1130 x 2320 m were manufactured by the Cologne facade specialist POHL.
"Gastropavellion Düsseldorf"; weathering steel facade by POHL facades | © POHL Metal Systems GmbH
"Gastropavellion Düsseldorf"; Weathering steel individual facade | © POHL Metal Systems GmbH

Project data

Catering pavilion Düsseldorf
Molestina Architekten

The people of Düsseldorf can now enjoy the sunshine hours of the year from morning to night on the more than 300 seats of the new gastronomy pavilion on Martin-Luther-Platz. On two floors, each with four-meter-high ceilings and a spacious outdoor area, the all-day concept "Wilma Wunder" offers not only coffee and cocktails but also meals for any time of day on the menu. On the roof there is also a terrace with a view of the Dreischeibenhaus.
The pavilion's foundation is built with reinforced concrete, and a cross laminated timber construction was chosen for the above-ground components. The specially adapted bulkheads are, next to the cross laminated timber ceilings, the most dominant structural and design elements. Both could only be economically realized in their geometric forms with wood as a construction material.
"Gastropavellion Düsseldorf"; perforated metal facade made of weathering steel | © POHL Metal Systems GmbH

Natural light

The suspended Weathering steel facade is self-supporting over a height of eight meters and is only connected horizontally at the level of the upper floor slab. At the same time, it takes over the function of attic and fall protection for the roof terrace, so that no edge moments had to be introduced into the cross laminated timber ceilings. Weathering steel, also referred to as Corten steel, develops a continuous barrier layer and natural weather resistance. This protects the panel from further corrosion and is responsible for the characteristic rust-colored patina, which gives the building a very special charm. Depending on the weather conditions on the individual sides of the building, the natural aging of the material can progress faster or slower. Many projects using Weathering steel therefore rely on preweathering of the individual sheets so that the appearance of the entire building is directly consistent.
In this project, attention was paid to a low CO2 balance, both with regard to the building envelope and the structural framework made of PEFC-certified wood. Doing without the pre-weathering of the steel also has a positive effect on the energy balance of the entire building.
"Gastropavellion Düsseldorf"; Weathering steel individual facade | © POHL Metal Systems GmbH

Durable and sustainable

Weathering steel has a very long service life and can be completely recycled. Heavy rainfall can wash away the rust, especially in the first few months. To prevent red streaks on the stones, the rust is collected in drain channels. After some time the rusting is finally over and the patina gives the building a homogeneous appearance.
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