Composite materials to reduce the weight of the 'Pavilion of Inspiration'

World-famous British architect Norman Foster chose Carbures to construct a glass and steel pavilion in the courtyard of his foundation

World-famous British architect Norman Foster, pioneer in the use of crystal technology applied to architecture and the designer of a large number of famous landmark buildings, chose Carbures to construct a glass and steel pavilion in the courtyard of the new Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, Spain.

Foster’s international research center is housed in a historic building that has been restored and expanded. The courtyard, which leads to a basement filled with Foster’s archive and library, as well as a photography and slide collection, houses the spectacular Pavilion of Inspiration, made of glass and steel. The construction has involved many experts within the field of composite materials.

Founded in 1999 in El Puerto de Santa María, Spain, Carbures specializes in the manufacturing of composite parts and structures. With its own technological and manufacturing processes to produce composite structures, the company has managed to branch out into different industries.

For the Norman Foster project, Carbures teamed up with ENAR. Founded in the same year as Carbures, ENAR is a Spanish technical consultancy and engineering firm specialized in building façades, especially when emergent technologies and new materials are used. Carbures’ long-term business partner Diab was contacted as supplier of the core materials for the construction. Having worked together with Diab in others segments, such as transport and aerospace, Carbures was well aware of the advantageous properties of Diab’s core materials when it comes to weight reduction.

The pavilion consists of 172 m2 panels made of glass fiber reinforced polymer, divided into ten units of three meters. The panels were made using Divinycell P60, P100 and PX150, materials which, apart from being lighter than most traditional building materials, are fire and ultraviolet rays proof. In addition, the anticorrosive properties require a minimum of maintenance.

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