Copper in architecture has always been a popular choice because of its transforming yet everlasting beauty. To aggrandize the exterior of a building or a structure, architects have preferred copper since ancient times. Iconic structures like churches, museums, government buildings and libraries around the world have mostly chosen copper as their roofing or façade material.
Copper has the unique antimicrobial property that prohibits the growth of microorganisms. It is 99.99% effective against bacteria and 99.74% against fungus. The benefits of the metal also include its 100% recyclability, corrosion resistance and energy efficiency.
The beauty of copper patina has captivated people around the world for ages
The copper-clad dome of Madame Tussauds, London boasts of a natural green patina
formed over the years.
Copper’s lustrous red makes it naturally attractive. However, it develops a bluish or greenish patina on its surface over the years owing to oxidation. This patina gives it a distinctive beauty.
Northern Europe’s most famous Renaissance castle is Kronborg in Helsingor, Denmark. This grand castle had installed a copper roofing system in 1585 AD that lasted for 424 years. Flaunting its patinated roof, Kronborg was listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (2000).
The spires of Kronborg are covered in copper that developed the bluish-green
patina over the centuries.
The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, New York, USA is another prominent example of the fascinating beauty of patina. It is a neoclassical sculpture made of copper sheets. Gifted by France to the United States on October 28 1886, this statue was ideated by Edouard de Laboulaye, built by Gustave Eiffel and designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste.
The copper statue has stood tall for more than a hundred years. And all those years of sea winds, rains and the searing sun have only made its copper more beautiful with the bluish-green natural patina.
One of the tricks in the design of the statue was allowing for thermal expansion in the copper. When a material goes through temperature changes, the dimensions change. The skeletal framework allows the copper shell to move independently yet stand upright.
Statue’s copper has naturally oxidized to form its familiar, ‘patina’, green coating. This patina is as thick, in many places, as the copper behind it and is protecting the copper from naturally wearing away.
Recycled, handcrafted copper cladding was used to embellish the façade of Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. This on-site museum is the entrance to the hospital. Designed by Leers Weinzapfel Assoc, Boston, this structure imitates the appearance of an illuminated lantern.
This freestanding, purpose-built hospital museum is the first of its kind in the United States. Reflecting the hospital’s achievements and culture, it showcases the evolution of medicine and surgery at the hospital and the innovative science and research behind it.
← Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Seinajoki City Library in Finland flaunts a shingled copper façade. It enriches the aesthetic appeal of the entire neighbourhood, as it contrasts with their white exteriors.
Designed by JKMM Architects, the library is the administrative centre and cultural hub of the city of Seinajoki.
This old library was redesigned to meet the modern-day demands and functionalities. Designed with colour splashes and whimsical elements, the library boasts of a strong, minimalistic architecture.
Public Middle School of Labarthe-sur-Lèze, France, wanted to build a school that would meet the educational and environmental standards. Therefore, the French firm, LCR Architects designed the structure to reflect open communication using natural copper siding and glass. As the copper gets smoother with time, it will proudly display the sustainability of the building.
Copper has been around for thousands of generations. Copper still fascinates designers and architects with its versatility in artistic and technical applications. This exquisite metal has now become a part of modern architectures like museums, government buildings, institutions and commercial structures, etc. Patinated copper embraces the timeless magnificence and bestows antiquity to any historical or modern structure.
Copper Composite Panel (CCP) was first introduced in India by Aludecor. The Aludecor CCP is available in both fire-retardant and normal grades and is certified CU+ by the International Copper Association. The certificate validates Aludecor CCP’s anti-microbial feature.
Know more about Copper Composite Panels