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Case study - The Tivoli Project | ALPOLIC

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Project: Tivoli House
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Fabricator: Electroland
Architect: Electroland
Exterior Panel Manufacturer: ALPOLIC® Materials | Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America, Inc.
Product: ALPOLIC®/PE aluminum composite material
Coating: Lumiflon® FEVE in ALPOLIC® TOB Black Valflon® coating supplied by Valspar
Completion: January, 2017

Project description

A newly completed house in Los Angeles features a unique hanging façade fabricated of ALPOLIC® materials. The Tivoli house, designed and built by Electroland LLC, is the newest addition to the firm’s extensive portfolio of projects that bring engaging architectural artworks to highly public spaces. Completed in January, 2017, the project was designed and built by Cameron McNall, founder and principal of Electroland.

The hanging façade resembles a decorative box that contains the actual house within, similar to a tissue box cover. Perforations in the façade create floral shapes with negative space that reveals the stuccoed and extensively glazed two-story inner wall. A nine-inch gap between the façade and residential structure within creates an intriguing sense of dimensionality.

Unlike most architects, McNall is also an experienced fabricator and builder and enjoys exploring applications that may not be obvious when working solely with paper, CAD and BIM. For the Tivoli project, McNall challenged himself to design and attach a façade unlike any other — one that would hang independently rather than serving as cladding on the building itself. Plastic materials were not strong enough to hang and would not withstand the sun. Solid aluminum sheet is heavy, susceptible to deformation, and would require expensive laser cutting and custom painting.

Aluminum composite material would solve all these problems. The Tivoli project is the first time ALPOLIC® materials have been used in such an unconventional system. ACM proved to be the ideal material because it’s much lighter and more stable than aluminum sheet and can be easily fabricated into limitless shapes using CNC. The Valspar Valflon® architectural coating eliminated any need for custom painting.

The façade’s unusual hanging system required sign-off from the LA Department of Building and Safety. The ALPOLIC team performed the necessary testing and documentation to obtain Los Angeles Research Report (LARR) approval, which certifies that alternative materials are equivalent or better than materials specified in the building code in terms of quality, fire resistance, strength, effectiveness, durability and safety.

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