The 'Le Nuage' building in Montpellier, France.
A modern building in France has been transformed into an architectural highlight thanks to the use of Fluoroplastic ETFE films on its exterior.
The ‘Le Nuage’ (which translates to ‘the cloud’) Sports Centre in Montpellier uses transparent, three-layer film ‘cushions’ created by extruding 3M’s Dyneon Fluoroplastic, ETFE.
The cushions have a width of over 60 metres and curve outwards from the building from the first floor to a height of 17 metres.
The largest cushion is 18 metres long and 6.5 metres high. The two outer films are 300 micrometres thick, and the middle film 150 micrometres. A pneumatic pressure of 250 Pascal curves the films outwards, giving the facade a flexible, three-dimensional shape that is designed to be reminiscent of clouds.
3M says Dyneon ETFE is being used in an ever-increasing number of new commercial and public buildings, as its light weight and flexibility opens up “new degrees of freedom” in architectural design.
The cushions, which span a total area of 3,000 sq.m, consist of three layers of Nowoflon ET 6235Z film extruded by German-based company, Nowofol Kunststoffprodukte, from Dyneon ETFE.
Dyneon ETFE is “extremely resistant” to chemical influences of all kinds and conforms to fire class B1 according to DIN 4102. The films made from it are said to be very resistant to tearing and to UV radiation. Their weight per unit area is only five percent that of glass, therefore they do not need robust support structures.
The film’s smooth surface is also said to be somewhat self-cleaning, with a normal rain shower said to be sufficient to clean it.