A ‘living’ facade in harmony with nature

RockPanel Natural Boards

Over 6,268m² of ROCKPANEL Natural boards have been used to create an extraordinary façade for a new office building with workspace, and a 4,500m2 heating technology building for a forward thinking German company.


The Brunner family business based in Eggenfelden, Germany has been designing and manufacturing high-quality stoves and fireplaces since 1946. Since the business expanded into the production of heating and boiler systems in 2010, more space was needed, leading to the construction of a brand new facility. Designed by local architect Prof. Markus Frank, the modern buildings display distinctive craftsmanship both inside and out.


With 9m high rooms, vaulted ceilings and a combination of tactile materials, including concrete, rammed earth and solid wood, the buildings inspire a feeling of space and closeness to nature. The cladding was carefully chosen to reflect this, with Corten steel and larch shingles both being shunned in favour of the style and flexibility offered by the 10 mm ROCKPANEL Natural boards. Just as wood weathers and changes hue, the look of these robust basalt panels is matured by sunlight and natural weathering. The initial yellow-green colour of the uncoated boards darkens after about six weeks to a rich brown, resulting in a uniquely warm and natural looking façade.


Prof. Markus Frank explained: “For the façade, we were thinking of wood or rusting iron tones. Stacked wood is after all an integral part of BRUNNER products. Building materials are only truly organic if they are compatible with their surroundings and prevailing climate. Like with classic wooden façades, there should be a certain weathering effect.”


The V columns and the joint pattern of the façade panels left and right of the main entrance are like stylised trees, evoking the key role of wood in fuelling BRUNNER products. Cladding contractors Mangertseder Zimmerei & Holzbau GmbH constantly adjusted the installation plan in consultation with the client to meet the particular requirements of the innovative design.


RockPanel Natural Facade


Managing Director Ralf Mangertseder recalls: “We were very impressed with the user-friendliness of the materials, especially when it came to cutting the boards for the heating technology building. Even though the panels are made of basalt and are therefore very strong, they are as easy to work with as wood, plus the same tools can be used.


Because the material is self-coloured and insensitive to moisture, neither the surfaces nor the cut edges or drill holes had to be touched up or sealed. It would not have been possible or at least would have involved significantly more effort to execute the complex installation plan for the office building using any other product.”


Anthracite grey ROCKPANEL Rockclad boards (RAL 7016) were used to clad the bridge between the office building and the heating technology building, providing a pleasing contrast with the warm brown tones of the two buildings.




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