Grandiose results are achieved when experts in their respective fields work together. In this case it’s the so called “white skin”, an interior panelling with unique characteristics used in the concert hall of the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. It was created by the Hasenkopf industrial factory of Mehring with three SCM Group “Chronos” CNC machining centres with five axis.
Alessandro Sforzi’s splendid decks are the exclusive finishing touch to the most beautiful boats in the world. His is a true entrepreneurial story made in Italy, born and pursued with passion and with an enduring relationship with SCM. Sforzi’s extremely high quality production is supported by state of the art technologies.
Alessandro Sforzi’s story is the paradigmatic story of Italian entrepreneurship. A story shared by many other individuals in the post war years.
Sforzi has brought back to life this tradition in recent times in a surprising way. He refused a secure and safe position in the well-established family business and launched into a new sector, so that he could conquer his independence and transform his passion into his work.
It all began in Viareggio, when the young Alessandro, who had a strong passion for working with wood, started doing small jobs on boats. He was paid by the day and in dollars, which at the time was an extremely strong currency, so that he was able to build up a nest egg.
The family did the rest. His father was a sales agent with various warehouses, a showroom in Milan and a thriving business. When Alessandro explained to him that he didn’t want to follow in his footsteps but wanted to dedicate himself seriously to building teak decks, his father gave him his blessing for this entrepreneurial adventure.
The interior panelling was developed starting from GIFAtec®, a material produced by Knauf Integral, which was specially modified for this project. It is an extremely solid and non-flammable material with a high level of white. In total 10,287 parts form the white skin that covers about 6.000 m². To create the three dimensional surfaces Hasenkopf, commissioned by the specialist in renovations Peukert GmbH, had to first of all carry out costly 3D calculations and then convert the CAD data in AV, in programs suitable for the CNC.
Subsequently macros were created to machine both sides of the glued plaster fibre panels. The routing depth of the surface structure, consisting of almost 1,000,000 irregular cavities, ranged from 5 mm to 90 mm. 30,520 CNC programs with 352,000,000 characters were needed for the almost 1.5 million linear metres of routing. Over 1000 diamond cutters were used in 5000 sharpening cycles.
Another particularly demanding aspect was the extremely high density of the concrete reinforced with plaster fibre, with a maximum thickness of the panels being machined of 180 mm (“Chronos” is able to machine pieces with a height up to 800 mm).
Hasenkopf purchased three “Chronos” CNC machining centres especially for this project. The five controlled axes were a determining factor in this choice. As well as the extreme stability of the gantry type structure and the wide work areas enclosed in a limited space. Without forgetting the excellent accessibility, which was particularly useful during loading. This allowed for a maximised feed speed with minimum tolerances: an essential requirement for the aforementioned effectiveness of this extraordinary interior panelling.
The individual work phases were documented and controlled with utmost precision by Hasenkopf, in order to produce specific quality reports. There were less than 20 individual faulty parts, in a machining process that included over 10,000 complex parts with different surface structures!
In order to tell the whole story though we must also mention the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who thanks to the interaction of solid geometry, materials and surface structure, were able to ensure excellent sound in every corner of the hall.
Text by (©Rudolf Bartl)
from the article published on HK-Magazin 03/2017
Photos by SCM/ Hasenkopf/ Christian Hohn