The Prada Transformer: an ingenious design with different shapes
The Prada Transformer tower is a tilting building that was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, commissioned by the fashion label Prada. The Prada Transformer is located at the foot of the 16th century Gyeonghui Palace in the center of Seoul. The surfaces of the Prada Transformer have the shape of a cross, hexagon, circle and rectangle. This 20 meter high building is tiltable. It can take on different shapes if it is turned and another side is placed on the ground with the help of cranes. Exhibitions, fashion shows and film shows are held in this surprising location.
Cocoon had the honor to be part of the realization of this special building. From January to April 2009, Cocoon Holland was involved in the design of the Prada Transformer. Quite a challenge! The steel construction of Prada Transformer was clad with Cocoon Membrane at the time. This transparent and seamless Cocoon skin of no less than 350 m2 ensured that the Prada Transformer had its remarkable appearance.
The assignment was to keep the skin of the Prada Transformer transparent and seamless. First of all, huge foil parts were made, which were then attached to the steel structure. In account had to be taken, the four different inputs associated with each shape of the Prada Transformer. At a later stage, doors were placed from Cocoon foil with zippers. The foil was allowed to show virtually no unevenness. The Cocoon Membrane also had to be sprayed very tightly. The end result was successful and it was an honor to be able to contribute to the creation of such a flexible and artistic building.
Iter: A trial version of a future nuclear fusion reactor
Producing energy from nuclear fusion might be the ideal way to generate energy in a clean and cost-effective way in the future. The Iter installation (tokamak) is being built in Cadarache in southern France to study and test this issue. No fewer than 36 countries are working together on this project. The ultimate goal is to realize an economically viable energy source to meet the high demand for energy. The Iter tokamak is mainly built to learn from mistakes and successes and to build a larger tokamak with this knowledge in the future that is commercially viable. In short, the Iter tokamak is an advanced trial version of a future nuclear fusion reactor.
The Iter organization is currently still busy with the construction. The contribution that Cocoon made to this special project is to preserve the cryostats of the nuclear reactor. Cryostats are used to maintain the temperature.
These parts of the nuclear fusion reactor have already been completed, but will not be installed in 5 years. They have a diameter of no less than 30 meters and weigh 800 tons. To keep these parts rust free, they were wrapped in 2200 m2 of Cocoon foil and then sprayed in with the Cocoon “skin”. This makes them able to withstand various weather conditions, moisture and dust. Thanks to the second skin the oxygen is trapped so that it is circulated and there is a stable humidity and the quality can be guaranteed for a longer period of time.
This assignment required a lot of thinking, calculations, planning, insight, teamwork and working at great heights.
TenneT: a project at a height of 70 meters
Tennet called in Cocoon to carry out work on the high-voltage pylons. The assignment was as follows: seal all horizontal seams of the high-voltage pylons so that they can withstand all weather conditions. It involved no fewer than 200 seams around 418 high-voltage pylons. Part of the high-voltage pylons was still under construction and part of the pylons had already been built and in operation. This naturally had to be taken into account. The masts that were in use had to be released in time.
What made this project especially special is that Cocoon literally took off; no less than 70 meters. The employees of Cocoon are used to the heights, but for this project, due to the high altitude and the associated risks, they first had to follow a special IRATA training to be able and allowed to work at a height of 70 meters.
Once in the air, the Cocoon method was used to seal the seams in a sustainable, aesthetic way. With the sprayable PVC we were able to bridge up to 5 or 6 mm open position. The applied layer thickness allows the movement of the mast to be bridged for up to 30 years. An excellent prospect!