Advanced building membrane DuPont™ Tyvek® provides lasting protection and indoor comfort to the prestigious newly-built sports and leisure centre “Les Thermes” for Strassen and Bertrange towns in Luxembourg (www.lesthermes.net). DuPont™ Tyvek® was chosen to protect the principally wooden construction against harmful condensation while still providing a wind proof and watertight barrier to external weather conditions.
The distinctive shape of the “Les Thermes” sports and leisure centre – planned by a consortium of architects formed by Witry & Witry (www.witry-witry.lu, firstname.lastname@example.org) Jim Clemes Architectes (www.clemes.lu, email@example.com) and Hermann & Valentiny et Associés (www.hvp.lu, firstname.lastname@example.org) – is a spacecraft which has suddenly landed on the horizon. Within the three-storey building, a range of activities are on offer – from swimming in one of the assorted interior and exterior swimming pools, to relaxing in the sauna or working out in the fitness area. The overall design of the centre is very much based on transparency, revealing much of the building and the diverse activities on offer.
Built on a north-south orientation, both the interior of the building and the outdoor play pools make the most of the daylight available to them. Seamlessly adapted to its immediate environment, the core structure of the building is made from concrete. The same material is used for the foundations of the swimming pools, although the pools themselves are made of stainless steel and are inserted within the structure.
The entire leisure centre is enclosed by a long-span glued laminated timber, which also helps define the rounded shape of the façade. Used in a closed-joint construction, the timber provides both thermal insulation and weatherproof protection. The outer layer of the specialised wall construction is formed by aluminium shingle cladding, which incorporates the rounded shape emanating from the roof into the façade. The using of expansive, enclosed roof openings allows light into the core of the leisure.
Timber engineers from Ochs GmbH in Kirchberg (Germany) undertook all roof, façade andinterior construction work at the leisure centre. It was also their decision to use the breather membrane DuPont™ Tyvek® for such a creatively ambitious façade. DuPont™ Tyvek® is naturally vapour-open but also water-tight.
This is due to the DuPont scientifical and technological know-how behind it: DuPont™ Tyvek® is composed of millions of micro fibres that are bonded together to make a “maze” that is impermeable to water and yet allows water vapour to pass through the natural pores in its structure.
Acting as a sarking membrane in the wall construction adopted for “Les Thermes”, DuPont™ Tyvek® provides a wind proof and watertight barrier to external weather conditions, while at the same time allowing the diffusion of building moisture across its surface, helping eradicate potential timber decay. The membrane, which is produced using flash-spinning and bonding technology unique to DuPont™ Tyvek®, is robust and resistant to UV damage, wear and tear – offering peace of mind in the form of reliability, durability and trouble-free installation.
In Luxembourg, DuPont™ Tyvek® was laid directly onto the façade boarding at the sports and leisure centre, and secured in place using wide-headed nails. Subsequent construction steps included the application of the externally-visible aluminium shingle cladding.