Composite roof built by Carbures

The roof of a new pavilion at the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, Spain is a composite laminate system fabricated by Carbures, using SAERTEX materials.

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Architects FOSTER + PARTNERS (London, UK and Abu Dhabi, UAE), headed by Lord Norman Foster, has rebuilt the headquarters of its Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid. The roof of the newly constructed “Pavilion of Inspirations” was built by Carbures Civil Works Spain (Cadiz, Spain) using trademarked SAERTEX LEO materials from SAERTEX GmbH & Co. KG (Saerbeck, Germany).

The “Pavilion of Inspirations” is part of the Foundation’s refurbished historical Madrid building, located at 48, Monte Esquinza Street, and reopend in June of this year. The pavilion and its 172m2 roof were designed by Foster, David Delgado, Raúl Gómez, and Jorge López, and the roof takes the form of an airplane wing, made with lightweight composites. The roof is carried on a concealed steel structure which protrudes over a structural glass façade with no apparent support, giving the impression that the roof is hovering.

The overall surface of the roof is subdivided into 10, 3m parallel panels which taper to a narrower end. The benefits of this structure lie primarily in weight savings compared to other materials, and in the various design options that it offers.The roof panels were fabricated by Carbures via vacuum infusion to create fiber-reinforced composite sandwich panels made using the SAERTEX LEO material system. LEO comprises optimized non-crimp fabric (NCF) layers (in glass, carbon, aramid or hybrids), special LEO infusion resins and optional core materials depending on client specifications and the intended use of the component, says SAERTEX. A LEO “Protection Layer” of fire-resistant gel coat forms the outer layer. The resulting laminates resist ultraviolet radiation and are particularly resistant to fire in accordance with European standard DIN EN 13501. 

The pavilion houses a comprehensive collection of items, models, photographs, and sculptures from the world of art, architecture, and design. The exhibits also
encompass a range of Lord Foster’s defining inspirations, which include aircraft, cars and railroads.