The story began with a bold challenge from an English company, Robotmother. Andrew Marston, manager at Robotmother, saw great potential in a concrete barge dating from World War II. He wanted to create atypical offices for his studio space in Penryn, Cornwall (United Kingdom). He approached the architects at Marraum Architecture, who are always ready to take on creative challenges. He challenged them to create beautiful, bright office spaces aboard the concrete barge.
The Marraum architect Michael Hormann describes his concept: « Joining the project once construction
had already begun, our flexibility and quick thinking was key to seeing the client’s vision through into
the design and build. We needed more efficient and lightweight materials. For example, for the
superstructure of the barge, the use of honeycomb panels became obvious as the additional load to keep the structure floating , as calculated by a marine engineer, was limited to 40tons. Indeed, our basic
constraints were to build on top of the concrete barge and significantly reducing the weight of the
structure and still create an interesting structure. With honeycomb we can work on a large scale,
and build a very lightweight and for the aggressive marine environment resistant construction».
nidaplast 8 : the solution
« The nidaplast are extruded polypropylene honeycombs used as core in sandwich panels. They
are composed of hexagonal cells of 8 mm in diameter» explains Fabien Vaillant, Nidaplast developement engineer. Our products are recommended in yachting applications. They are rot-proof. They are used in many applications thanks to their compressive strength and their shock resistance.
For example, in building, they are adapted either for interior panels or outside facings, thanks to their
good sound and thermal insulating properties. By giving some thickness to the parts, the nidaplast
increases the rigidity, without increasing the weight. Moreover, the nidaplast offers an ideal surface to laminate or to glue any type of facings: plywood, metal, stone…) “It is an easy-to-use material and it is well adapted to different modern lamination techniques (hand or spray lay-up, vacuum bagging,
RTM, infusion…) or assembling techniques (gluing, heat-sealing…)” indicates Fabien Vaillant.