Table of contents:
- Art meets industry
- A work of art is created
- Color comes into play
- Sustainable success
- More projects planned
Video: Colorful Industrial Culture
Why are art and industrial buildings so rarely combined? This was asked at Covestro Deutschland AG, a manufacturer of high-quality polymer materials. For the 100th anniversary of the Dormagen location, Covestro had a high-bay warehouse transformed into a gigantic work of art by Martin Heuwold, an artist from Wuppertal.
Author: Saki M. Moysidis I Photos: Covestro
The facade is a proud 69 meters long, 35 meters high and 23 meters wide, which stands out colorfully from the rest of the industrial gray. For their coating, Covestro chose a pigmented coating that also serves as a preventive concrete protection for weathered outdoor surfaces. The selected coating is equipped with the so-called "easy-to-clean technology". This ensures particularly low dirt absorption and helps to ensure the colorful color design of the high-bay warehouse in the long term. In addition, the coating is characterized by high wet abrasion resistance and good cleanability. It can be used in the spraying and spraying area of de-icing salts and can be applied manually with short pile rollers as well as in the airless spraying process.
But it was not only these arguments that made the coating interesting for Covestro, the material decision had another reason: Some raw materials in the coating come from Covestro itself. Artwork project manager Anja Waidele is satisfied: “This colorful industrial artwork increases the level of awareness of Covestro and is at the same time, an excellent advertisement for the quality of our products.”A colorful block motif with rectangles, circles, bridges, semicircles and triangles shines in the six company colors from a distance. A significant gift on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the Chempark in Dormagen.
Art meets industry
It is not the first time that Covestro has moved the boundaries between industry and art. The company's extraordinary creativity first became apparent in 2015 when Martin Heuwold had it designed a mobile “graffiti wall”. It is a 25 meter wide and around three meter high graffiti artwork with the artistically interpreted company lettering on tour through the various locations of the company. In 2016, Covestro commissioned the artist to design the 132-meter-high chimney of the industrial park in Brunsbüttel with colorful puzzle pieces. "As a young company, Covestro has a lot of dynamism and agility," emphasizes Anja Waidele. “And we express that with the industrial works of art. In a rather colorless chemical industry, we present ourselves as colorful, diverse and simply different."
A work of art is created
But back to Dormagen: “The building block motif came about almost by itself. As a colorful, bold motif that should make us curious, it not only represents our corporate values, but also perfectly reflects the topics of warehousing and logistics at the Dormagen location,”says Dr. Klaus Jaeger, site manager of Covestro's Lower Rhine plants, on the design of the high-bay warehouse. For Martin Heuwold, the design of the high-bay warehouse was a real stroke of luck: He and his art had a special object at his disposal. The huge painting ground of 4,500 square meters corresponds to the size of around 23 tennis courts. However, this area had to be cleaned of any old coating at the beginning. After the processors had processed the surface in a first step using high-pressure water jets, they then applied a pore and cavity filler with a fine mortar to ensure an optimal surface. Then they treated the leveled surface with a transparent epoxy resin. Among other things, this serves as an adhesion promoter between cement-bound substrates and surface protection systems and as a primer for subsequent reactive resin seals. With the completion of this preliminary work, the project could now go into creative implementation. For this purpose, Heuwold and his team drew 328 building block motifs on the warehouse facade according to a precise plan, which were later to be painted in the six different company colors according to the artist's instructions. In addition, there were twelve shades to achieve realistic 3-D effects.
Color comes into play
When filling in the specified contours, a two-component, aqueous polyurethane-polymer combination played a major role. This is UV and weather resistant and therefore particularly color stable. In addition, the high-quality coating with integrated easy-to-clean technology not only offers permanent protection against color blemishes, but also protects the concrete thanks to its carbonation-inhibiting effect. The pigmentation of the coating enables numerous color combinations.
In Dormagen, this was one of the prerequisites for the success of the overall work. Because the impressive depth effect of the individual building blocks was ensured by two shades of the six main colors. Dr. put all the necessary shades Dörte Bartel, head of the color laboratory at MC Bauchemie, from which the coating for the high-bay warehouse comes, together with specialist consultant Frank Schöntaube and the artist in the MC laboratory in Bottrop. The company produced the 18 color variants so precisely that the artist did not have to make any compromises when designing them. According to Heuwold's precise instructions, the color surfaces could now be filled in by the Bottrop KST plastics technology. The employees of the operating company processed a total of 1,800 kilograms of the coating.
Horst Mews, operations engineer at Covestro, led the art project as technical manager. As a Maintenance Engineer IT, he is usually responsible for the operation, ongoing maintenance and handling of logistics projects in the company. So the creation of the artwork was something very special for him too: “We could all experience the Covestro artwork being completed every day. Now the great result welds our well-coordinated teams even more together."
Site manager Dr. Klaus Jaeger is also enthusiastic: “The artwork is a perfect brand ambassador because the visualization of our corporate values has been wonderfully successful here. We are curious, brave and colorful. Now we also have a landmark that is visible from afar, which we can be proud of.”Frank Schöntaube is impressed by the excellent cooperation of all those involved:“Starting with the project management from Covestro to MC construction chemicals, the processing company KST and the The team of artists all worked together perfectly to create this remarkable work of art.”
More projects planned
The concept of “Covestro Artwork” is successful and further projects are already being planned: In Shanghai, the design of two building complexes is in progress. And in Switzerland too, Covestro will soon be curious, brave and, above all, colorful in the colorless industrial world.
The following products from MC Bauchemie were used to renovate the Covestro high-bay warehouse in Dormagen:
- MC-Color Flair vision (aqueous, pigmented 2-component coating)
- Nafufill KM 110 (fine mortar)
MC-DUR 1177 WV-A
(transparent epoxy resin)
More information about the products: