The Aluminum Temple That Would Never Be

“Unlimited freedom of design!”, that’s what Euramax offered in the competition for an image on the main facade of their factory in Roermond, the Netherlands. The competition was organized to promote their Aludesign aluminum panels on which every conceivable image can be printed. Unlimited freedom, that’s rather difficult for a designer. Luckily, the shape of the facade provided some clues.

Existing facade of the Euramax factory in Roermond
A closed fornt facade

The Parthenon

That sloping roof, the windows, the brick plinth … You only see it when you get it, Johan Cruyff would say. And when I got it I could only see a Greek temple. An aluminum temple, with a prominent place for the company name and logo in the frieze. And, shining through the forest of columns underneath, mysterious multicolored lights that symbolize the many possibilities of the material and make visitors curious about what happens inside. A modern Parthenon by the river Meuse.

Proposed facade of the Euramax factory, with a print of colorfully illuminated greek columns on aluminum panels
The aluminum temple

There were 176 entries from which the jury chose Ana Rita Ramos as the winner. When I see the projects that reached the shortlist, I think I could have been more exuberant in terms of color, in order to stand out among such a large number of participants. Or maybe the Common Linnets approach would have worked: a return to absolute simplicity.

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