THE ITALIAN COMPANY ARBLOC HAS PRODUCED EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE FORMWORKS FOR CONCRETE CASTING FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS AND HAS DEVELOPED A LINE OF PRODUCTS EXPRESSLY FOR THE PREFABRICATION SECTOR.
Prefabricators are increasingly called on to produce complex, custom-designed forms. These are often quite challenging and require practical solutions to complex problems without compromising the aesthetic appeal of the finished construction. To this end, Arbloc supports prefabricators by researching and developing functional negative molds to use in their production systems.
This involves finding solutions to facilitate construction work that are perfected by technicians during the design phase of producing the formworks, which are custom-manufactured for the client. Specific technical improvements, like using resins to coat the polystyrene and adopting carefully joined closure systems, have enabled the Salgareda (Treviso) firm to offer a complete product for the prefabrication sector.
Arbloc formworks used in the Hotel Alpenroyal project, Heart of the Dolomites
These technical advances, fruit of Arbloc’s ongoing research and development, were applied in building the wellness area for the Hotel Alpenroyal in Selva di Val Gardena (Bolzano), an ambitious project designed by the architectural firm Perathoner Architects.
The project was executed by the firm Betonform Gmbh in Gais (Bolzano), which contracted with the Salgareda (Treviso) formworks manufacturer to produce the spa’s entrance portals on three sides of the structure leading to the patio, surrounding garden and outdoor pool.
Arbloc’s contribution: the three-dimensional design, functional solutions on the building site, the concrete’s aesthetic appearance.
Arbloc focused on finding a way to create the curvilinear entrances to the downstairs wellness zone and the face of the 49-meter long cornice that embellishes the view of the grounds and the magnificent natural landscape that surrounds them.
To help the client complete the project, the firm designed and built its own molds so they could be used on the construction site. To facilitate casting, the formworks were built to be used vertically by facing the visible side down and the side that anchors the structure upward.
Given the size of the area, the curvilinear surfaces were broken down into parts, and the molds designed for them were inspected and premounted during the internal testing phase to ensure they would match during on-site concrete casting. In this way the prefabricator received formworks that were ready for assembly and concrete casting, leaving only the joint treatment for last. The aesthetics of the visible concrete face was ensured by the workmanship used in creating the molds and the use of a specific resin.
Hotel Alpenroyal Wellness Area project
The Hotel Alpenroyal, the first five-star hotel in Val Gardena, is listed among the Leading Hotels of the World and is set in a 15,000 square meter park. The link between the structure and its unique surroundings is at the heart of the architectural design for the new wellness area, which opened in December 2016.
Broad glass surfaces make the visitor feel surrounded by the alpine landscape and in close contact with the most beautiful mountains in the world. Lying slightly above-ground, the new spa is part of the existing landscape: Thanks to its modern aesthetic, the large wellness area is immersed in the spectacular setting of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, without impinging on the existing landscape but enabling a continuous dialogue between the human endeavor and the natural context, which blend harmoniously.
The architects created a space that is covered by a grass surface that extends only partly beyond the garden. The rooms of the spa are arranged around a sunny outdoor patio. The broad glass walls provide a spectacular view of the mountains and let sunlight deep inside the building, while the darker downstairs rooms at the back of the building invite visitors to relax. The rooms’ light and dark walls produce a suggestive and intriguing play of shadow and light. A glass tunnel/passageway connects the new wellness area with the main part of the hotel. The new building provides space for three saunas, two steam baths, a gym, a Kneipp walk, and a reading room with a fireplace.
Photos of the Hotel Alpenroyal kindly permitted by the Prinoth family
Project design by
Formworks designed and built by Arbloc Srl