Nordic Brass Spirals

Nordic Brass copper alloy helps to define a new museum designed by architects BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) in the Swiss Jura mountain region.

The Musée Atelier for Audemars Piguet houses the watchmaker’s collection of timepieces, linked to the original workshop and slotted discretely into the hillside landscape with a grass roof.  The plan form is conceived as a pair of parallel spirals, referencing mainsprings – the beating heart of the complicated mechanical watches that the company is famed for – formed of structural glazing, creating column-free space.

The watch reference also extends to the restrained materiality of the building, as many watch parts are made from brass. A band of Nordic Brass cladding crowns the curved glass facades, with a transparent brise-soleil screen extending down over the glazing and clerestory windows. This screen is formed from interlaced Nordic Brass ribbons, adding depth and varying transparency from different viewing angles. It was carefully adapted to the changing curvature of the plan and differing height requirements for solar protection around the building.

Internally, perforated panels of Nordic Brass clad ceilings that track the gently sloping terrazzo flooring with brass joints. The ceiling also acts as a cooling medium with the Nordic Brass providing efficient thermal conductivity.

Copper and its alloys enjoy unique characteristics particularly in terms of safety, sustainability and long-term performance. With an ‘A1 (non-combustible material)’ fire classification to EN 13501-1, copper is inherently fire-safe and suitable for cladding tall buildings, using appropriate constructions. It is also, therefore, rated ‘Class 0’ surface spread of flame, making it suitable for wall and ceiling surfaces. Particularly important today, copper is non-toxic and its inherent antimicrobial qualities make it ideal for touch surfaces.

The extensive Nordic Copper range of architectural copper products is available from Aurubis, part of the world’s leading integrated copper group and largest copper recycler. For more information visit: or email: g.bell(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)