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Swiss train stations have a certain je ne sais quoi

Kiosk wagon with expanded metal cladding

Shopping at the Reise-Proviant train station can be a spectacular experience. Especially when the Swiss are creative. For example, a kiosk wagon is created with expanded metal cladding. An equally tricky and fascinating task for architects and metalworkers.

Shopping at Reise-Proviant becomes an experience

The Swiss Federal Railways serve around 770 small and medium-sized train stations in a rail network that extends over 3,000 kilometres. In many of these stations the passengers will find kiosks offering them all that they need for their trip. In Wettingen, the "am-architektur" office in cooperation with the company Kramer Metallbau GmbH created a "kiosk wagon", which has an exterior cladding made from MEVACO expanded metal, rhomb 55x20x4, steel, thickness: 3.0 mm, galvanised and powder coated. A demanding task as the expanded metal panels had to be processed precisely in order to integrate the recesses for the ATMs, light box supports and labelling holders. André Meier and Josef Kramer report on how everything came together in the end.

It is well known that Switzerland has some of the most spectacular rail routes in the world : The Glacier Express between Zermatt and St. Moritz is the classic among the Alpine trains. The Bernina Express speeds you along the highest rail route in Europe where you can enjoy the breathtaking panoramic landscape of the Canton of Grisons. There is also a lot on offer for the 350 million train users per year, who simply want to get from A to B on time and in this connection make use of the over 3,000 kilometre-long rail network of the Swiss Federal Railways and this even before their journey. Many of the approx. 770 small and medium-sized train stations have a kiosk that has all that passengers need for their journey. In the Wettingen train station in the Canton of Aargau, after extensive renovations to the train station , passengers can now make their purchases in an ultramodern "kiosk wagon".

Freight wagon as a kiosk in a train station

As reported by André Meier from "am-architektur", the idea to design the kiosk in the form of a box wagon seemed to be the obvious solution.. MEVACO expanded metal, rhomb 55x20x4, steel, thickness: 3.0 mm, galvanised and powder-coated with an open area of 64 % was used for this purpose. The reasons were obvious explains the architect: "On the one hand the material had to be robust as it is for use in the public domain. Vandalism can never be fully excluded in and around train stations. The material also had to have a long-lasting surface, act as a support for advertising purposes - and of course also satisfy the associated aesthetic requirements."

A good thing is worth waiting for!

It was no easy task, which is why the architects working with André Meier focussed on perfect planning: "Any special idea needs its lead time. We were happy that we produced a façade sample before construction. We were able to refine the details on this. In the next step the building was constructed as a wood-frame construction in a lightweight design. The installation of the expanded metal panels and corner connectors was extremely demanding as no sharp edges could form in the corners. Openings for the ATMs, lightbox supports and labelling holders were also integrated as well as standing benches with railings on the roof side for waiting travellers. The expanded metal panels thus had to be extremely precisely processed." This was, in turn, the task of the company Kramer Metallbau GmbH from Tägerig.

Perfection right down to the last detail

Josef Kramer remembers: "I had worked many times with expanded metal but never on such a large scale. The rhombs had to fit together meticulously for the entire kiosk panelling in order to form the desired visual result. For this reason, I measured the object in order to calculate how much expanded metal I would need and ordered this from MEVACO. After delivery, we had to incorporate the recesses. This was a tricky task. The expanded metal was then hot-dip galvanised and powder-coated. We covered the corners with aluminium brackets."

Innovative and fit for everyday use

A design that André Meier was extremely satisfied with. As ultimately this innovative solution, which is suitable for everyday use, fits perfectly with the philosophy of "am-architektur". Or as André Meier puts it: "Good architecture is for me something surprising, yet has a certain implicitness, is usable and ages gracefully. In other words: It is timeless." As timeless as the Wettingen kiosk wagon with its wonderful MEVACO expanded metal panelling.

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