Armacell tops Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris

Armacell tops Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is a Paris landmark. Designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, one of the world’s best-known contemporary architects, this centre of spiritual and cultural life is only a few hundred meters from the Eiffel Tower. Five eye-catching golden domes crown Holy Trinity Cathedral, which combines traditional ecclesiastical architecture with the needs of a modern cultural-religious centre.

Lightweight insulation par excellence

By providing PET foam core material to insulate the five domes, Armacell played its part in enabling Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s iconic design. The properties of this insulation material – a weight-reducing structural core and excellent insulation performance – were decisive factors in realising the project. Lightweight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foams offer superior mechanical and tensile strength, residual flexibility and excellent fatigue properties in combination with low thermal conductivity and sound attenuation properties. Moreover, Armacell’s PET foam core material is made of 100% recycled PET bottles and is itself 100% recyclable.


Domes manufactured 500 km away

In complete contrast to conventional construction techniques, the choice of a composite dome solution considerably shortened the project schedule as production of the domes began before the building’s foundations were completed – a unique time-saving advantage. The 12-meter-high dome panels were manufactured off site, coated with 640 m² of real gold leaves in an air-conditioned workshop, and transported over 500 km to Paris. The reduced weight of the domes made their rapid installation possible and reduced the dead loads the structure of the building had to bear. Besides, manufacturing the domes in an indoor facility as opposed to on site also avoided any weather impact on the production process. As Guillaume Kemlin, one of the engineers in charge of the project, said: “The results have more than lived up to our expectations.”