Reopening of ‘La Maison de Fer ‘ on 19 September 2020.
What is the connection between the Iron House in Poissy and other metal buildings in various parts of the world, in particular “La Casa de Ferro”, built in 1892 in Maputo, Mozambique, and “La Casa de fierro” in Iquitos, Peru? All were built using the Danly process. It is likely that these iron houses were commissioned at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, where a number of buildings were constructed using the Danly system. The exhibition was held on the Champ de Mars around the Eiffel Tower.
Joseph Danly put the sheet metal work in his stamping, forming and galvanizing workshops to good use when, after the death of his brother, he wanted to launch new activities. The first patent, issued in Belgium in July 1885, was entitled “The construction of buildings in pressed sheet metal”. In it he described the principles as follows: “My invention consists of constructing single and double-walled metal buildings composed essentially of panels of thin iron and steel sheets, stamped in the forms of the greatest resistance, which at the same time contribute to the ornamentation and whose contours are similar to those of constructions in brick or stone.
A remarkable 19th century residence, listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments since 1975, the Iron House had been abandoned and blown away by the 1999 storm. Its exterior walls are made up of 525 one-mm-thick galvanized metal panels which, by their stamping and bonding, ensure the rigidity of the structure.
The roof was originally covered with corrugated iron sheets with a zinc ridge and a decorative covering of the gables with metal mantling. A great many buildings have been constructed all over the world, particularly in Latin America and Sumatra, using elements manufactured using this method. It is, of course, in the Belgian Congo that they have been most numerous.
I would like to thank Caroline Christiaens for this golden ‘tip’.
About the Author:
Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.