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Composite central dome installed at the Russian Orthodox Cultural and Spiritual Center in Paris

News International-French

29 Mar 2016

Less than a year after the project began the Multiplast team put in place the main dome of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris.

This operation was performed in the presence of His Excellency Alexander ORLOV, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in France, Monseigneur NESTOR, Orthodox Bishop of France, Jean-Michel WILMOTTE, the architect in charge of the project, as well as numerous other figures from the world of politics and beyond.

A magnificent showcase
This setting of the main dome of the Sainte-Trinité Cathedral is the most dramatic in a series of five that will be completed over the course of the next weeks: five iconic domes that will top this Orthodox Cathedral constructed by Bouygues Bâtiment Ile de France Private Construction from the vision of Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the project's architect. For Multiplast, it isa wonderful showcase of Group Carboman's expertise and one that is in the heart of Paris, but a few hundred meters from Eiffel Tower, on the corner of Quai Branly and Pont de l'Alma. Jean-Michel Wilmotte one of the most known architect for contemporary architectural projects all over the world. He personally greeted and congratulated the technicians in charge of the operation.

86,000 gold leaves
A unique part of this project was that the production of the domes was begun even before the building's foundation were completed. As opposed to traditional manufacturing techniques, by choosing a composite domes solution, with the collaboration of engineering office "Cluster Méca", the project schedule could be shortened. Similarly, the load descents (ground) were also reduced, thereby improving the dimensional tolerances of complex shapes (+/- 3 mm). Finally, by constructing the domes in the way that Multiplast did, the team was able to achieve the 640 m² finishing with gold leaf in an air-conditioned worhshop. One can easily imagine the difficulty, not to say impossibility, of attempting to lay 86,000 gold leaves outdoors, in winter, at a height of 50 metres !

It was certainly a bold decision to dare to make parts such a scale (12 metres high and 12 metres in diameter) some 500 km from the place of final installation. Guillaume Kemlin, one of the engineers in charge of the project, explains : "Early on, in the design stage logistical requirements were at the front of our minds. Road width, even with our specialist transport solutions, is of course a factor, setting us a limit of four meters in terms of the petals we could transport. As such, we utilised our digital tools to the maximum, producing the joints of the big domes in 13 pieces and the small in four, so as to be discrete as possible in our execution. The results have more than lived up to our expectations."