Innovative cleaning solution for architectural masterpiece

7/11/2005 12:00 AM



The Opera House, located on the island of Holmen in Copenhagen Harbour was designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen and includes a magnificent five-storey foyer with a double-curving glass façade and curving outer shell that separates it from the auditorium.

The sculptural auditorium, nicknamed ‘The Shell’, has the appearance of floating in the foyer. The exterior walls, covered in a warm maple, stand in sharp contrast to the curved glass and steel facade of the foyer.

The main auditorium, with seating in the traditional horseshoe form, seats approximately 1,500. The balconies are clad in light maple the walls in dark maple, the floors are oak.

‘The Shell’ stands 21 metres high.  It has a surface of 2,000 sq metres which consists of 800 different shaped pieces of ‘shell’, that were designed using sophisticated computer technology.  The job of coating the shell in curved maple was awarded to the Danish specialist carpentry firm of Bruno Hansen.  They successfully solved the problem of bending the maple in three dimensions and provided the opera house with a curved maple wood shell that underlines the handsome Scandinavian style of the overall design.

But, when it came to cleaning the maple wood surface and keeping it in pristine condition the Opera’s lift, purchased for this specific job, could not reach the whole area. A director from Bruno Hansen knew of the Nilfisk Backuum and approached the company to see how it could help.

A team of abseiling cleaners with the Nilfisk Backuum™ on their backs were brought in.  They went through the ceiling and then down to the shell cleaning as they went slowly down and then up again. The results were tremendous and another cleaning problem was solved using an innovative cleaning product and cleaning method.

The Nilfisk Backuum™ provides freedom to clean quickly, efficiently and even in the most difficult locations. The cable version, used in the Opera House, with its 265W suction, airflow at 38.5 litres per second and weighing in at just 4.5 kg is a powerful performer.

The Nilfisk Backuum™ is also available as a battery powered model and provides 100 per cent freedom to clean wherever and whenever required. With its 100W suction and ease of changing the batteries, impressive productivity can be achieved – up 30 per cent when compared to a traditional vacuum cleaner.

The Copenhagen Opera House opened in January this year.  The AP Møller and Christine McKinney Møller Foundation donated the opera house, known as Operaen, to the Danish people.  The opera totals 41,000 sq metres with more than 1,000 rooms including several rehearsal rooms and an orchestra pit that can accommodate over 100 musicians.