Fibercement panels with milled engravings

Fibercement panels with milled engravings

Contemporary working environment

Swisspearl offers fibercement panels with milled engravings tailored to the customer’s individual requests. In the entrance area of the visitor center at Swisspearl Group in Niederurnen, a sample landscape photo has been exemplarily re-worked as a relief-milled image—with a milled line grid.

When the fiber cement factory in Switzerland’s Niederurnen did a total redesign of its visitor center, the idea was to upgrade the entrance area with an image milled into fiber-cement panels. The image, which covers the entire wall, can already be seen from the forecourt, through the floor to ceiling, full wall glazing. As soon as one enters the space, it becomes apparent that the photo subject has been created by means of grooves in the light fiber-cement panel. At issue is a landscape photo taken by Jürg Zimmermann, an architect who likewise works as a photographer, in the nearby valley. A typical drainage channel runs through the Linth Valley, while snow-covered mountains rise in the background. The expanse of the winter landscape seems like a visual extension of the space.

© Jürg Zimmermann, Switzerland
© Jürg Zimmermann, Switzerland

The gray fiber cement in the grooves contrasts with the white surface coating to yield the effect of a black-and-white photo with a minimal tone range. The effect of the image is intensified by the daylight shining in from the side. Three round pendant lights, which illuminate the space, allow the relief effect of the milling to develop. The panels’ and joint pattern’s subdivision continues uniformly on all of the walls: the relief-milled image, which comprises several panels with vertically traversing joints, integrates naturally within the design of the space.

From landscape photo to mural: the chiaroscuro of the image is controlled by the width of each individual milled groove.

The relief-millings were manufactured in the Swisspearl factory. The milling program can process both digital images and CAD drawings. The mill radius is a minimum of three millimeters. With coated panels, the contrast to the material’s gray color arises depending on the particular hue. Through-colored panels yield a discreet, low-contrast relief effect. With the available means, realizing a photo is relatively easy. However, not every subject and not every location are equally suitable—therefore, it is advisable to work together with experienced designers.



Tower Swisspearl Group, Switzerland


Niederurnen, Switzerland


Jürg Zimmermann, Zurich, Switzerland


Façade material
Swisspearl Largo 8mm


Read more – Swisspearl Architecture magazine
Find the whole story in our Swisspearl Architecture Magazine #28.Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.


4 Responses

  1. I like uour products very much. Is this applicable to the Australian weather? We are a winery and planning to build a new facility. Would uou be able to give me a quote /square mtr for facade and interior wall in the wet area of the winery.

    1. Hello Angie.

      Thank you very much for your message. We are pleased that you like our products. The panels are also installed in Australia, we have many references. If you like, our local distributor in Australia could contact you directly to give you more information about our products and possibilities.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Best Regards,

  2. I’m curious regarding exterior cladding fastening systems and waterproofing requirements for these products. Cement board is porous and my useage will be near the ocean. Can you direct me to more information. Thank you

    1. Hi Michael. Thank you for your message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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