Kalzip in retro look – 55 years the original

This year is going retro! For Kalzip’s 55th birthday, we have come up with something special.

Together with you, we are going back to the beginnings of our history, digging through the archives and pulling out real treasures. Join us on the journey of 55 years, during which many of you are and have been loyal companions.

So, let us begin!

Kalzip goes back in time – Our logo history

Did you ever wonder where our beginnings are? For our 55th birthday, we decided to travel back in time and bring back some treasures, starting with our logo. It is our identity, and to this day, it is the core of our brand.

The retro logo is composed of two past logos. It has a very special meaning to us and reflects our history perfectly. Our journey started in 1968 with our first product release under the name Kaiser Aluminium. The previous name of our company is represented by the fragment KAL. The syllable ZIP stands for Zipping or Zipper. Even our original standard profile finds a place in our logo. It is displayed by the line moving from one end of the logo to the other. Can you see the resemblance between our standard profile and the line? We certainly can!

The retro logo is the start of our journey through time. And we have many more highlights in store, which we are excited to share with you over the course of the year!

The journey continues – Our first project

1968 was an exciting year for Kalzip. It marks the day of our history. We not only released our very first product, but we also started to work on our first project. The very first German Kalzip aluminium roof was installed on the Nuremberg Congress Hall.

The U-shaped building, which is placed directly on the shore of Dutzendteich, reflects the traditions of the ancient theater. Construction work on the hall continued from 1935 to 1943. In 1968, the roof had to be repaired, and our Kalzip aluminium was chosen to be installed. Since then, our Kalzip aluminium roof has persisted and can still be found on top of the building.

They say you never forget your first (project). And we agree!

Next stop – Kalzip’s first product video.

The first month of our journey through time is coming to an end, and we’ve already had several glimpses into our past – starting with our logo and ending with our first project. But what about the products? Our very first product video was released in 1968. The „Unholey“ roof made its debut that year, and the neologism was first introduced. The „Unholey“ roof got its name because of its features, as it can be installed without drilling and without holes.

Our history remains exciting – Kalzip’s end of 1960s

We already showed you our first project and a product video in the last weeks. But where and how did Kalzip produce the products? What did production look like? This week’s throwback takes us to the end of the 1960s and shows us Kalzip’s first production site, where our profiled panels were produced. From then on, a lot has changed.

Kalzip reaches the 1970s – Moving to a new location

The first big step after the production of the first Kalzip profiled sheets and the realised project was the move to the company’s own offices and production facility in 1972. This is still the headquarters of Kalzip GmbH today. Visually, the building has changed considerably over the years, with the addition of new halls and new office wings. But the core is still the same as it was in 1972.

Our production facility in figures:
Factory area 32,700 m²
Production area 8,300 m²
Warehouse area 1,600 m²
Office space 1,300 m²

Have you ever been to our head office in Koblenz?

Kalzip History Fact

Within six years, over 1 million square metres of Kalzip profiled sheets had already been sold and installed by 1974. That’s only two years after moving to the new headquarters in Koblenz.

The following years weren’t any less successful as Kalzip can look back at numerous impressive projects, which we are proud of.

Construction Site History – then vs. now

Today, we want to show you a side-by-side comparison of our construction sites then vs. now. We can agree that a lot has changed since then. Over the years, we gained more experience and technical expertise, which guarantees the best quality and reliability – from the production of the products up to the installation at the construction sites.

By now, we are even able to produce our Kalzip products directly on-site. We look forward to where the next couple of years could lead us as new innovations advance constantly!

First Refurbishment Projects in the 70s

Roof refurbishments in the 1970s paved the way for the modern roofing systems we use today. Even then, Kalzip roofing systems were used for refurbishment projects. And from industrial to commercial buildings, our roofs continue to stand the test of time. Kalzip roofing systems have revolutionized the refurbishment game ever since. Today, our Vario LB system allows affordable and energy-efficient roof refurbishment. With that, architects, planners, and builders enjoy complete freedom in design and architecture.

From innovative materials to sustainable solutions, we owe a lot to the pioneers of the past. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the vision and hard work from the past!

Brochures over the course of time

Step back in time with Kalzip’s vintage brochures from the 70s and 80s, and let nostalgia hit you! These timeless pieces showcase the durability and style of our metal roofing and cladding systems that have stood the test of time. Throughout the next couple of decades, the design of our brochures changed a lot. However, looking back and seeing where we came from makes us appreciate our beginnings even more.

Kalzip History – First stationary roll former

In 1972, we moved to our new location in Koblenz. Without the needed instruments and machines, production would have been impossible. Cue to our first stationary roll former. Originally named “Big Berta,” this roll former was specifically developed for the fast and efficient production of Kalzip profile sheets.

With “Big Berta,” Kalzip was able to grow into the company we are today.

Kalzip goes to the UK

In 1984, Kalzip established production works in Preston. This marks our beginnings in the UK market.

Our first bending machine

In 1987, Kalzip got its first bending machine. This made it possible to produce curved profiled sheets on our own. What better way to put the machine to the test than to use it on a project? The Audi Development Center in Ingolstadt was the first building where our self-curved profiled sheets were used. But certainly not the last!

First on-site production in Europe

In 1989, Kalzip hit an extraordinary milestone: Stadio delle Alpi in Turin was the first project in Europe where the aluminium profiled sheets of the 25,000 m² roof were produced on-site with a mobile roll former.

Through on-site production, many logistical and technical requirements were optimised and coordination processes were shortened. To this day, we still realize projects worldwide with this technique. Even the German national team had a milestone in this stadium: They won the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup in a dramatic penalty shoot-out against England in 1990. You could even say that Kalzip brought the winning team some luck!

New Haydock factory opens its doors

Our journey in the UK isn’t over. Just eight years after establishing production works in Preston, Kalzip invested in extensive Haydock freehold premises. After a thorough refurbishment of the factory, it officially opened its doors on the 18th of August 1992 and became the new UK Headquarters.

Office space, factory space and loading area have all been brought together under one roof. To increase the production capabilities, a larger roll former has been acquired. There was ample space on the new premises for further expansions in case more roll-forming equipment would be added.

Considering that our UK headquarters are still located in Haydock to this day, the planning for the ample space was a good idea!

The longest profiled sheets ever transported 

In 1995, we achieved yet another incredible milestone: We pushed the limits of transportation as we successfully moved the longest profiled sheets ever by road! These sheets measured a staggering 55 meters in length, and their journey took them from Haydock to the NEC project in Livingston, Scotland. Witnessing the seamless logistics and precision involved in this feat was truly remarkable!

Transportation of the longest kalzip profiled sheets

We looked through our archives and found footage of the transported profiled sheets, showing the loading of the truck up until the arrival in Livingston, Scotland. Seeing this organisational challenge unfold on video makes this feat even more remarkable!

Development of the portable light roll former

In 1996, we celebrated yet another innovation with the development of the portable light roll former. Thanks to this, we can produce Kalzip profiled sheets almost anywhere in the world.

On-Site Production in the 90s

Since our first mobile site production in 1989 in Turin, we have steadily developed the process throughout the 1990s. To this day, site production is an integral part of our Kalzip service and makes us a flexible building part in the realisation of projects.

Installation of the new NatureRoof

The world’s first solution for green roofs on metal profiles, the Kalzip NatureRoof, was launched and introduced to the market in 1999. We were pioneers in the development of this system. Through this innovation, urban and sustainable architecture is now possible

Largest Project in the history of Kalzip

2003 marked another achievement for us. The Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain has a total roof size of 210,000 m² and was the largest project to date. Designed by the famous Richard Rogers, it was finally opened in 2006.

Interview mit Jürgen Döhren 

Now, it’s time for our colleagues to share their insights. Jürgen Döhren – former production manager and machine developer – shares his experiences from his time at Kalzip. He joined our team in 1981 as a development engineer for energy roofs and has continued to drive development forward.

In this interview, he explains what exactly makes Kalzip future-proof: the forward-thinking employees who don’t just stick to the tried and tested

Retrospective with Gell Webster and Debbie Ashurst

Taking a stroll down memory lane, our colleagues from the UK also had the chance to share their experiences from their time at Kalzip. Gill Webster and Debbie Ashurst delve into their journeys, reminiscing about past projects that still make them emotional.

They particularly agree on one thing about their time with Kalzip – it feels like a family. Thank you for sharing your personal insights!

55 years of Kalzip – A retrospective with Peter Wypior

The interview series continues with Peter Wypior, who is responsible for occupational safety at Kalzip.

In the interview, he tells us how he ended up at Kalzip and what he would like to see for the Kalzip family in the future: good products, safe workplaces and that employees enjoy coming to work.

Interview with John McAllister

For JohnMcAllister, the name Kalzip stands for a strong brand name, functionality and quality, among other things. Kalzip was involved in a number of projects in the 60s that are still functional today, which he is proud of!

He also explains that not only has the building industry changed in the last 55 years, but so has Kalzip. His wish for the coming years is to continue to expand and deepen the partnerships with our TeamKal network because each individual contributes to Kalzip’s strengths!

Introduction of a new Innovation: The FC Facade System 

Back in 2009, an innovative product was introduced to the market — the Kazip FC Facade system. This pivotal moment marked a significant milestone in our company’s history.
The picture showcases the logistics centre of the Gries Deco Company in Niedernberg, which stands as one of the earliest projects where our FC Facade system was used. We are immensely proud of this achievement, mainly because this pioneering system continues to adorn buildings worldwide.

Interview with Robert Thiebes

Robert Thiebes, the Project Design Manager at Kalzip, tells us in his interview what sets Kalzip apart from the rest: Our eye for detail. “We care about detail” – This motto was already in our brochures from the past, and to this day nothing has changed.

At Kalzip, there is no room for standard solutions, because every building is unique!

Interview with Chris Blackshaw

We also had the opportunity to speak to Chris Blackshaw, the former Operations Director of Kalzip UK, about his time at Kalzip. Chris has dedicated many years of his life to the company and shares his insights and passion for Kalzip with us. He reveals what still excites him about Kalzip after all these years – the passion of the people.

He has spent countless hours of his life here and considers Kalzip to be one big family and has just one wish for Kalzip’s future: “I want Kalzip to continue to grow and get to where it belongs: at the top of the industry!”

Interview with Yannick de Beauregard

Yannick de Beauregard is responsible for marketing at Kalzip. In this interview, he shares his perspective on what makes Kalzip special. He emphasises the meticulous care with which they implement projects in close collaboration with customers and architects. Kalzip is like a family and lives this mentality every day. He finds it particularly remarkable that Kalzip not only realises large projects, but also smaller, equally outstanding projects.

Interview with Adrian Whitefoot

Adrian Whitefoot is Technical Service Manager at Kalzip UK. For Adrian Kalzip means “Best in Class” and quality products, making us a market leading brand. In his opinion, the way we communicate with each other has changed the most in the last couple of years; answers are needed quicker.

His wish for the future is that Kalzip continues to do the right thing. He strongly believes that the company will be successful for the next 55 years.

Kalzip on the Olympic Path

In 2012, London called, and we answered with readiness and excellence! Participating in the Olympic Games was a journey of meticulous planning and unwavering dedication. We were honoured to craft the perfect venues for the world’s top athletes.

After a journey filled with intensive preparation and passion, we celebrated success. Our creations, The Velodrome and Aquatics Centre, stand as testaments to design and functionality excellence. Our roofs continue to be iconic elements of these venues, leaving a lasting legacy.

A look behind the scenes with Dietmar Schuh

Meet Dietmar Schuh, our Area Sales Manager for Hessen, Franken, and Southern Bavaria. Dietmar has been a steadfast part of the Kalzip family since 1999, hitting the road with his training truck to bring hands-on knowledge and practical tips for our systems to professionals nationwide.

A big thank you to Dietmar for his dedication and the many miles traveled for the sake of Kalzip. Get to know the man behind the wheel who stands for expertise and quality in the industry.

Interview with Duncan Chesworth

Duncan Chesworth, former Health and Safety Manager at Kalzip UK, joined Kalzip a long time ago without knowledge of the industry before he came in. In the following years he has worked with us, he has met a number of great people.

He mentions that it always makes him proud that he has been a part of the journey every time he sees or reads something about Kalzip. Thank you, Duncan, for being part of the journey for such a long time!

Interview with Markus Steffes and Heiner Nadolski

Heiner Nadolski, former Area Sales Manager, and Markus Steffes, current Area Sales Manager in Baden-Württemberg, share their perspectives in our interview series. Find out how the collaboration with suppliers, customers, architects and contractors has changed over the years. Markus particularly praises the quality and trust that characterises Kalzip. Reliability and honouring promises are crucial for Heiner.

On our 55th birthday, Markus and Heiner wish the company another 55 years of success and positive developments. Thank you for being part of the Kalzip family!