Aldowa harness the power of digital twinning to boost construction productivity


Aldowa was tasked with engineering thousands of interior panels for the new Saint-Denis Pleyel metro station, a key transport hub for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games

Saint-Denis Pleyel, which is scheduled to serve as the primary host station for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024, is a component of the ambitious Grand Paris Express (GPE) transportation initiative, which will connect new areas to the French capital city by rail. It will be one of the largest and most frequently used stations in the metro area when it is finished.

The stunning inner façade of Saint-Denis Pleyel will be created by the Dutch company Aldowa. Aldowa have taken on the responsibility of engineering, producing, and installing more than 7,700 square metres of stainless steel and enamel panels, along with all the necessary infrastructure. The majority of what you see when you enter the station will be created by Aldowa.

Focus on Aldowa

Aldowa, based in the Netherlands, consistently pushes the limits of technology, materials, and architecture by fusing technical expertise with a creative team spirit. Since its founding in 1978, the business has developed into a significant producer of facade goods and is a full-service supplier to the building sector.

The manufacturer of façades is accustomed to taking on large projects because of its reputation for turning even the most unrealized concepts into reality. Aldowa is aware that new construction projects like Saint-Denis Pleyel are expanding in scope and size. Due to this complexity, it has decided to adopt a new integrated design strategy and invest in complementary digital capabilities, such as the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on Cloud.

“The industry is definitely becoming more ambitious. Generally speaking, larger and taller buildings require different ways of working and more prefabrication and preparation offsite instead of traditional on-site installation. As a company, it means we are doing different kinds of projects with a greater degree of complexity and that’s why we’ve chosen to work with 3DEXPERIENCE.”

Misja van Hattum, Technology Innovation Manager, Aldowa.


Aldowa has been tasked with engineering thousands of interior panels for the new Saint-Denis Pleyel metro station, a key transport hub for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The company knew it couldn’t design each panel manually if it was to meet the tight project deadline, so it sought an automated design approach.


The company turned to Dassault Systèmes and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the Cloud to support the Saint-Denis Pleyel metro station project – combining their shared expertise with powerful software to automate the design of more than 5,000 façade panels.

How did DS help?

DS were able to offer Aldowa 3DEXPERIENCE CATIA training workshops and we assisted them with their implementation of 3DEXPERIENCE, providing consultancy, guidance and actual configuration and setup of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and CATIA to suit their needs and deliverables. Not only this, but DS were also able to assist them with initial advice on a technical “how-to” and methodology and workflow level on the De Groene Boog project.


Aldowa was able to finish all projects on time and greatly accelerate its design process. Allowed by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Aldowa is now able to cooperate easily with key stakeholders and plan all subsequent production and installation procedures using the same data by developing a solid information model. In the future, Aldowa plans to employ the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to expand its design capabilities and take on new, challenging projects.

Modeling thousands of panels at speed

After taking on Saint-Denis Pleyel, Aldowa realised it needed to find a more productive method to work. Prior to the 2024 Olympic deadline, the company has had to submit a complete construction model and will have to produce every façade panel and install them well ahead of time. Due to this and the project’s size, Aldowa was compelled to look for help in order to create an automated parametric design tool that would generate the structure of more than 5,000 façade panels, 1,000 of which are unique.

Having already become proficient used of the SOLIDWORKS design software, Aldowa looked into the possibility of using CATIA on the 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform before realizing it would be an ideal fit.

“I knew CATIA had been used by architects to create amazing buildings, but I never considered it an option for us before because I thought the transition would be too complicated. The thing that made the difference was the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on Cloud. It allowed us to continue using SOLIDWORKS and work the way we had always done, and then switch to CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE for more complex projects like Saint-Denis Pleyel that required a greater level of automation. All data is compatible and stored in the same environment.”

Misja van Hattum, Technology Innovation Manager, Aldowa.

Since partnering with Aldowa, the Dassault Systèmes and Aldowa teams have worked closely together on the solution to ensure success ahead of the 2024 Olympic deadline.

Collaboration on the Cloud

Both Dassault Systèmes and Aldowa teams collaborated solely on the cloud, using the platform’s communication channel, called the IFWE Loop, instead of email. This made it easier to track changes, avoid report clashes and maintain an accurate list of requirements at all times. Through the 3DEXPERIENCE internal social network called 3DSwym, they also had access to Dassault Systèmes’ R&D support and the wider community, which guided them in the event of technical difficulties and ensured any fixes or improvements could be made rapidly.

“I wasn’t aware of how much the cloud would help us. It made the distance between our teams feel a lot smaller. We moved away from storing files in local servers and instead used the IFWE Loop to share models, ask questions and post anything that was worth sharing. We had never worked like this before, but it proved to be very effective.”

Misja van Hattum, Technology Innovation Manager, Aldowa.

Embracing the digital shift in construction

The Saint-Denis Pleyel project data is currently managed entirely within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on Cloud, meaning that complete traceability is guaranteed during the whole development process. This provides efficient information sharing with the general contractor and architect and helps to eliminate data duplication and version mistakes.

“With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we have been able to create a virtual twin of the station that we can continually add more information and detail to as the project progresses. Having a model as detailed as this allows us to detect issues before manufacturing and installation. We have always believed that using only one model is the best way forward and will save everyone time in the long run. Knowing what we can achieve with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform certainly makes us want to use this kind of technology even more in the future.”

Misja van Hattum, Technology Innovation Manager, Aldowa.