Mulberry Park School and Community Hub

The £10 million Community Hub, commissioned by housing association Curo and designed by architects BDP, sits at the heart of Mulberry Park, the renovation of the former Ministry of Defence site on Fox Hill in the village of Combe Down on the southern fringes of Bath.

The eye-catching building features Proteus SC perforated TECU Gold panels with a PPC coated aluminium support frame on the school hall and the third floor cantilevered above the main entrance and Public Square. This section, installed by Cladanco, acts as an enterprise space and was inspired by the temporary floating Mulberry Harbours once used for the Allied invasion of Normandy during the Second World War.

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is offered in either solid, perforated or mesh panel formats. By utilising an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms it can add another dimension to any façade cladding project.

The perforated pattern of the Proteus SC panels at Mulberry Park is derived from historic aerial photographs of the harbours and was developed in conjunction with the supporting frame, which was required due to limitations in material thickness. Using Proteus SC and the company’s unique framing system meant that a thinner perforated skin could be used on the face of the panel without resulting in deflection or distortion, helping the striking façade remain within budget requirements.

Complementary Proteus HR solid TECU Gold rainscreen cladding panels feature at ground floor level, adding structure and providing an aesthetically pleasing, hardwearing layer that protects the building from the elements.

The Proteus HR honeycomb core of the rainscreen cladding system involves structurally bonded two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin such as copper alloy to the honeycomb core. Each panel is supported by the unique Proteus system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which can be installed on to any type of wall construction.

Proteus TECU Gold is a mix of copper and aluminium and offers outstanding mechanical abrasion and is highly corrosion resistant and durable. The initial bright gold appearance of the façade will gradually oxidise following installation, forming an enchanting warm golden surface.

Buildings featuring cladding systems made from copper alloy materials, like the Mulberry Park Community Hub, provide a vast scope of opportunities for architectural creativity. The striking natural, ever-changing surface creates unique, one-off designs that simply aren’t possible with some other cladding materials

This is one of the reasons the Mulberry Park Community Hub was recently crowned the winner of the South West Community Benefit category at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2019. The award recognises outstanding achievement in providing a facility that directly benefits the local community and can demonstrate its success through local community feedback.

RICS judges commended the project team — BDP Architects, housing association and housebuilder Curo, Rydon Construction and surveyors Ridge & Partners — “for creating an exemplary community hub that is a trailblazer for future community buildings.”

With a distinctive design, it is no doubt that the Mulberry Park Community Hub will be valued by the people of Fox Hill, Combe Down and Mulberry Park and shine bright as a beacon of the local community for future generations – thanks in part to its aesthetically pleasing, gold facade.

Mulberry Park supports a contemporary development of 700 high quality homes and open spaces. Within easy reach for local residents, the community building, fronting on to a new public square, accommodates a 210-place primary school, a 70-place nursery and public use facilities including a café, clinic, a fitness suite and business enterprise and flexible spaces for hire.

Proteus Facades Ltd offers a wide ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, and TECU Zinn. Some of these materials are also available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed.

Janet Nash House, CEF Offices, Durham

CEF’s existing offices had reached full capacity and so a second site was developed opposite the company’s main building in 10 acres of natural landscape in Meadowfield, Durham. The brief set for the design of the award winning building, known as Janet Nash House, was to create a contemporary workplace solution which embodies and reflects CEF’s drive and commitment for innovation.

Architects FaulknerBrowns designed the £10m Data, IT and Marketing headquarters, using a variety of materials such as copper, aluminium and ceramic, which represent the components found within an electrical cable, CEF’s staple product.

Winner of the North East RIBA Regional Award 2019 and two British Council for Offices’ (BCO) regional awards, the contemporary workplace is split into two areas each with unique spatial qualities to support the requirements of the different departments across the company.

The southern ‘L’ shaped block, which houses the ‘graphics and marketing’ teams, features a striking façade executed in Proteus HR Euromax AluNatur Elox Anodised Brushed pre-coated aluminium, for which FaulknerBrowns took inspiration from the foil shield of a coaxial cable.

Proteus HR is a lightweight, strong and versatile cladding panel that provides aesthetic screening to building facades. The integrated modular rainscreen system features an aluminium honeycomb core, structurally bonded between two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin to create an optically flat panel that is available in aluminium, steel, zinc, stainless steel, copper alloys and other materials.

The Proteus HR honeycomb sandwich panel was fabricated for Janet Nash House using Euromax AluNatur outer skins with an Elox Anodised Brushed pre-coated finish to recreate the coaxial pattern. The designers specified Proteus HR Euromax AluNatur because it offered a value engineered method of recreating the granular appearance of stainless steel but still within the client’s budget expectations.

Euromax AluNatur material consist of semi-transparent clear-coats applied on brushed or transparent lacquering aluminium surface, highlighting the natural character of aluminium substrate material. Pre-coat finishes minimise shade variation between panels and Proteus worked with the project specifiers and installers to ensure consistency of grain direction of the panels at Janet Nash House to guarantee high aesthetic detailing.

The panels were fitted by Installer, Topside, in between vertical and horizontal aluminium anodised fins to create a sheer façade, whilst giving a nod to the company’s core product range with the ‘coaxial’ pattern. The cladding panels were fixed between the fins with bespoke brackets utilising the curtain wall mullions as the primary structural point.

In contrast to the aluminium finish of the southern building, the northern block features large format porcelain panels, which are fitted throughout as a reference to the traditional use of ceramics as an electrical insulation material. The building includes cellular spaces, specialist workplaces and breakout areas.

The southern wing featuring Proteus HR Euromax AluNatur structures and the northern block are connected by a two storey, glazed atrium with interactive breakout spaces and enhanced amenities for all employees, including a café, tea points and games area.

Judges at the North East RIBA Regional Award 2019 summed up the development, constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine, when they said: “The building has a strong sense of identity and purpose.”

 

Photography by Hufton & Crow

Spanish City, Whitley Bay

Although Spanish City closed in 2002, it has remained a local beacon and so became the focal point of North Tyneside Council’s £36m seafront masterplan, undergoing a £10m restoration and regeneration to bring it back to its former glory.

As a listed building protected by English Heritage, it was essential that the redesign by ADP architects retained as many of the building’s original features as possible, including the copper Terpsichorean female figures or ‘dancing ladies’, which were restored and positioned on top of two redeveloped Cupolas.

Alongside this was the addition of a bold extension featuring Proteus SC perforated TECU Patina, which was applauded by the judges when ADP’s vision for Spanish city secured a RIBA North East Award 2019.

ADP Architects specified TECU Patina for Spanish City, a copper material that features the natural green patina from the outset, as it created a beautifully aged aesthetic that complements the ‘old’ copper finish of the dancing ladies.

The homogenous pattern featured on the Proteus SC perforated cladding covers the entirety of the new extension at Spanish City, making it difficult to discern the position of the different floors and giving the structure a monolithic presence that is able hold its own against the imposing dome on the original building.

Choosing round perforations or ‘holes’ was no accident, it creates a contrast with the right angles of the surrounding cityscape, but mirrors the internal layout. A defining feature of the building is its extremely complex geometry, in fact only four rooms have walls in a square format, every other space is curved or a polygon, including the impressive rotunda which the panels were designed to meet.

The Proteus SC TECU Patina perforated copper cladding panels were fixed over extensive glazed areas at Spanish City, so both sides were visible by people inside the building and from those outside. This presented an engineering challenge because the architects envisaged large perforated panels due to the sheer size of the façade (larger cladding panels on large facades can look more visually striking), which can require thicker gauge metal.

Working with ADP architects Proteus devised a rear supporting aluminium PPC framing system that was discrete and avoided having to increase the thickness – and cost – of the copper material. The outcome was that it enabled the panels to be designed to meet the maximum optimisation of material, whilst meeting the challenging geometry of the project.

As Spanish City occupies a spectacular seafront setting overlooking the North Sea coast, it is susceptible to harsh coastal climatic conditions, which include high winds and salty sea and air. The Proteus SC perforated cladding panels will go some way to protecting the building from the elements, which was a major factor in causing the wear and corrosion that saw the demise of the original structure.

After more than two years of redevelopment work, by Robertson Group, the magnificent building is back to its former glory, transformed into an impressive mixed-use leisure venue that once again acts as a hub for tourists and members of the community.

The new extension block, clad by Chemplas Ltd, in Proteus SC perforated TECU Patina, to the rear of the building houses the new level-access entrance, toilets, plant and staircase that ensure compliance with modern standards.

Spanish City remains an iconic part of Whitley Bay’s heritage and a striking example of how old and new architectural styles and materials can work together. The building is now home to a Fish & Chip restaurant and takeaway, waffle and pancake house, Champagne bar, fine-dining restaurant, traditional tearooms and an event space.

Proteus Facades Ltd is able to offer a wide ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, and TECU Zinn. Some of these materials are also available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed.

Spanish City in Whitley Bay, is a collection of Edwardian seaside pleasure buildings and grounds. Built in 1910, the iconic structure, which once included a concert hall, restaurant, tea room, ballroom and funfair, attracted thousands of people from across the UK until it fell into disrepair in the 1970’s.

 

Photography by Andrew Heptinsall

Wells Malting, Norfolk

Wells Maltings, a former 19th century malt house in Wells-next-the-Sea, has undergone an award winning refurbishment and extension in a bid to revitalise the building and turn it into North Norfolk’s premier Arts & Heritage Centre.

Choice of façade material for the newly built extension was always going to be critical to the overall success of the project. Proteus HR TECU Brass was specified because it created an aesthetic that was distinct yet sympathetic with the Grade II listed brick and flint walls of the existing building.

The TECU Brass will gradually mature over time to warm earthy tones, creating an aesthetically pleasing patina that will continue to complement the original brick and flint walls on the Malthouse. The Proteus HR TECU Brass rainscreen cladding was installed by Varla Cladding Ltd.

The brief to architects Chaplin Farrant was to create a new, year-round destination for artists, locals and tourists that serves as a cultural heart of the community. The designers succeeded in this, creating a flexible space that is used by a diverse range of groups, as well as maintaining the heritage of the existing Maltings. A new glazed full-height atrium acts as a buffer between the two distinct structures with an expansive roof lantern flooding the space with natural light.

The Proteus TECU Brass clad extension is a similar size to the original building and now announces Wells Maltings as one of Norfolk’s most significant new architectural designs in a long time.

Featuring vertically elongated Proteus HR TECU Brass rainscreen panels on the impressive façade with a traditional handcrafted zinc roof, the new art building is a striking design that establishes a new identify for the whole town. While clever detailing between the zinc roof and Proteus HR TECU Brass panels offer a seamless transition between the two elements, removing bimetallic corrosion challenges and providing a modern twist to a historic old building.

Proteus HR is a lightweight honeycomb panel system that delivers a high strength, exceptionally flat, cost effective solution. This enabled Chaplin Farrant to design this unique, eye catching and award winning project within the client’s original budget. The Maltings secured support from Heritage Lottery Fund and a range of partnership funders and individuals

The Proteus HR TECU Brass cladding at Wells Malting creates an outer rainscreen that protects the inner structure from wind and rain. The majority of Proteus rainscreen cladding systems, like those at Wells Maltings, are baffle jointed, allowing a rear ventilated cavity to circulate air, protecting the inner structure from moisture.

Rightly so, the Wells Malting project has been nominated for a number of awards. Highly Commended in the Graham Allen Awards, which celebrates projects considered to have made the most significant contribution to the built environment within the district, and recently shortlisted for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) East of England Awards in both the Commercial and Community Benefit categories. The awards recognise excellence in the built environment and showcase the successes of RICS professionals and their impact on local communities.

Proteus offers one of the widest ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Brass, TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Gold, TECU Zinn, a tin-plated copper that offers all the advantages of copper but weathers from silver to subtle grey tones.

The materials are available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed.

Wells Maltings remains a historic building but with a twist; a striking example of how old and new architectural styles and materials can work together. The completed project creates a cultural landmark and an inviting, contemporary community space featuring a state-of-the-art theatre and cinema, Heritage Centre, Visitor Information Centre, attractive café and bar and art gallery.

 

Photography by Sarah Toon Photography

UCLan Social Spaces, Preston

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) commissioned ‘social spaces’ with the aim of encouraging students to stay longer on its Preston campus.

Architecture and building consultancy practice, AHR, sought to design and create a striking space that engaged with students. Key design features include a projecting entrance canopy, glass roofs and an indoor hidden garden, as well as moveable furniture so students can reconfigure the space to suit their needs.

Part of a £200m campus masterplan, the development comprises the Foster Building and Harrington Building

Proteus Facades’ supplied its Rimex ColourTex Pyramid Black stainless steel cladding for the front low level aspects of both buildings because it creates a tough, impact resistant surface – the pyramid patterned finish hides scratches, dents and other impact damage, making it ideal for a high traffic student area

Aside from its physical robustness, the three-dimensional pyramid pattern gives the black added depths and texture, creating a lively and reflective facade.

Pre-coated aluminium Euromax AnoMax Ultra Matt Grey Black finish was then used to clad the high level canopy fascia, again on both buildings. The anodised-effect of the AnoMax creates a subtle contrast to the pyramid patterned ColourTex, establishing a fusion of textures and colours.

The primary reason for specifying Euromax AnoMax cladding material was because it offers excellent colour consistency due to the coil painting process. This helped accentuate the clean crisp lines of the Proteus cladding panels which feature a tight radii at the edges that visually elongate the linear sightlines characteristic of good design.

“The guidance from Proteus enabled us to identify a cladding solution for UCLan that met the strict aesthetic and physical performance requirements of the ‘social spaces’ buildings,” said Steven Leung from AHR. “The quality of this development reflects the uncompromising approach of all the project partners and we certainly valued the knowledge and expertise of the Proteus team in proposing appropriate cladding solutions.”

Both the ColourTex and AnoMax materials were specified on the Proteus HR honeycomb panel system. This is a sandwich cladding panel that features a linked geometric honeycomb core. This was structurally bonded to the ColourTex and AnoMax outer skins at UCLan. The result was a cladding panel with high bending stiffness and overall low density.

This allowed the designers to minimize the amount of material used, reducing weight loadings on the structure and delivering a more cost effective outcome due to the honeycomb core allowing thinner outer skin thicknesses whilst still retaining an optically flat panel.  The Proteus HR honeycomb core also reduced weight loadings on the 5m overhanging canopy that announces the point of arrival for students, avoiding the need for overly obtrusive support columns.

Main contractor at UCLan was Conlon Construction Ltd and the façade was installed by Preston-based Architectural Glazing & Facades. The development is part of UCLan’s £200million Masterplan that is being rolled out over the next five years. The new social spaces were complete earlier in 2018.

Proteus Facades offer a wide range of Rimex ColourTex materials, including up to 20 different surface patterns, along with Pyramid. AnoMax from Proteus is a range of pre-coated aluminium that creates the anodizing-look, whilst offering greater scope to incorporate shapes and forms within the façade.

 

Photography by Charlie Birchmore c/o RIMEX

High Wycombe Leisure Centre

Skilful design by Space & Place Architects has avoided the large hill-top building imposing itself in a part of High Wycombe that contains areas of outstanding natural beauty.

High Wycombe Leisure Centre is clad mainly in aluminium, with Proteus HR TECU Patina used to create a striking Verdigris green copper clad entrance pod that projects outwards from the main building and overhangs the reception foyer.

A combination of skilful design and careful choice of façade material overcame the main challenge on this project, which is common to all sports centre buildings; that of minimising the visual impact of what are large square box-like structures.

At 10,750 m², including an 8 lane 50m swimming pool, 12 court sports hall, health suite, 150 station fitness suite, squash courts and bowls hall, the building had the potential to overly dominate its surroundings.

Avoiding this was helped by choosing copper cladding fixed to lightweight composite panels which enabled Space & Place Architects to minimise weight loadings on the overhanging entrance pod, accentuating the ‘floating’, gravity defying aesthetic. Supporting by only two slender steel pillars, the TECU Patina copper clad pod appears to hover over the main building like an otherworldly, organic apparition.

The rectangular TECU Patina panels are fixed in a vertical arrangement to create an eye-catching contrast to the thin, elongated, horizontal aluminium panels of the main façade. This mix of materials, panel design and colours compartmentalise the building, again minimising its visual impact on the landscape.

TECU Patina from Proteus offers the beautiful natural Verdigris green appearance of aged copper from the outset, and which would otherwise build up over the years through the natural oxidation process. This innovative cladding material bypasses the gradual development of the earthy tones through natural weathering.

Proteus HR, which has a honeycomb core, is an integrated modular rainscreen cladding system that offers a flat façade with recessed joints. It is available in steel, aluminium, zinc, stainless steel, copper alloys and other materials. The honeycomb core on Proteus HR minimises material use, whilst still retaining an optically flat panel, meaning it is a practical solution on a wider range of projects.

The Proteus HR TECU Patina cladding was fixed to lightweight Paroc composite panels with fire resistant stone-wool cores by MIZ Consultancy Ltd. The combination of insulated composite panel to form the inner leaf of the overhanging pod and visually striking copper clad outer enabled the architects to realise their vision for a ‘floating’ entrance feature.

Paul Clayton, Associate Director at Space & Place architects, said: “We choose to clad the entrance area at High Wycombe Sports Centre in pre-patinated copper panels because it created a distinct yet subtle point of arrival for visitors. We went through options for appearance of the building with Wycombe council, as it’s positioned at the top of hill in a residential area. We felt that the copper cladding from Proteus softened the building’s appearance on the side that faces open country and beyond.”

Proteus worked closely with the glazing partner on this project to ensure that the large glass panels integrated seamlessly with the copper cladding, accentuating the sheer smooth aesthetic of the entrance façade.

Copper is one of the most versatile, attractive and adaptable architectural cladding materials available, providing consistent performance and a high level of aesthetic appeal. Advances in the oxidation process means that Proteus us now able to offer a wider diversity of green Verdigris patinations as well as alternative colours such as blue and red tones.

For those seeking the bright copper aesthetic before oxidation takes place, Proteus offer TECU Classic, optionally available with a special coating to stop the natural weathering process.

TECU Oxid offers a softer, aged beauty of natural earthy copper tones but which hasn’t yet reached the green Verdigris appearance.

Wycombe Sports Centre has doubled its membership since it opened. The main contractor on this project was Wilmott Dixon.

To read our blog about the options available with our copper cladding, click here.

4 Longwalk, Stockley Park

4 Longwalk in Stockley Park has remained faithful to the original Arup-designed building, with a new dynamic entrance, atrium and dramatic roof soffit featuring Proteus HR high gloss panels in RAL 7004 Signal Grey.

Identical Proteus HR high gloss panels were used at the rear of the building to create a vertical band of rainscreen cladding that runs up the building over a stair core and ground level entrance and walkway.

The Proteus HR soffit panels, specified by Barr Gazetas architects, form a striking, reflective underside of the large 19m cantilevered roof that shelters the front forecourt and vehicle drop off point, adding drama to the main entrance.

Proteus design staff engineered the soffit system to achieve the optimum outcome for the client, architects and installer. This involved increasing the thickness of the aluminium skin on the soffit panels, enabling their span to be maximised in line with the architect’s brief.

Increasing the panel skin thickness also had the effect of minimising the structural requirement on the soffit system, meaning Proteus was able to optimise material usage to meet the overall budget set for this element of the building.

Each soffit panel is supported by the Proteus aluminium carrier system and ancillary components. All Proteus HR cladding and soffit panels are designed with tight radii at the edges for superior sightlines. They are anchored to the cantilevered roof structure with invisible fixings, accentuating the sheer, smooth high gloss aesthetic.

A link with the original Arup building design is maintained through a large circular penetration that is punched through the projecting roof, which also creates additional light and space. Proteus assisted during design, detailing and installation of this circular aperture to ensure it integrated perfectly with the soffit.

The design team at Proteus Facades worked with Deepdale Solutions, the cladding and soffit installer, to create an engineered solution on this challenging project, with visual purity of the soffit and rainscreen cladding being the overall architectural requirement.

“We felt that the tone set by the high gloss finish on the Proteus HR soffit panels achieved the aesthetics we were seeking on this project,” said a spokesperson from Barr Gazetas Ltd. “The Proteus’ HR system with a RAL 7004 Signal Grey gloss finish accentuates the full quadruple height reception area, increasing the impact and presence of the entrance in keeping with the scale of the building.”

Proteus HR is an integrated modular rainscreen system with an aluminium honeycomb core, structurally bonded between two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin to create an optically flat panel. It is available in steel, aluminium, zinc, stainless steel, copper alloys and other materials.

The standard gauge Proteus HR metal skin is capable of maintaining a perfectly optically flat surface. This means cladding and soffit systems specified with Proteus HR are lightweight, strong and with exceptional flatness, combined with tight radii at the edges and with high resistance to impact, thermal bow and ‘oil canning’

The original 4 Longwalk was designed by Arup Associates and completed in the early 1990s. Barr Gazetas architects were commissioned to carry out an extensive refurbishment, including fitting the building out to CAT A standard and achieved an EPC A and BREEAM Excellent, with the works completed by Kier Construction

University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building

The £56.5m Life Sciences Building features a radical, undulating façade executed in Proteus HR solid and SC perforated free-form concave and convex panels with half-circle radii geometry.

The visual impact of Sheppard Robson’s design has been a beacon for the department, and the university reported a 40% rise in admissions in the two years following its completion.

The entire western block of Bristol Life Sciences is sheathed behind a striking combination of Proteus HR and Proteus SC solid and perforated, curved and flat aluminium panels that wrap, ripple and sheer across the facade.

Distinctly different in form, it is this west-facing wing with its gently snaking façade that defines this building. The striking geometry of the Proteus HR and SC façade establishes a new landmark on the Bristol skyline.

Proteus HR and SC are versatile and flexible solutions that provide aesthetic screening to building facades. Proteus SC is a single-skin metal panel system that can be specified as solid, perforated or mesh formats. Proteus HR panels have a honeycomb core to achieve a lightweight, perfectly flat surface, creating a powerful contrast to the curved panels below.

In a radical move by the architects, the large 1.5 m diameter ducts that provide services to the environmentally-controlled laboratories are located outside the building insulation line. These are expressed as bulbous shafts ribbed across the façade and shrouded by Proteus HR solid, curved aluminium panels.

Interwoven between these are three bands of window openings. In order to manage natural light levels inside the laboratories, the windows are set back deep within recesses and semi-obscured by the Proteus SC perforated panels that appear as bulbous, puffed-out, skeletonised versions of the curved HR panels around the service ducts.

The solar shade provided by the perforated panels reduce cooling loads within the teaching half of the building by enabling the use of exposed slabs with active chilled beams. This minimised floor to ceiling heights and that in turn enabled an entire floor height to be saved, which helped in planning and conservation terms.

Repositioning the service ducts to the outside of the also building had practical benefits because it enabled reconfiguration of the internal modular laboratory spaces in order to adapt to future requirements.

The overall appearance of the west-wing is staggering, with a beguiling industrial and machine-like appearance that is a perfect representation of the complex scientific activities that take place within.

Sitting above this sinuous, façade is a counter-balanced pod that features Proteus HR solid cladding panels in a tall, elongated arrangement. The optically flat, sheer face of the Proteus HR panels transition from the wrapped and rippled facade below with the help of swept curves around the edges of the overhanging pod.

A spokesperson from Sheppard Robson architects said: “Our goal on this project was to create a building that respects the neighbouring listed buildings and surrounding conservation area whilst also adding a confident piece of contemporary design to Bristol. The cladding panels have created a sinuous organic aesthetic that reflects the nature of the activities inside.”

The Life Sciences Building now has one of the largest learning labs in the country, capable of teaching 200 students at once. There are multiple screens to ensure all students can see close-up what the lecturer is doing and moveable walls can change the size of the space.

Bristol Life Sciences Building was shortlisted in the RIBA Awards and Education Estates Awards. It was designed by the architects Sheppard Robson and built by VINCI Construction UK.

Royal Holloway, University of London

The east side of the striking 10,000m2 building, which expands the university’s library provision, now features the beautiful brown-red to brown-grey and ochre tones of Proteus HR’s TECU Bronze cladding panels.

The scheme, designed by Associated Architects, features Proteus HR panels which consist of an aluminium honeycomb core for strength and rigidity, structurally bonded between two thin gauges of TECU Bronze material, to create an optically flat face with tight radii. The Proteus HR cladding is fixed to composite panels that incorporate high levels of insulation.

The Emily Wilding Davison Building is a striking design yet one that sits harmoniously in a site steeped in history, flanked on one side by the Grade I listed Gothic revival building and surrounded by one of the most beautiful natural campus landscapes of any university in the world.

Proteus HR TECU Bronze was selected by Associated Architects because the ochre’s, browns and reds resulting from the natural weathering of the material was considered to harmonise with the colour of the brick and clay roof tiles of the Grade I structure beyond.

The size and shape of the TECU Bronze cladding panels featured heavily during the design stage, with a decision taken to go with elongated portrait format panels with horizontal joints that aligned with projecting feature ‘tree-house’ meeting pods.

The sensitive design response came out of a number of constraints imposed by topological aspects of the site, with one principal factor being a need to limit the height of the new building so that it remained clearly subservient to the Gothic Revival Grade I Listed Founders Building.

In response, the Emily Wilding Building doesn’t exceed three storeys above ground, whilst use of the vertical module TECU Bronze cladding panels avoids the façade appearing squat. A basement floor was excavated into the sloping site, maximising the useable space.

Proteus Façade’s TECU Bronze, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, provides the façade with outstanding mechanical abrasion and corrosion resistant properties as well as being maintenance free.

The main contractor was Osborne, one of the leading construction businesses in the UK. The Proteus HR TECU Bronze cladding panels were installed by Colorminium, who were involved in all aspect of the façade from two years prior to commencement of the build, working with Associated Architects and Proteus Facades during the process and undertaking the design in a full 3D BIM Revit format.

Proteus offers one of the widest ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, TECU Zinn, a tin-plated copper that offers all the advantages of copper but weathers from silver to subtle grey tones.

The materials are also available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed.

The TECU Bronze cladding fitted on the Emily Wilding Davison Building was supplied in its natural warm, reddish brown state, which will develop in a manner characteristic for bronze through the effects of weathering.

 

Photography by Simon West Photography

70 Wilson Street, London

70 Wilson Street has been refurbished and extended in collaboration with Low Carbon Workplace to create a highly efficient, futureproof office space with BREEAM Excellent rating based on low carbon standards.

This was a highly complex façade that pushed the limits of technical performance, design engineering and manufacturing capabilities.

Proteus worked with A Studio, the architects for 70 Wilson Street to overcome a number of project specific challenges.

Proteus Facades provided a series of panel systems all covered with a TECU Iron Two material in a number of formats, including solid honeycomb panels, perforated screens and insulated spandrel panels.

The main visual panels on Wilson Street include vertical and horizontal beam cladding of Proteus HR panels. These panels connect to structural aluminium PPC Proteus spandrel panels that have built in steel beams to assist in taking the loading of the external visual panels.

The perforated screens sitting in front of the Kawneer glazing system were designed to span floor to floor and incorporate steel framing within the panels, cleverly cloaked with the TECU material to blend into the overall façade. The connection of these Proteus SC brise soliel panels was integrated with the design of the structural spandrel panels so they visually look as though they are floating in the air.

At the higher levels of the building the panels are integrated with the Kawneer curtain walling system. The architectural team had designed a glazing pattern of 1500mm widths, creating the challenge of integrating the TECU Iron 2 material, which was available in a 1000mm maximum sheet width.

Proteus, working with the installer, JPJ Installations, designing a multi faced spandrel panel to overcome this issue. The glazing unit sizes we’re compartmentalised into panel cassette sizes that could be produced from the base material. These four panels were then joined together and formed into one spandrel panel with integrated insulation and structurally supported and tied together with horizontal steel cross members, before finally being anchored back to the curtain walling.

Once this engineering challenge had been overcome, a combination of Proteus cladding systems in TECU Iron Two – solid and perforated face formats – were specified by A Studio architects.

“We knew that the façade for 70 Wilson Street was going to present a number of engineering and manufacturing challenges,” said Nick Gazanis, Associate Architect at A Studio. “That is why we identified a façade supplier that had the expertise to cope with the refit, new build and facade retention elements of this project.”

He added; “In terms of façade engineering, 70 Wilson Street is a masterpiece, yet the observer is unaware of the amount of design ingenuity that went into creating what is a stunning overall aesthetic, because it is completely hidden behind the panels.”

The Proteus façade elements were specified in KME’s new TECU Patina Iron Two material, which was chosen by A Studio and the developer, Stanhope, because it combines an attractive natural copper surface finish, with the weathered look of steel. It retains all the benefits of copper, such as excellent formability and unrivalled durability, with long term low maintenance.

The material creates an ever changing aesthetic, depending on whether it is in light or shade, dry or wet. Its natural weathered appearance matures over time to create subtle mellow tones.

Additional scheduling complexity during installation of the façade arose because 70 Wilson Street is located in a very busy part of the City of London. This required planning of deliveries in fine detail and ensuring the façade elements fitted right, first time, with no margin for error. Proteus assembles all façade elements in its manufacturing facility to ensure they fitted on site.

The developer and owner of 70 Wilson Street is Stanhope. Main contractor was Wilmott Dixon. Façade installer was Essex-based JPJ Installations Ltd.