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.

Northampton University Energy Centre

Further visual interest was added to this project by the juxtaposition between the Proteus SC perforated panels specified for the flue stack and Proteus HR solid cladding panels used to create the unusual vertical saw-tooth façade design on the Energy Centre’s main building.

This was a challenging project for MCW architects because the designers had to work around the constraints imposed by the requirement for a large ‘box’ like structure to house a 1MW biomass boiler, four 4MW gas boilers and a 120m³ thermal store.

Proteus HR solid metal skin with honeycomb core was used around the thermal envelope of the building combined with polycarbonate cladding in a striking internally lit vertical “saw-tooth” arrangement. The lightweight, exceptional flatness, strength and rigidity of Proteus HR panels allowed the architects to develop a large modular cassette system (2500x1000mm), which was replicated around the building providing uniformity across different façade elements.

An equally engaging aesthetic was achieved on the 26m high stack by wrapping it in the Proteus SC perforated ‘skin’, creating a sense of weightlessness in what would, at the height of three London buses, have been quite an imposing structure. The back-lit random perforations now appear as though they are pixels being projected outwards from the 12m LCD screen, whilst the elongated landscape perforated panels play with the eye to visually truncate the stack’s overall height.

The screen itself provides the university with a useful information bulletin that showcases courses and events as well as being an advertising medium, both of which have the potential to generate a useful secondary income stream.

In order to achieve the ‘random’ pattern for the perforations, each of the Proteus SC panels on the flue stack had to be manufactured to a specific drawing reference and to millimetre tolerances. This involved changing the location, number and layout of the perforations on each panel. The pitch of each hole had to be calculated so that they passed seamlessly over panel joints.

Proteus also addressed the aim of establishing a seamless link between its perforated panels on the stack and the 12m high LED screen. This was done by working with the architects, screen suppliers and façade installers, Deane Roofing and Cladding, to create a bespoke tray system allowing the screen to be recessed and the perforated panels butted up flush with the edges.

While the building function is essentially utilitarian and technical, the external envelope has been developed to create a visually strong elevation to the campus celebrating the University’s commitment to sustainability.” said MCW architects. .”

Both the Proteus SC perforated and Proteus HR solid cladding panels are executed in polyester powder coated aluminium in RAL 7044 Silky grey, creating visual integration between the stack and main building below.

The new Energy Centre forms part of the £330m Waterside Campus Development at the University of Northampton. It will provide sustainable heating and hot water for all the buildings and student residencies on the 58 acre site, whilst saving over 1,000 tons of CO2 in the short term, rising to 2,200 tons a year following the introduction of a Combined Heat & Power Engine.

Square Chapel Centre for Arts, Halifax

Proteus HR TECU Classic rainscreen cladding was used for the exterior façade of the new extension, which sits alongside the original building and more than doubles the size of the arts centre.

The Proteus HR system features an aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two thin gauges of metal, which in the case of the rainscreen panels at Square Chapel were TECU Classic copper.

The honeycomb core of the Proteus HR system creates a lightweight, strong and optically flat surface. This enabled the designers, Evans Vettori Architects, to elongate the facade panels, accentuating the cubic shape of the new extension and complementing the skyward reaching Square Church spire beyond.

Proteus TECU OXID HR and SC panels were used for internal cladding around the catering area and lift shafts. The material was selected because it is pre-oxidised, giving it an attractive and engaging surface from the moment it is installed.

Gradual changes to the TECU Classic rainscreen cladding panels as the copper material oxides with the effect of wind, rain and sunlight, will create striking and attractive colour variations. Eventually, the natural tones created by this process will complement the Proteus OXID pre-oxided panels used inside.

Ultimately, this oxidation process will result in the exterior rainscreen façade matching the Proteus OXID HR and SC panels used for the internal areas. This fusion between the two elements will blur the boundaries between where the outside ends and the inside begins, drawing visitors into the arts centre.

The Proteus SC perforated panels used internally add to the aesthetic created by the pre-oxidised material. The overall result of the façade solution from Proteus is an image of modernity, yet one that still gives a nod to the heritage of Halifax and formal approach of the original Methodist movement.

Robert Evans, director at Evans Vettori Architects, said: “We specified TECU material from Proteus because we were looking for a rainscreen façade that would give the new extension its own distinct identity whilst at the same time harmonising with the existing historic buildings. In a world-renowned location such as this, with the Grade I Piece Hall on one side and existing Grade II* Square Chapel, that was quite a challenge.”

Robert added: “We liked the fact that Proteus was able to supply both the rainscreen facade and internal cladding elements using TECU material. Overall it has helped create a striking aesthetic and one that will change and evolve just like the buildings on site have done over the years.”

The team at Norman and Underwood installed the rainscreen facade, internal cladding, traditional handcrafted roofing and curtain wall glazing elements. The main contractor on the project was Derbyshire-based Wildgoose Construction.

Originally built in 1772 as a Methodist Chapel and visited by John Wesley shortly after completion, the Grade II* Listed building receives 40,000 visitors each year to see film, theatre, live music, comedy, family shows and workshops and more.

The project received donations from Arts Council England as well as various other sources. Square Chapel Centre for Arts was completed in summer 2017.

Photography by Mark Hadden

Goodhart Building for University College, Oxford

Whilst the spirit of the original 1960s building is still there, Freeland Rees Roberts Architects updated Goodhart using Proteus cladding for the window pods, top floor extension and roof soffits.

Executed in Rimex stainless steel in a Proteus HR format, the projecting window pods, made from multiple panels, are manufactured from Colourtex Granex in Bronze effect.

The roof soffits, which jut out from the building in a repeating diagonal pattern were again manufactured using the Proteus HR in Colourtex Granex Champagne colour, to complement the Bronze window pods, but allows more light to bounce off the soffits.

The subtle contrast between the Bronze and Champagne preserve the character of the existing building and form part of a colour scheme that keeps the refurbished building sympathetic with the surrounding heritage assets.

Proteus HR’s honeycomb core delivers maximum compression and shear resistance with minimal material requirement. Aside from keeping costs down, this made it the ideal choice for the projecting window pods, roof extension and overhanging soffits because it reduced the load transferred to the main building structure.

The Proteus HR panels specified for the windows were fitted to vertical mullions anchored to the backing wall. This system provided sufficient adjustment to enable the shadow gaps between the multiple panels to achieve millimetre tolerances. This, combined with the exceptional flatness and tight edge radii of each honeycomb panel, created perfectly harmonious sightlines between the eight separate elements that make up each window pod.

Tania Gomez-Duran, Associate at Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, who lead the project to retrofit the Goodhart Building student accommodation, said: “The Proteus HR cladding system provided us with an effective method of retaining the original window aesthetics. The subtle granular surface of the panels complement the sheer smooth glass elements of the window.”

She added: “The combination of projecting window elements and overhanging roofline has the effect of breaking up the façade but maintaining the rhythm of the existing. We felt that this avoided having large plain areas that would clash with the intricate architectural detailing on assets nearby.”

The Goodhart Building has been fully refurbished and extended to provide accommodation for 57 students. Originally opened in 1962 to provide accommodation for undergraduates in the heart of the college, the refurbishment was carried out to improve the buildings energy efficiency and quality. It now uses 40 percent less energy than the original building.

A spokesperson from Oxford University said: “The refurbishment has completely transformed the quality and energy performance of Goodhart, providing University College with a light, bright, comfortable student residence with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The cladding around the window and roofline retain a spiritual link with the original design.”

The Granex finish involves the controlled bead blasting of sheet and coil stainless steel and other metals with various media to produce a range of matt finishes in different coarseness. The surface finish is more reliably consistent and of a superior quality compared to other methods of creating a granular finish.

Cladanco installed the cladding and the main contractor was Beard Construction.

 

Photography courtesy of Charles Birchmore Photography

Chester Theatre, Chester

Executed in Proteus HR TECU copper, the ribbed, abstracted rainscreen clad fins envelope the 150-seat studio theatre that sits on top of the main auditorium, creating a presence like no other.

The copper fins announce the new studio theatre, jutting outwardly and inwardly, with their slotted appearance being described as a touch of ‘1920s German Expressionist theatre’.

Clad entirely in Proteus rainscreen cladding this ‘copper pavilion’ jauntily points to the Chester skyline, bookending the western corner of the elongated square building, which is framed at one side by the town hall and cathedral at the other.

It was Cheshire West and Chester council that stepped in with a bold plan to deliver this £37m vision for transforming the Grade II-listed Odeon cinema building. Charged with implementing this ambitious plan was multi RIBA-award winning architects Bennetts Associates.

Bright and bold, the Proteus rainscreen clad studio theatre sits confidently above the much larger 800-seat theatre, comprising the new build elements. What was the existing Odeon has been transformed into a 94-seat ‘boutique’ cinema, library, restaurant/bar and café.

Visitors to the building cannot fail to notice that Bennetts Associates’ striking design makes a central play of the Proteus copper cladding. The gleaming, protruding copper-clad box will transition over time to an oxidised green that will echo the appearance of the original Odeon roof.

The Proteus HR cladding now cuts across the green tinged cast-glass panels and striated brickwork of Storyhouse, compositionally breaking up and blurring the lines between the refurbished and new build elements.

“The success of the Storyhouse design lies in the way the extension containing the theatre spaces was added to the shell of the Grade 2 listed 1930s Odeon. Whilst the proportions of the extension relate directly to the historic brick cinema, we used copper and glass to create the elevations, to provide contrast and to identify the main elements of the new building.

Proteus HR TECU cladding is used to clad the studio theatre and bar, which is expressed as an overhanging element on the skyline of the building. The flatness of the panels and the long-term beauty of the natural copper finish were key to this decision,” said Simon Erridge, Project Director, Bennetts Associates.

Storyhouse has been designed to the highest standards for audience comfort and sightlines. The same rigour has been applied to the rainscreen cladding, both visually and technically. The Proteus HR copper panels are fitted to rigid vertical mullions that are anchored to the backing wall with adjustable support brackets.

The intimate space that is enveloped with Proteus copper cladding looks set to become the hardest working space in the building. Retractable seating has been incorporated to allow for a flat floor for workshops and rehearsals, while as a performance space its intimacy allows for a close relationship between actor and audience.

Main contractor at Chester Storyhouse was Kier North West, with the cladding installed by Curtis Moore (Cladding Systems) Ltd.