St Catherine’s College, Ainworth Centre, Oxford

The new Ainsworth Graduate Centre is a striking circular design yet one that sits harmoniously in a location steeped in history. The building resides on the site of the original Grade I listed campus designed by renowned architect Arne Jacobsen.

Built between 1960 and 1964, Jacobsen designed the college’s main campus in its entirety. Since Jacobsen’s death in 1971 additional buildings have been delivered by the Danish architect’s assistant, Knud Holscher, and Stirling Prize-winning RIBA past president Stephen Hodder. Architects Purcell designed the new Graduate Centre as a continuation of the second phase of Hodder’s development by following his typology as sensitively as possible.

Proteus HR TECU bronze cladding panels were specified for the cylindrical three-storey hub, which features a seminar room and common room, as a reference to Jacobsen’s use of the material on previous projects at the college, synchronising old with new.

Proteus HR is a modular rainscreen system that offers a smooth façade with recessed joints. The panels have a lightweight aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two thin gauges of metal. The lightweight nature of this rainscreen system minimises weight loadings on the underlying structure whilst achieving strength and rigidity.

The panels are fixed onto a unique system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which were designed and manufactured by Proteus Facades. Proteus fabricated the structural element of the fixing system so that it physically curves around the building. Installers Norman & Underwood then secured the flat panels to create a faceted façade that, when viewed from afar gives the perception that it is curved around a tight radius.

Proteus Facades also fabricated three varieties of TECU bronze fins for external use on glazed sections. Shorter fins were secured with a modified vertical aluminium extrusion cloaked with TECU bronze and secured with stainless steel brackets. Each one is fixed off the curtain wall system, with the TECU bronze capping designed bespoke to achieve the maximum depth from the glazing line to create a more striking aesthetic.

Deeper, vertical TECU Bronze fins are secured to a bespoke structural frame up to 450mm off the cladding line, which compartmentalises the façade. The vertical fins frame the structural bay and are fixed off curtain walling, spigoted into the ground and bracketed at the head. The internal aluminium carcass was secured with structural brackets back to the curtain wall and plated at join positions with discrete fixings.

Horizontal beams on the top of the upper level were fabricated in a curve and fixed to a bespoke aluminium structure, then cloaked with the TECU Bronze material from Proteus. Norman & Underwood secured the beams with structural gusseted brackets fixed back to the primary structure. All three types of fins went through a double-marquette process, where principal and secondary designs were presented to the architects and client for review before manufacture.

As well as a reference to the original campus buildings, the bronze finish of the panels and fins was specified to contrast in tone and glossiness with stainless steel panels, also manufactured by Proteus Facades, which feature on existing and the newly developed student accommodation blocks adjacent to the centre.

In the early 1990s and 2000s Hodder added three accommodation blocks to the site, housing a total of 54 rooms. The facades on these buildings feature Proteus HR Stainless Steel cladding panels, manufactured by Proteus Façades several decades ago. This material was originally chosen as the smooth finish of the stainless steel stands out against the coarse finish of the concrete structure creating a textured facade.

Like the Graduate Centre, the newest student accommodation pavilions are a continuation of Hodder’s development, adding 78 large spacious en-suite rooms connected by glazed stairwells. The façades of the new buildings imitates those constructed by Hodder, and so Proteus Facades was appointed to fabricate exact replicas of the original Stainless Steel panels they manufactured some twenty years previous for the new development, whilst using more modern methods of construction.

The stainless steel panels sit inboard of the building’s concrete frame with a standard pattern of two panels adjacent to large rectangular windows on each of the rooms. The Proteus HR rainscreen panels were supplied pre-finished with a 240S brushed polished finish.

The aluminium carrier system used is fully adjustable on all axis, allowing exacting sightlines to be maintained across the façade. This enables the façade at St Catherine’s college to make the most of linear shadow lines between the Proteus HR panels and concrete structure.

Record Hall, Hatton Square, London

Following an £18.4m refurbishment designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects, Record Hall has been transformed from an outdated former record depository, into a state-of-the-art, six-floor business centre with a striking exterior.

The brief given to Karakusevic Carson Architects by owners Workspace was to redevelop the 1920s structure on Leather Lane, part of the Hatton Garden Conservation Area, into a modern building that offers cost effective workshops suitable for companies working in both the jewellery and media & creative industries.

Redeveloped by main contractor HG Construction, Record Hall now offers 61,000 sq. ft. of office and studio space. The project involved refurbishing the existing four-storey building and adding a two-storey roof extension.

The upper levels of the building, including the new extension, are clad in striking Proteus HR Aluminium panels with a bespoke bronze United Anodisers (540) finish; chosen to reflect the heritage of the area, which has been at the centre of London’s jewellery trade since medieval times.

Installed by FPP Facades, Proteus HR was also specified because it is a lightweight, strong and versatile cladding panel that creates an optically flat aesthetic. The integrated modular rainscreen panels feature an aluminium honeycomb core, structurally bonded between two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin to create an optically flat panel.

In addition, Proteus Facades fabricated bespoke extruded vertical and horizontal fins with an identical finish, which gives the impression that the cladding panels are recessed into the building. This further compartmentalises the façade against the existing brickwork and complements the art deco window styles that, when illuminated in the evenings, shimmer in the light and provides further countenance to the striking design for passers-by.

Inclusion of the rainscreen cladding not only offers appealing aesthetics but adds to the energy efficiency by allowing the incorporation of high levels of insulation behind the panel – the relatively thinner panels allow increased insulation thickness on the inner structure whilst still maintaining the ventilated cavity behind the panels.

The Proteus HR panels provide the building with protection from the elements, too, including elevated windspeeds in this built up area with narrow streets dominated by medium rise structures.

Along with efficient new building services, the incorporation of high-performance insulation to both new and existing elements of fabric and a wildflower green roof have all contributed to the achievement of a BREEAM Excellent rating.

The aim of the redevelopment at Record Hall is to support new and growing businesses to thrive. Boasting 86 units ranging from 170 to 7,000 sq. ft., the building encompasses a Club Workspace outpost, the company’s coworking brand, along with ground floor café ‘The Archive’, high-tech meeting rooms, a co-working lounge and roof terraces offering views across the City.

Formed of two distinct parts, the building is situated in a tight site on a narrow street, which resulted in the street-facing elevation resembling more of a back entrance. As such, the architects also extended outwards to the boundary line to reorganise the interior and bring the main entrance to the centre of the plan to give it a direct visual relationship with a new lightwell.

Karakusevic Carson Architects commented: “The Record Hall project demonstrates how intelligent design can bring clarity and character to what was a previously complex and incoherent site and create a place where old and new cannot simply co-exist but flourish.”

 

Photography courtesy – Quintin Lake

York House, Kings Cross, London

Once described as unwelcoming and foreboding, York House in Kings Cross, which dates back to 1981, featured a complex brick façade, with a set back entrance and very small windows giving the building a stand-offish appearance as well as a poorly lit interior.

Following a £13 million refurbishment, the building, purchased by The Office Group, which provides flexible workspaces in London, Leeds and Bristol, has been transformed into a bright, co-working space, suitable for London’s thriving and growing businesses.

Designed by Architects dMFK, the 70,000sq. ft, eight storey redevelopment features both modern and traditional elements. An original Torigenus cast aluminium sculpture sits on the east side of the building, created by sculptor Geoffrey Clarke, whilst bold new additions include a double height entrance with offices above, as well as a set back roof extension and terrace on the 7th floor.

Proteus SC Perforated Aluminium cladding panels wrap around a parapet along the new terrace in a bespoke repeated zig zag profile, which blends softly with the sky and complements a brick lattice façade, set on a 45-degree angle. The perforated panels also span various windows on the upper elements of the building.

The Proteus SC cladding system at York House, manufactured from 2mm aluminium sheets, was specified with an Interpon D2525 Anodic Bronze Polyester Powder Coat (PPC) finish to all sides and 40mm perforations in a regular triangular grid.

Each panel, installed by Richardson Roofing, is supported by a recessed aluminium PPC framing system devised by Proteus Facades and coloured to match. The unique fixings discreetly hold the cladding system in place whilst allowing for a thinner perforated skin to be used without resulting in deflection or distortion, helping the façade remain both aesthetically pleasing and within budget requirements.

Furthermore, careful placement of the perforations allows for natural light to pass through new enlarged windows, comfortably illuminating the interior of the once darkened building, with no need for blinds and reducing the level of artificial lighting required. This, alongside the installation of solar panels, premium insulation and double glazing (taking the efficiency rating from G to A), have resulted in the redevelopment achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification.

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 system can be manufactured between 1mm and 5mm in thickness and an acoustic insulation layer encapsulated within the panel. For internal applications Proteus Facades can provide contrasting fabric inserts when the panels are perforated.

As The Office Group’s 38th workspace to open in the UK, and fourth in Kings Cross, York House has been completely regenerated into a luxurious sought-after building featuring state-of-the-art amenities including a café, gym, library and roof gardens with panoramic views of the city.

Alongside dMFK and Proteus Facades, other businesses involved in the redevelopment scheme, which officially opened at the end of 2019, include QS Quantem, structural engineer Webb Yates and contractor Collins Construction.

28 – 30 Hoxton Street, London (Project Drum)

Aviva, a British multinational insurance company and pensions provider, identified Hoxton Square as the ideal location to create a campus of offices and relocate its Digital Garage; a dedicated space where technical specialists, creative designers and business leaders collaborate to develop new ideas and services. As part of the development, known as Project Drum, Aviva purchased 28-30 Hoxton Square along with other buildings in the area.

28-30 Hoxton Square required a substantial level of refurbishment, which created the opportunity to extend the property to increase capacity and improve accessibility and the layout between two front facing blocks. Architects TTSP redesigned the three-storey structure, with an entirely new floor added to the front and rear elevations as well as the demolition of a single storey centre, which was rebuilt to four storeys.

A major part of the brief given to TTSP was to ensure that historic structural elements of the building were retained and left exposed whilst all new visible external elements were over-clad to harmonise with the original features. Working closely with TTSP, Proteus Facades provided support with the design of the rainscreen cladding system to ensure this challenge was met.

Proteus HR TECU Patina Madrid panels, installed by Openwood Facades Ltd, were chosen for the double height storey which sits atop of the central part of the building, with architectural fins to the south elevations and window frames designed to match. The patterned copper finish of the Proteus material perfectly complements the colours and textures of the surrounding buildings, whilst staying in keeping with the heritage of the original site that dates to the 1700s.

Proteus HR VM Zinc Quartz rainscreen cladding was also specified for the roof level of 28- 30 Hoxton Square, which provides a long, maintenance-free life and offers adaptability to various design styles ranging from traditional to modern.

Proteus HR was specified for both the TECU Patina Madrid and VM Zinc Quartz materials at Hoxton because it is a lightweight, strong and versatile cladding panel that creates an optically flat aesthetic that is highly suited for 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.

To mirror the design of the external façade, Proteus HR TECU Patina Madrid panels were also specified for use on a double-width lift lobby, which acts as a bright and bold mid-section connecting various internal departments, including a state-of-the-art AV centre.

In addition, Proteus Facades supplied mesh screens fixed to windows along the rear elevation in a Polyester Powder Coated (PPC) finish, which remains a popular choice with architects because of its long-term performance and cost benefits.

All factors which resulted in the development being named as a finalist for the Mixology19 Awards in the Medium Commercial Interiors of the Year category.

Proteus Facades offers one of the widest ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Brass, TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Patina Madrid, TECU Gold, TECU Zinn, a tin-plated copper that weathers from silver to subtle grey tones, along with many others.

All 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. Proteus Facades also offers a range of other surface treatments that avoid, delay or accelerate the weathering process.

Originally built in the 1700’s as an upmarket residential development, by the late 20th century Hoxton Square became the place to be for artists, musicians, photographers and other creatives in London, which attracted crowds from across the city. As digital technologies have prevailed however the area is now home to a number of leading digital and tech led businesses like Aviva.

Northampton International Academy

What was once the Royal Mail Sorting Office on Barrack Road, has now been redeveloped into an iconic school featuring a reflective Proteus SC Perforated Stainless Steel façade.

After closing due to a fire in 2003, the building remained uninhabited for over a decade and fell into disrepair. Once described as an eyesore of the city, the structure has now been given a new lease of life as Northampton International Academy.

Helping to respond to a significant requirement for school places in the city, Architecture Initiative identified the old sorting office as the ideal space for the new state-of-the-art school.

Working closely with the local authority, the London-based architects redesigned the colossal, brutalist building, which was originally opened by Princess Diana on her first solo engagement in 1981, into an education hub filled with natural light.

The Proteus SC Perforated panels installed at Northampton International Academy cleverly mask the monolithic appearance of the original structure, whilst not completely hiding this brutalist piece of architecture. The mirror polished surface on the face of the panels reflects the skyline giving the impression that the building is less imposing.

Reducing the perforation sizes from the middle of the façade to the top and bottom edges, maximises translucency, whilst acting as brise soleil, providing shade from solar glare and preventing over-heating to the teaching spaces.

The single skin perforated panels were manufactured from a sheet of 2mm Stainless Steel, which offers the ideal combination of high strength and a modern, progressive aesthetic. The material also holds excellent corrosion resistant properties.

Each panel, installed by Deane Roofing & Cladding, is supported by the Proteus aluminium carrier system and ancillary components anchored to a cantilever steel frame from the underlying masonry structure. These allowed the panels to be hooked-on from behind, accentuating the sheer, smooth façade interrupted only by the perforated design.

Northamptonshire is known for its history of crafting leather goods, particularly the art of traditional shoemaking. So taking the design process one step further, Proteus Facades worked closely with Architecture Initiative to create perforations that acknowledge this heritage; with the holes on each panel positioned to imitate those found on a Northampton-made brogue-style shoe.

In addition, careful placement of the small and large perforations allows natural light to pass through and flood the interior of the school, whilst the metal façade is rendered virtually invisible from the inside. This innovative approach is just one of the reasons Northampton International Academy was named one of the “boldest” buildings of 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

With a floor area of 22,250m2 and generous high ceilings, the academy, run by the EMLC Academy Trust, accommodates over 2,220 pupils, including 420 primary, 1,500 secondary and 300 sixth formers.

The front of the school houses two illuminated signage boxes that indicate separate entrances for primary and secondary pupils, which perfectly complement the mirror polish of the Proteus SC panels.

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is available in either solid, perforated or expanded mesh formats, and in an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms. The system is available between 1mm and 5mm in thickness and can be specified with an acoustic insulation layer encapsulated within the panel. For internal applications Proteus Facades can also provide contrasting fabric inserts when the panels are perforated.

Delivered by Northamptonshire County Council with funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and developed by Contractor, Vinci Construction, Northampton International Academy is one of the largest education conversion projects in the country.

For further information about Proteus SC or to view more inspirational rainscreen facades from Proteus Facades, click here or call: 0151 545 5075.

Chesil Lodge, Chesil Street, Winchester

Chesil Lodge is a £16 million Extra Care facility that provides contemporary style homes for local residents of Winchester aged 55 and over.

The development, commissioned by Winchester City and Hampshire County Council, features striking Proteus’ HR TECU Bronze rainscreen panels on the upper levels and traditional Winchester red brick on other elements.

During the design stages a series of workshops were held between Winchester Council and designers PDP Architecture in conjunction with local architect’s Design Engine, where it was envisaged that the building should be developed to be as sympathetic to its surroundings as possible.

Proteus HR TECU Bronze was specified because the material’s ochre, brown and red tones perfectly complement the brickwork colour to create an aesthetically pleasing yet unobtrusive façade.

Working alongside Main Contractor Galliford Try, Proteus Facades fabricated the panels, which have a lightweight aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two thin gauges of metal, with the outer veneer in this case being the specified TECU Bronze material. This rainscreen system minimises weight loadings on the underlying structure whilst helping the panels achieve near perfect optical flatness, strength and rigidity. The cladding panels were installed by MK Facades.

The rich diversity of the TECU range of copper and copper-alloy materials such as bronze allow unparalleled variety and high-quality aesthetics for architecture especially as the material weathers and mellows over time. This subtly changes the façade’s appearance as it develops a tough, maintenance-free and beautiful patina, as will be the case at Chesil Lodge.

During the weathering process, the matt surface of the Proteus HR TECU Bronze rainscreen cladding panels develop an oxide layer that will provide additional protection from rain, frost, wind, UV rays and other external elements. This brings with it striking colour variations through an entire range of warm russet tones that change depending on the level of natural light and time of year.

The overall building design is based around a clever syncopation of two and three storey blocks that feature integral balconies, which, in combination with the Proteus HR Bronze rainscreen cladding and glazing elements, visually interrupt the skyline, avoiding what could otherwise have been a large, monolithic structure.

This massing of the development and the façade treatment are what sets this project apart, creating a development that is sympathetic with its location. PDP Architecture orientated the building so that it faced on to the rear of Chesil Street along Barfield Close, again, a measure to avoid imposing on existing buildings and the local area.

All factors which resulted in the development securing the Best Inclusive Building Award at the annual Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards 2019. In addition, Chesil Lodge has been shortlisted for the 2019 SPACES Civic Building of the Year award.

Proteus Facades 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.

All 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. Proteus Facades also offers a range of other surface treatments that avoid, delay or accelerate the weathering process.

Chesil Lodge comprises of 52 self-contained Extra Care Units supported by a number of shared facilities including a reception area, cafe/restaurant facility, a lounge and activity rooms, as well as a Day Care Unit which allows families respite from care for the morning or afternoon.

24 King William Street, London

The £23 million renovation of the 80,730 ft² building, located on the northern approach to London Bridge, was designed by Ben Adams Architects and includes the addition of two new storeys.

An elegant reception area comprises of a double height entrance hall leading into a lift lobby, finished with Portland stone floors and feature walls in marble and leather, with brass accents throughout. To reflect the style within, striking perforated Proteus SC TECU Brass panels and bespoke vertical fins and trim flashings, with an Artisan hand applied patinated finish were specified for the ground level, street facing elevations.

The fins at 24 King William Street are designed around a rigid bespoke aluminium extrusion that connects to the curtain wall glazing system. The outer TECU Brass element of the fins are profiled in shape and taper across the length to generate an angled effect – the fins increasingly extend outwards as they ascend – whilst the connection of the material to the extrusion and the window frame remains constant.

The internal aluminium structure of the fins provides the necessary support and structural connection back to the curtain walling. This also created a depth at the rear, hiding the curtain wall system from plain view and giving passers by the perception that the fins float in front of the glazing system.

The combination of thin gauge brass material and internal aluminium support framework ensured that this element of the façade met budgetary requirements. Proteus’s in-house expertise also overcame the difficult folding requirements of the TECU Brass fin profile, which were towards the limits of current bending technology.

The fins are complemented by Proteus SC perforated panels, which are fixed over insulated spandrel panels within the curtain wall system. These panels hide the ventilation elements of the curtain wall and blend the fins and curtain wall system together. The panels were finished with the Artisan patination effect which is created by applying a fine linear /orbital grain brush effect to the face of the material before having the chemical application and sealing. The panels will gradually weather over time and continue to embellish the already highly desirable warm ochre hues of the Artisan hand patinated finish.

The TECU Brass is developed by blending copper and zinc, which creates an extremely tough, robust façade and then applying a patinated finish that adds texture and contrast, giving a richly aged aesthetic. This rich diversity of the copper-alloy material allows unparalleled variety and high-quality aesthetics, complementing the natural stone and brass tones of the lobby.

A touch of zinc

The rear elevation of the nine-storey building near Monument station features an equally impressive façade complete with Proteus HR Graphite Grey Rheinzinc rainscreen panels. This zinc material then wraps up and over, forming a curved zinc roofing system which blends vertical and horizontal elevations into one. The material is gaining favour with architects and developers as it provides a long, maintenance-free life and offers adaptability to various design styles ranging from traditional to modern.

Once dominated by rambling plant rooms, the interior of the zinc roof is now home to state of the art offices overlooking the City and the River Thames. A limestone façade featured on the front of the building connects to the roof through Proteus’ perforated flat sheets in a United Anodisers UnAtex bespoke finish.

These United Anodisers UnAtex panels are also integrated within the windows on the top two floors, and then flow up and onto the roof generating the patterned effect, while making is look like the façade and roof become one element.

Together this juxtaposition of materials has helped to bring an outdated and under-utilised 1980’s office building back into use; transforming it into a modern, aesthetically pleasing structure that stands out amongst many others in a prominent and sought-after location within the Capital.

Redeveloped to a Grade A specification, the building includes a tranquil new garden coupled with new retail spaces at ground floor level.

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.