BAE Systems, Lancashire

BAE Systems, Lancashire

Proteus HR, Proteus SC
Capital Symonds

It is perhaps appropriate that the rainscreen cladding system used on a new reception building, inspired by the form of a fighter jet, at an aerospace facility is based on composite technology which originated in the aircraft industry.

For the pewter-grey Proteus HR panel, which incorporates an aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two lightweight metal skins, complemented by Proteus SC perforated panels, clad the prow of the iconic building at the heart of the site’s redevelopment.

The original concept had been for a traditional brick building but Capita Symonds’ architectural team stayed true to their fighter jet concept (originally etched on a post-it note) from day one. Their structural engineering team helped produce an innovative design that features a dramatic structure with rainscreen cladding on external walls and roof to give it a seamless skin.

The building was conceived as a folding surface and is articulated by cladding the external roof and wall elements in the same cladding material – Proteus. Contemporary detailing ensures seamless integration of wall, roof and floor elements, further strengthening the concept.

The flagship building is part of a major investment programme to provide additional manufacturing facilities, office accommodation and infrastructure developments to the site which is responsible for many aircraft manufacturing and support systems including the front fuselage and other parts of the Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as a number of other aircraft including the Lockhead Martin F-35 Lightning.

Reflecting this and with the latest audio visual facilities for viewing information about the 4,000-strong company and its products, the reception building gives a memorable first impression of BAE Systems for visitors to the site on the A59.

Dave Holmes, director of investment and infrastructure services, BAE Systems, said: “This marks another significant milestone in the transformation project. The new reception facility and improved entrance are designed to create the right image for the Salmesbury site and the business, whilst at the same time being highly functional.”

The 100% recyclable Proteus panels were installed for main contractor BAM Construction by specialist sub-contractor F Brown who have more than 40 years’ experience working on BAE sites, cladding many of the large hangars and carrying out internal fit-outs and refurbishments.

The Proteus SC panels comprise a single skin perforated panel, generally constructed in the factory from 1mm to 5mm thick sheet metal. The live loadings applied to the building, along with the amount of perforations required for aesthetics or air flow requirements, were a consideration when the final bespoke design was created.

The Proteus HR panels are available in steel, aluminium, zinc, stainless steel, copper alloys and other metal finishes, using a honeycomb core to achieve an optically flat finish and a very large panel size, allowing for large spans and stunning visual effects. Its light weight reduces the load on the building, yet it is also strong and safe.

And proven to 50 years’ serviceability, they should remain a striking entrance feature for BAE Systems for some time to come.


Steel Rainscreen Cladding
  • Steel Cladding
  • Steel Rainscreen Cladding
  • Perforated Aluminium Cladding