Durham University

Durham University

Proteus SC
GSS Architecture

A careful combination of A2 fire rated soffit panels, rainscreen cladding and mesh screens from Proteus Facades has helped band together the impressive new £42m Sciences Centre at Durham University.

Based within the grounds of the Upper Mountjoy Campus, the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building has been developed to create synergy between the two departments, which have been earmarked for significant growth within the Durham University Strategy – 2017-2027.

The building features state-of-the-art teaching facilities and office space, including a specialist IT Lab with a designated server room, a 120-seat tiered lecture theatre and tutorial rooms. While a café and breakout spaces, as well as four enclosed courtyards make up the communal areas.

Creating a bright space for students, staff and visitors to meet and relax, Proteus Facades manufactured striking 2.0mm Aluminium Proteus IP interlocking planks with a PPC Traffic White Matte (RAL 9016) finish for use on the façades of the four internal courtyards.

GSS Architecture chose the Proteus IP aluminium PPC in Traffic White because it accentuates and reflects natural light creating an enhanced ambience in the teaching spaces that face onto the courtyards, whilst complementing the glass curtain walling system.

A combination that together creates a striking minimalistic appearance that lifts the aesthetics of each courtyard and creates light filled spaces for students and staff to enjoy.

The Proteus IP panels, installed by Longworth Building Services, were fixed in a band like design that reflects the aesthetics of the external façade facing onto the campus. In order to maintain this ‘banding’ effect, the planks continue behind the glass curtain-walling systems, which required exacting tolerances.

Proteus Facades also manufactured 3.0mm Aluminium large format Proteus SC soffit panels with a PPC Interpon D1036 RAL 7016 Matt Finish, for installation above the ground floor, first and second perimeter stepped soffits.

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.

Specified with an A2 fire certification, which prevents the use of traditional subframe bonding methods, the soffit panels were manufactured with a bespoke stiffening system and fixed to achieve the required rating, as well as structural integrity and an optically flat surface.

Proteus Facades worked closely with Longworth Building Services to guide them on the most suitable material for use on the soffit panels that would achieve the desired aesthetics whilst meeting budgetary expectations. Aluminium was chosen as it provided a cost-effective solution and one that was available in optimum coil sizes that allowed fabrication of the 2m long soffit panels. The PPC Interpon D1036 RAL 7016 Matt Finish was specified to complement the band-like copper cladding on the building’s main façade.

Proteus and Longworth Building Services final element continued further across Campus, Proteus SC 3mm anodised mesh aluminium panels with a Bronze Anodised Anolok (545) finish were also specified for use around the bike storage and ancillary areas. Proteus again devised a bespoke method of fixing the mesh into the frame, so it maintained integrity and colour match of the anodising on both elements.

Developed by main contractor, Sir Robert McAlpine, the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building at Durham University forms part of a masterplan to provide improved infrastructure and additional teaching and research space. The facility will create greater integration between students and staff. It will also enable the University to increase the number of undergraduates, postgraduate researchers and employees for the Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science departments over the next five years.

Proteus Facades’ innovative rainscreen cladding panels utilise an extensive range of materials such as Aluminium, Copper, Bronze, Brass, Stainless Steel, Zinc and Porcelain Ceramic. Each system is manufactured to internationally recognised quality standards, using the highest quality materials, in accordance with its BSI ISO accredited Business Management System for Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety.

To learn more about Proteus SC or any of our other products please click here