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

Fetlor Youth Club, Edinburgh

FetLor, established in 1924 and Scotland’s oldest youth club, has been designed with few windows, no evident entrance on show and only the roof structure to provide natural daylight, like a modern-day fortress.

The Fettesian-Lorettonian Boys’ Club came into being in 1924 to remember the 371 former pupils from Fettes College and Loretto School who lost their lives in the First World War. The vision at the time was to support children of the men from the Edinburgh slums who had fought alongside the former pupils.

No longer is the Club merely somewhere for poor boys to meet in friendly company. Mercifully, the poverty has gone although it has been replaced with new problems such as gang culture on the rise and petty crime and vandalism blighting the community.

The Local Authority realised the benefit of clubs like FetLor in taking children off the streets and occupying their energies more constructively. Now open to boys and girls aged 8-18, the ambition of the charity is to help 1,000 young people in North Edinburgh each year.

FetLor’s existing single-storey structure, built in the 1960s, had fallen into a dilapidated state and a decision was therefore taken to replace it with a striking new £2.5m building, clad in irregular depth corten steel panels to create a large coursed blockwork appearance, using the Proteus SC façade system.

The outcome is a building that provides the young members with a safe place for them to visit, where the outside world isn’t able to look into the club. James Robertson from James Robertson Architects, said: “Our design for the new youth club comes from the sense that the members are in a fort, where they feel safe and protected. The corten cladding from Proteus, with its stepped, cuboid appearance delivers this vision perfectly.”

The intriguing stepped façade was created by designing the corten panels with 40, 100 or 160mm returns. These were hung from a flush Proteus aluminium carrier system and installed by Thornton Roofing using Proteus 50 x 50mm mullions. The 2mm corten weathered steel cladding provides FetLor with superior resistance to atmospheric corrosion because it forms a natural protective layer. This will continue to develop and regenerate as the material weathers over time.

Proteus manufactured the deeper panels with additional structural requirements to ensure that they maintained an optically flat face and sides, accentuating the impenetrable fortress-like appearance.

This ingenious, value engineered method of creating the stepped facade meant that installation was much easier. Plus, the support system is fully adjustable on all axis, allowing small undulations in the underlying structure to be accommodated whilst retaining the clean, crisp sightlines between the stepped ‘cuboid’ panels.

The 2mm solid-faced Proteus SC corten panels were specified by James Robertson principally because it enabled creation of the awe inspiring aesthetic, yet still within the relatively limited budget on this project.

Funding for FetLor came from former pupils and national charitable trusts – as well as the efforts of pupils from Fettes College and Loretto School, two of Edinburgh’s leading private colleges. FetLor Youth Club has been short-listed for the ‘Community Project of the Year’ Award as part of a series of TV shows ‘STV Scotland’s Real Heroes’.

Proteus SC is also available in perforated or expanded mesh panel formats in an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms.