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.

No.1 Hardman Street, Manchester

With work complete by Eric Wright Construction in July 2014, and cladding sub-contractor Cover Structure Ltd, the distinctive external materials provide a strong visual identity.  The main building envelope consists of a simple black composite cladding panel with large window inserts, and a Proteus SC bespoke perforated aluminium white screen to the front half of the building. Openings of various sizes in the Proteus SC perforated screen create a pattern across the elevation which animates the façade as well as providing shading and screening to the window openings behind. At night the façade is illuminated within the cavity giving the building a colourful evening identity.

Although the façade looks very simple the screen is extremely technically challenging. Fine tolerances were required at the interface between cladding, window openings and structural floor edges, to ensure the main brackets were accurately set out to receive the precision manufactured panels. The Proteus SC perforated panels were then designed to span floor to floor, by the inclusion of an aluminium box section into the vertical edges of the panel. This design made the panels extremely heavy, and required early involvement of the sub-contractor to ensure a safe construction methodology while allowing the site operatives tolerance in the installation process.

At ground floor and around the parapet of the building, the insulated panels have been finished with a Proteus HR honeycomb rainscreen panel with a Rimex Colourtex Blue Pippin Patterned Stainless Steel. This finish subtly changes with varying light conditions. In bright sunlight, the Stainless Steel Panels seem to mirror the blue skies above, while in darker conditions, the appearance is similar to that of the simple black panel on the rear elevation.

BSkyB Studios Wind Turbine, London

The 100kW 55m “Northwind 100” turbine at Sky’s £233million state-of-the-art headquarters is expected to produce approximately 133,100kWh per year or up to 60% of the studio’s annual office lighting requirement, with the carbon payback being slightly over two years.

The site houses high-intensity functions including data centres and recording, post-production and transmission facilities for Sky’s broadcast and sports news departments.

The elongated triangular pyramid mast coils upwards in a twisting motion, tapering at the top, thus architecturally expressing the rotational dynamics of the turbine. Its mast is clad in 1,600m2 of anodised aluminium Proteus SC panels to a design in alliance with Wintech-Group that met a hat-trick of requirements – aesthetic, ecological and structural.

The Proteus design team worked with Wintech on a solution for the design and positioning of the turbine’s single-skin panels using a Proteus installation system. Wintech then created a bespoke piece of software to model the façade construction and automate the production of each of the individual 200 façade panels and ancillary components. The perforations were designed to enable fastening points on the vertical sub-structure to be covered.

This process of automating the production of 3D complex geometry façades and that can produce detailed manufacture information provided significant benefits including a greatly reduced design programme and a substantial reduction in design costs. The software output provided individual files that were used by a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) punch to perforate and shape each individual panel, avoiding the need for any interpretation of design information.

The turbine operates in conjunction with biomass-fired cooling and heating power (CCHP), naturally ventilated studio and office space, rainwater harvesting and energy-efficient lighting. It was estimated to offset the equivalent amount of CO2 as driving 370,000 miles in a typical petrol-powered car each year and is currently exceeding expectations, delivering significant energy at low wind speeds.