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

Imperial Tobacco Headquarters (Phase 2), Bristol

AWW’s design for the new-look façade posed different challenges to that of Phase 1, both in manufacturing panel lengths of up to 6.8m and in installation for the specialist sub-contractor, Massey Cladding Solutions.

Proteus’ leading-edge manufacturing process managed to produce the panels in up to 6.8m lengths while maintaining optical flatness, while Proteus’ technical team worked with Massey Cladding Solutions to deliver and install the panels to the highest possible standards of safety and quality.

AWW wanted a pronounced vertical joint to accentuate the vertical panel layout so Proteus designed the zinc panels with a “snap-in” vertical zinc feature profile that could be inserted post-panel installation.

The provision of a new air conditioning system caused issues with roof mounting and thus altering the original line of the roof. To maintain the required aesthetics the air conditioning unit was sunk within the line of the existing building and left open top with a change in façade treatment to a perforated Proteus SC Panel, providing the necessary additional free air flow whilst maintaining the building aesthetics.

The provision of a new air conditioning system caused issues with roof mounting and potentially altering the original line of the roof. The air conditioning unit was sunk within the line of the existing building and left opentop with a change in façade treatment to a perforated Proteus SC Panel, which provided the necessary additional free air flow while maintaining the building aesthetics.

Imperial Tobacco was keen there was no differential between neighbouring Phase 1 (its new headquarters) and Phase 2 (the refurbished factory) in either appearance or character. The quality of the factory’s internal environment, including open-plan offices, a multi-functional meeting suite, café and external terraces bring a consistent design philosophy and approach to that of the headquarters building.

Phase II has evolved to sit comfortably within a new era of Imperial Tobacco. The tired remains of the former factory have taken on a new lease of life to proudly stand beside the state-of-the-art headquarters. Phase II is more than just an office space. It is proud to boast elements of community benefit of which the commercial-standard nursery is just one.

An AWW spokesman said: “It was considered most appropriate that the refurbished building fitted in with the style and quality of the new headquarters building whilst retaining as much of the existing building fabric as possible.”

Imperial Tobacco Headquarters (Phase 1), Bristol

The new £18million headquarters building provides workspace designed with sustainability as a key driver in the overall form and technical approach and supports the company’s business approach of providing a motivating work environment for its staff.

Achieving BREEAM Excellent was a key requirement but in addition all outdoor spaces, including balconies, have Wi-Fi and ports to enable outdoor working as well as telephone booths with acoustic damping, created specifically for the project. Meeting rooms with backlit fret-cut panels have also helped the building win several design awards.

The grey zinc Proteus panels feature throughout the elevations, complemented by bands of the green aluminium panels as a pre-patinated copper finish. The black zinc panels form protruding screens around elements of full-height glazing that are otherwise protected from solar gain by Brise Soleil.

AWW’s design has won multiple awards including a BCS Environmental Award, BCO Corporate Workplace Award (South West), Thames Valley & South Wales Awards, RICS SW Commercial Award and Insider Property Awards Office Development (South West).

Project director Mark Alker Stone said: “We are delighted to have played a key role in securing ITL’s on-going commitment as the largest south west company to Bristol. The new HQ provides workspace designed with sustainability as a key driver in the overall form and technical approach and supports ITL’s business approach of a motivating work environment for its staff.”

Ken Hill of Imperial Tobacco added: “The creativity of AWW’s design team was complemented by their practical vision and can-do attitude.”

BAE Systems, Lancashire

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.