Holbrook House, Acton, London

Located in the Mayor of London’s Old Oak & Park Royal Opportunity Area, Holbrook House, designed by award-winning architects SimpsonHaugh and Partners, is part of the Downing Students portfolio of properties.

The £80 million development contributes to the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) ambitious plan to completely redevelop the area by creating thousands of new homes and jobs over the next 30 years. It is also the first student accommodation scheme in London that meets the new GLA Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on affordable rents for student accommodation.

Constructed by Downing Construction and subcontractor Dane Architectural, Holbrook House is divided into three sections. The taller and more monolithic of the three multi-storey buildings features A2 rated, Proteus GL rainscreen cladding panels in five different shades (RAL5003, RAL5004, RAL5007, RAL5023 and RAL240 70 15) which graduate from a dark blue/grey to light blue/white.

Arranged floor to floor in a thin vertical format, the ombre-style finish of the panels helps minimise the visual impact of the structure, enabling it to carefully blend in with and reflect the city skyline and its surroundings, whilst acting as a standalone marker for the nearby junction of Victoria Road and Wales Farm Road.

The smaller of the three blocks at Holbrook House features natural terracotta tiles, with a cruciform pattern applied expressing the internal functionality, while the second, central section features bright reflective metal panels. All of which, along with the Proteus GL rainscreen cladding panels, were chosen to complement one another whilst providing a robust façade that offers some protection against the elements.

Proteus GL is an integrated modular rainscreen cladding system with an aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between a toughened back painted glass face and a lightweight metal rear skin. Each panel is supported by the unique Proteus system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which can be installed on to any type of wall construction, with no visible fixings, creating a sheer, smooth façade.

As glass is a completely inert material, Proteus GL provides a virtually unlimited lifespan because it is rust and corrosion free. It is also lightweight, being up to 33 percent lighter than the closest glass rainscreen system.

In addition, as the system is available in any RAL colour or can be digitally or screen printed to create a bespoke finish, Proteus GL offers architects a wealth of design options, is colourfast, resists UV rays and fully tested and compliant with CWCT Standards.

Holbrook House features 497 contemporary, affordable student residencies ranging from three bedroom, two bathroom shared flats to self-contained studio apartments. The building also includes a range of community facilities including a gym, common room, and games area. Landscaped roof terraces provide students with an outside space to relax, whilst retail space is provided at ground level adjacent to the London underground station entrance.

The new development is the second Downing Students building in North Acton, alongside ‘The Lyra’ on Portal Way, which offers 209 studio apartments for students studying at local institutions.

St Catherine’s College, Ainsworth Centre, Oxford

The new Ainsworth Graduate Centre is a striking circular design yet one that sits harmoniously in a location steeped in history. The building resides on the site of the original Grade I listed campus designed by renowned architect Arne Jacobsen.

Built between 1960 and 1964, Jacobsen designed the college’s main campus in its entirety. Since Jacobsen’s death in 1971 additional buildings have been delivered by the Danish architect’s assistant, Knud Holscher, and Stirling Prize-winning RIBA past president Stephen Hodder. Architects Purcell designed the new Graduate Centre as a continuation of the second phase of Hodder’s development by following his typology as sensitively as possible.

Proteus HR TECU bronze cladding panels were specified for the cylindrical three-storey hub, which features a seminar room and common room, as a reference to Jacobsen’s use of the material on previous projects at the college, synchronising old with new.

Proteus HR is a modular rainscreen system that offers a smooth façade with recessed joints. The panels have a lightweight aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two thin gauges of metal. The lightweight nature of this rainscreen system minimises weight loadings on the underlying structure whilst achieving strength and rigidity.

The panels are fixed onto a unique system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which were designed and manufactured by Proteus Facades. Proteus fabricated the structural element of the fixing system so that it physically curves around the building. Installers Norman & Underwood then secured the flat panels to create a faceted façade that, when viewed from afar gives the perception that it is curved around a tight radius.

Proteus Facades also fabricated three varieties of TECU bronze fins for external use on glazed sections. Shorter fins were secured with a modified vertical aluminium extrusion cloaked with TECU bronze and secured with stainless steel brackets. Each one is fixed off the curtain wall system, with the TECU bronze capping designed bespoke to achieve the maximum depth from the glazing line to create a more striking aesthetic.

Deeper, vertical TECU Bronze fins are secured to a bespoke structural frame up to 450mm off the cladding line, which compartmentalises the façade. The vertical fins frame the structural bay and are fixed off curtain walling, spigoted into the ground and bracketed at the head. The internal aluminium carcass was secured with structural brackets back to the curtain wall and plated at join positions with discrete fixings.

Horizontal beams on the top of the upper level were fabricated in a curve and fixed to a bespoke aluminium structure, then cloaked with the TECU Bronze material from Proteus. Norman & Underwood secured the beams with structural gusseted brackets fixed back to the primary structure. All three types of fins went through a double-marquette process, where principal and secondary designs were presented to the architects and client for review before manufacture.

As well as a reference to the original campus buildings, the bronze finish of the panels and fins was specified to contrast in tone and glossiness with stainless steel panels, also manufactured by Proteus Facades, which feature on existing and the newly developed student accommodation blocks adjacent to the centre.

In the early 1990s and 2000s Hodder added three accommodation blocks to the site, housing a total of 54 rooms. The facades on these buildings feature Proteus HR Stainless Steel cladding panels, manufactured by Proteus Façades several decades ago. This material was originally chosen as the smooth finish of the stainless steel stands out against the coarse finish of the concrete structure creating a textured facade.

Like the Graduate Centre, the newest student accommodation pavilions are a continuation of Hodder’s development, adding 78 large spacious en-suite rooms connected by glazed stairwells. The façades of the new buildings imitates those constructed by Hodder, and so Proteus Facades was appointed to fabricate exact replicas of the original Stainless Steel panels they manufactured some twenty years previous for the new development, whilst using more modern methods of construction.

The stainless steel panels sit inboard of the building’s concrete frame with a standard pattern of two panels adjacent to large rectangular windows on each of the rooms. The Proteus HR rainscreen panels were supplied pre-finished with a 240S brushed polished finish.

The aluminium carrier system used is fully adjustable on all axis, allowing exacting sightlines to be maintained across the façade. This enables the façade at St Catherine’s college to make the most of linear shadow lines between the Proteus HR panels and concrete structure.

Chesil Lodge, Chesil Street, Winchester

Chesil Lodge is a £16 million Extra Care facility that provides contemporary style homes for local residents of Winchester aged 55 and over.

The development, commissioned by Winchester City and Hampshire County Council, features striking Proteus’ HR TECU Bronze rainscreen panels on the upper levels and traditional Winchester red brick on other elements.

During the design stages a series of workshops were held between Winchester Council and designers PDP Architecture in conjunction with local architect’s Design Engine, where it was envisaged that the building should be developed to be as sympathetic to its surroundings as possible.

Proteus HR TECU Bronze was specified because the material’s ochre, brown and red tones perfectly complement the brickwork colour to create an aesthetically pleasing yet unobtrusive façade.

Working alongside Main Contractor Galliford Try, Proteus Facades fabricated the panels, which have a lightweight aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between two thin gauges of metal, with the outer veneer in this case being the specified TECU Bronze material. This rainscreen system minimises weight loadings on the underlying structure whilst helping the panels achieve near perfect optical flatness, strength and rigidity. The cladding panels were installed by MK Facades.

The rich diversity of the TECU range of copper and copper-alloy materials such as bronze allow unparalleled variety and high-quality aesthetics for architecture especially as the material weathers and mellows over time. This subtly changes the façade’s appearance as it develops a tough, maintenance-free and beautiful patina, as will be the case at Chesil Lodge.

During the weathering process, the matt surface of the Proteus HR TECU Bronze rainscreen cladding panels develop an oxide layer that will provide additional protection from rain, frost, wind, UV rays and other external elements. This brings with it striking colour variations through an entire range of warm russet tones that change depending on the level of natural light and time of year.

The overall building design is based around a clever syncopation of two and three storey blocks that feature integral balconies, which, in combination with the Proteus HR Bronze rainscreen cladding and glazing elements, visually interrupt the skyline, avoiding what could otherwise have been a large, monolithic structure.

This massing of the development and the façade treatment are what sets this project apart, creating a development that is sympathetic with its location. PDP Architecture orientated the building so that it faced on to the rear of Chesil Street along Barfield Close, again, a measure to avoid imposing on existing buildings and the local area.

All factors which resulted in the development securing the Best Inclusive Building Award at the annual Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Awards 2019. In addition, Chesil Lodge has been shortlisted for the 2019 SPACES Civic Building of the Year award.

Proteus Facades offers one of the widest ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Brass, TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Gold, TECU Zinn, a tin-plated copper that offers all the advantages of copper but weathers from silver to subtle grey tones.

All the materials are available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed. Proteus Facades also offers a range of other surface treatments that avoid, delay or accelerate the weathering process.

Chesil Lodge comprises of 52 self-contained Extra Care Units supported by a number of shared facilities including a reception area, cafe/restaurant facility, a lounge and activity rooms, as well as a Day Care Unit which allows families respite from care for the morning or afternoon.

Goodhart Building for University College, Oxford

Whilst the spirit of the original 1960s building is still there, Freeland Rees Roberts Architects updated Goodhart using Proteus cladding for the window pods, top floor extension and roof soffits.

Executed in Rimex stainless steel in a Proteus HR format, the projecting window pods, made from multiple panels, are manufactured from Colourtex Granex in Bronze effect.

The roof soffits, which jut out from the building in a repeating diagonal pattern were again manufactured using the Proteus HR in Colourtex Granex Champagne colour, to complement the Bronze window pods, but allows more light to bounce off the soffits.

The subtle contrast between the Bronze and Champagne preserve the character of the existing building and form part of a colour scheme that keeps the refurbished building sympathetic with the surrounding heritage assets.

Proteus HR’s honeycomb core delivers maximum compression and shear resistance with minimal material requirement. Aside from keeping costs down, this made it the ideal choice for the projecting window pods, roof extension and overhanging soffits because it reduced the load transferred to the main building structure.

The Proteus HR panels specified for the windows were fitted to vertical mullions anchored to the backing wall. This system provided sufficient adjustment to enable the shadow gaps between the multiple panels to achieve millimetre tolerances. This, combined with the exceptional flatness and tight edge radii of each honeycomb panel, created perfectly harmonious sightlines between the eight separate elements that make up each window pod.

Tania Gomez-Duran, Associate at Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, who lead the project to retrofit the Goodhart Building student accommodation, said: “The Proteus HR cladding system provided us with an effective method of retaining the original window aesthetics. The subtle granular surface of the panels complement the sheer smooth glass elements of the window.”

She added: “The combination of projecting window elements and overhanging roofline has the effect of breaking up the façade but maintaining the rhythm of the existing. We felt that this avoided having large plain areas that would clash with the intricate architectural detailing on assets nearby.”

The Goodhart Building has been fully refurbished and extended to provide accommodation for 57 students. Originally opened in 1962 to provide accommodation for undergraduates in the heart of the college, the refurbishment was carried out to improve the buildings energy efficiency and quality. It now uses 40 percent less energy than the original building.

A spokesperson from Oxford University said: “The refurbishment has completely transformed the quality and energy performance of Goodhart, providing University College with a light, bright, comfortable student residence with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The cladding around the window and roofline retain a spiritual link with the original design.”

The Granex finish involves the controlled bead blasting of sheet and coil stainless steel and other metals with various media to produce a range of matt finishes in different coarseness. The surface finish is more reliably consistent and of a superior quality compared to other methods of creating a granular finish.

Cladanco installed the cladding and the main contractor was Beard Construction.

 

Photography courtesy of Charles Birchmore Photography

Pembury Circus, Hackney

Pembury Circus, designed by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects for Peabody and Bellway Homes, was named Best Mixed Use Development at the 2016 LEAF (Leading European Architecture Forum) Awards.

Proteus HR rainscreen cladding and Proteus SC bespoke balcony and feature walk way cladding, as well as various cappings, window trims and flashings, helped the design team deliver a vibrant, visually appealing development that is helping transform this part of East London.

The architects specified Proteus HR for the façade elements because it is an integrated modular rainscreen cladding system, which gives the panels exceptional surface flatness and rigidity. This crisp, clean aesthetic is accentuated by the tight radii at the edges, creating the precise, geometric lines that are so desirable on modern building design.

The recessed joints between the Proteus HR rainscreen panels add another visual dimension at Pembury Circus, enabling the architects to use shadow lines to accentuate their design by compartmentalising elements of the façade.

All the Proteus HR rainscreen cladding panels were manufactured with a galvanised steel PPC finish in Akzo Nobel D2525 Golden Beach and Toleda. These two appealing matt metallic colours were specified because they complemented the buff coloured brickwork.

Further interest was added to the balcony areas using bespoke Proteus SC FORM perforated panels. These were specified in varying widths, with varying hole sizes in a random pattern, interlinked with bubble pressing indentations to create a three-dimensional aesthetic.

Proteus manufactured the balcony cladding from 3mm DX51 grade steel to achieve the require balustrade loading, and finished it in Akzo Nobel D2525 PPC Anodic Ice finish.

Completing the external works at Pembury Circus was Proteus SC cladding, specified for feature floor walkways. These incorporated the same bespoke Proteus SC FORM perforation pattern, although there was added complexity on this element as the panels had to span from floor to floor.

Proteus overcame this challenge by developing a simple spanning vertical ‘L’ rail that attached to concrete floor edges, along with bespoke brackets. The Proteus SC panel was then simply fixed to the vertical rails. The walkway panels were manufactured from 2mm DX51 Grade Steel with 60% undertaken in a RAL 9010 finish / 25% in a PPC Anodic Ice finish / and 15% in a Gold Pearl finish.

Simon Fraser, Director at Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects, said: “We are proud to have designed this award winning project which has significantly added to the regeneration of the Pembury Estate. The design response to urban context required a rich mix of materials with the rainscreen cladding and perforated panels, supplied by Proteus, making an important contribution to the desired aesthetic of the scheme.”

He added: “We liked the fact that Proteus uses quality materials and could provide the level of technical support required to achieve the high standard of the design intent.”

Pembury Circus replaced 35 hard to let bedsits with 268 high quality new homes, 50 percent of which are affordable, along with a nursery, community centre, shops, gymnasium, public square and play area.

All new homes achieve Code for Sustainable Home Level 4. The community centre and commercial space achieve BREEAM Excellent

Putney Plaza, London

The designers at award-winning Studio Partington specified richly coloured Proteus HR TECU Oxid panels to embellish and contrast the front elevations of the four buildings.

A combination of anodised Aluminium (Anolok 541) and polyester powder coated Galvanised Steel, in three different colours (RAL 7004, RAL 7022 and XDLA 962 Platinum), were used across other elements to compartmentalise what would otherwise have been large expanses of brickwork.

The wide range of colours and finishes in the Proteus HR rainscreen panel system provided the designers with an ability to create four separate blocks, each with its own distinctive and appealing aesthetic.

Proteus rainscreen panels make their mark at Putney Plaza in other ways too, through outstanding optical flatness, which shows off the finish to best effect, whilst the tight radii on the recessed joints accentuate the shear, smooth façade aesthetic.

The juxtaposition of the façade panels alongside the brickwork and glazed elements helped satisfy the designers’ aspirations for a development with a scale and orientation in harmony with this complex urban site, bound as it is on all sides by railway tracks and a busy main road.

Proteus HR is a modular rainscreen panel system that features an aluminium honeycomb core structurally bonded between lightweight metal skins to create a rigid, sturdy panel with high aesthetic qualities. Proteus HR panels are available in a range of facing materials including steel, aluminium, zinc, stainless steel and copper alloys such as TECU Oxid.

Proteus Facades had to overcome a number of complex challenges at Putney Plaza, specifically with the curved balconies and radius soffits, which required the manufacture of multiple bespoke panels to exacting tolerances.

Alongside this were multiple shaped panels that required ongoing collaboration with UK Facades, the installer, and the balcony fabricator, Dearneside Fabrications, to allow suitable support positions for installation of the panels.

A spokesperson from Studio Partington, said: “The architectural expression of Putney Plaza is strongly influenced by the colour and texture of the Proteus HR rainscreen panel system. The panels are carried through to the balconies, creating a development with high aesthetic appeal that welcomes and draws people into it.”

Proteus HR rainscreen panels are supplied pre-finished, which helped to meet the strict build schedule at Putney Plaza. The Proteus’ technical team worked with the cladding installer to deliver and install the panels to the highest possible standards of safety and quality.

Putney Plaza is a prestigious mixed use development set around a large central courtyard that comprises of 146 apartments and around 20,450 sq ft of commercial area. Each of the four blocks are a different height to ‘vary the scale’ of the development.

Art Estates, the client on this project, achieved its environmental strategy by focusing on passive measures, such as minimising energy consumption and high levels of insulation. The Proteus HR system, because the honeycomb core means the panels have minimal density, helped achieve a lower carbon footprint compared to a traditional masonry builds.

Midguard was the main contractor at Putney Plaza and the installer was UK Facades. Both are part of JRL Group, a £180m turnover company that provides bespoke, turnkey build solutions.

Granite Wharf, Greenwich, London

Architecture has played an important role in the life of Greenwich since Tudor times when Henry Vlll and his two daughters who followed as monarchs, Mary and Elizabeth, were born at Greenwich Palace. When this fell into disrepair, Queen Anne commissioned Sir Christopher Wren to build a refuge for naval men.

What was Greenwich Hospital still stands today as the Old Royal Naval College, now home to the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban. Unesco designated this a World Heritage Site in 1997 because it was the “finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape assembly in the British Isles”.

The waterfront of the Royal Borough has changed radically over the past 20 years with the advent of the O2 Arena, Jubilee Line’s North Greenwich station and the Docklands Light Railway extension to Lewisham. But historically it was only visible from the river due to the high walls of the Victorian wharfs.

Four of these – Lovell’s, Granite, Badcock’s and Pipers – now comprise the 300 metres of River Gardens at the heart of the 12-acre Greenwich Wharf regeneration by main contractor Durkan Construction for developer London & Regional Properties.

The vibrant new quarter comprises 667 residential units in eight buildings, 44,000ft2 of office space, a hotel, studio workshops, retail units and sports facilities, all set around four beautifully landscaped gardens reminiscent of those at the Old Royal Naval College.

Master planner architects Squire & Partners’ material strategy also reflected the trade and raw goods historically associated with the wharfs – granite, lead, slate, brick, timber and the zinc of two of the Proteus panel systems which have been installed vertically.

Phase 1 (Lovell’s) comprised 267 mixed-tenure homes and Phase 2 (Granite) 273 one to three-bedroomed luxury residences, the largest in Royal Greenwich, with penthouse units at the top of each of the blocks which sit at right angles to a dramatic bend in the river.

Here, the Proteus HR panels in grey and black zinc complement areas of full-length glazing while the dark grey PPC panels sit more discreetly in between balconies overlooking the River Thames.

Chamberlayne Road, London

The large-format Proteus shingles have been used with a Tecu Gold finish which will weather softly on City View, a Bellway Homes (North London) mixed-use, mixed-tenure development that curves on plan around the corner of Chamberlayne Road (voted the hippest street in Europe by Vogue magazine in 2009) and Kensal Rise in the London borough of Brent.

Designed to elevate urban apartment living to a new level, the redevelopment of a brownfield site features roof terraces, rarely-found three-bedroomed apartments and coveted basement parking around two cores. The rear of the development forms a podium slab over the basement car park and ground-floor accommodation to provide amenity space for the residents.

Constructed of reinforced concrete frame with external Metsec walling to carry the copper gold Proteus shingle rainscreen cladding, the site sits adjacent to a railway line and is exposed to high ambient noise levels, resulting in the carefully detailed façade to satisfy planning legislation.

The planning application report read: “There is no doubt the building will be a completely new approach to architecture within the borough. It is considered that, as a whole, the innovative and some would say contentious building will create an individual and striking landmark.”

Proteus shingles are a more traditional form of cladding that is increasingly being used within contemporary architecture to bring texture as well as fast-track and economic solutions to façade design. Fabricated as relatively thin single-skin interlocking panels, they enable complicated geometries and curved surfaces particularly when smaller tile sizes are used.

Available in square, rectangular and diamond shapes, all the usual edge-processing techniques such as bevelling, folding and bending are factory finished to ensure the corners of buildings and connections to other envelope elements such as windows and doors are completely weatherproof.

Heathside & Lethbridge Phase 2, London

Proteus HR panels in varying shades of blue and Proteus SC panels in varying shades of yellow and orange feature on Phase 2 of the mixed-tenure redevelopment at Parkside which comprises 190 new homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and private sale within mid-rise apartment buildings and a landmark 17-storey tower offering residents excellent views across London.

The contemporary design adopted on Phase 2 set the precedent for appearance and material treatment for the following four phases and is characterised by contrasting Proteus HR panels with areas of brick and projecting glazed and Proteus SC panelled balconies.

On some of the mid-rise blocks the blue Proteus HR panels fixed vertically and horizontally act as rainscreen cladding, complemented by Proteus SC panels in the same colours on the balconies. On others the Proteus HR panels are vertical feature elements beside full-length glazing on a brick-dominated façade.

The high-density yet high-quality development sits within an overall outline consented £200million master plan which will deliver 512m2 of retail floor space, 768m2 of community floor space, an energy centre, public spaces including a square, central park green space and play facilities, and a day nursery.

The 1,000+ one to four-bedroomed residential units were designed to Code Level 4, with over 50% designed for private sale to help fund, in buildings ranging from three to 17 storeys in height.

One of the regeneration project’s key objectives was a high degree of resident involvement in both design and logistics, even down to flat layouts, the materials used, and landscaping. Existing council tenants had the option to move into the new homes once they were built.

JW3 (Jewish Community Centre) London

Proteus HR panels in artisan burnished TECU brass form a solid rainscreen base to the lower ground floor of the RIBA award-winning 35,000ft2 building while perforated single-skin Proteus SC panels, installed outside full-length glazing, screen elements of the first and second floors.

Ten years in the making, the project was the brainchild of Dame Vivien Duffield after she toured several Jewish Community Centres in America and was inspired by their values, in particular their principle of inclusivity, and by the quality of the facilities and programming they offered.

She set about laying the foundations for a “Jewish Community Centre without walls” in London, initially in borrowed venues, and then eventually in its own purpose-built BREEAM rated “Excellent” building in Hampstead.

Beautiful, functional and state-of-the-art, this building consciously seeks to foster community and inspire creativity through its design and its very fabric – the Proteus cladding, over brick and cast stone.

To support its ambitious programming, the building features diverse facilities arranged hierarchically over four storeys, with the most public at ground level, spilling out onto a piazza which hosts food markets and outdoor cinema as well as ice-skating during the winter.

Designed to be a place of action, of creation and output rather than consumption of culture, robust, quality materials were chosen to support the various activities.

The heart of the building is Zest, JW3’s restaurant, bar and café run by award-winning Ottolenghi-trained chefs. This is complemented by a multi-purpose hall with retractable bleacher seating and semi-sprung floor, 60-seat boutique cinema, demonstration kitchen, dance studios, crèche, meeting rooms and classrooms.

Vertical Proteus HR and SC panels also help to break up the brick street-facing façade on a nine-storey residential tower that houses 14 two-bedroomed apartments and an office level, the sale of the apartments helping to fund the community centre.