Northampton International Academy

What was once the Royal Mail Sorting Office on Barrack Road, has now been redeveloped into an iconic school featuring a reflective Proteus SC Perforated Stainless Steel façade.

After closing due to a fire in 2003, the building remained uninhabited for over a decade and fell into disrepair. Once described as an eyesore of the city, the structure has now been given a new lease of life as Northampton International Academy.

Helping to respond to a significant requirement for school places in the city, Architecture Initiative identified the old sorting office as the ideal space for the new state-of-the-art school.

Working closely with the local authority, the London-based architects redesigned the colossal, brutalist building, which was originally opened by Princess Diana on her first solo engagement in 1981, into an education hub filled with natural light.

The Proteus SC Perforated panels installed at Northampton International Academy cleverly mask the monolithic appearance of the original structure, whilst not completely hiding this brutalist piece of architecture. The mirror polished surface on the face of the panels reflects the skyline giving the impression that the building is less imposing.

Reducing the perforation sizes from the middle of the façade to the top and bottom edges, maximises translucency, whilst acting as brise soleil, providing shade from solar glare and preventing over-heating to the teaching spaces.

The single skin perforated panels were manufactured from a sheet of 2mm Stainless Steel, which offers the ideal combination of high strength and a modern, progressive aesthetic. The material also holds excellent corrosion resistant properties.

Each panel, installed by Deane Roofing & Cladding, is supported by the Proteus aluminium carrier system and ancillary components anchored to a cantilever steel frame from the underlying masonry structure. These allowed the panels to be hooked-on from behind, accentuating the sheer, smooth façade interrupted only by the perforated design.

Northamptonshire is known for its history of crafting leather goods, particularly the art of traditional shoemaking. So taking the design process one step further, Proteus Facades worked closely with Architecture Initiative to create perforations that acknowledge this heritage; with the holes on each panel positioned to imitate those found on a Northampton-made brogue-style shoe.

In addition, careful placement of the small and large perforations allows natural light to pass through and flood the interior of the school, whilst the metal façade is rendered virtually invisible from the inside. This innovative approach is just one of the reasons Northampton International Academy was named one of the “boldest” buildings of 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

With a floor area of 22,250m2 and generous high ceilings, the academy, run by the EMLC Academy Trust, accommodates over 2,220 pupils, including 420 primary, 1,500 secondary and 300 sixth formers.

The front of the school houses two illuminated signage boxes that indicate separate entrances for primary and secondary pupils, which perfectly complement the mirror polish of the Proteus SC panels.

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is available in either solid, perforated or expanded mesh formats, and in an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms. The system is available between 1mm and 5mm in thickness and can be specified with an acoustic insulation layer encapsulated within the panel. For internal applications Proteus Facades can also provide contrasting fabric inserts when the panels are perforated.

Delivered by Northamptonshire County Council with funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and developed by Contractor, Vinci Construction, Northampton International Academy is one of the largest education conversion projects in the country.

For further information about Proteus SC or to view more inspirational rainscreen facades from Proteus Facades, visit: www.proteusfacades.com or call: 0151 545 5075.

Mulberry Park School and Community Hub

The £10 million Community Hub, commissioned by housing association Curo and designed by architects BDP, sits at the heart of Mulberry Park, the renovation of the former Ministry of Defence site on Fox Hill in the village of Combe Down on the southern fringes of Bath.

The eye-catching building features Proteus SC perforated TECU Gold panels with a PPC coated aluminium support frame on the school hall and the third floor cantilevered above the main entrance and Public Square. This section, installed by Cladanco, acts as an enterprise space and was inspired by the temporary floating Mulberry Harbours once used for the Allied invasion of Normandy during the Second World War.

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 perforated pattern of the Proteus SC panels at Mulberry Park is derived from historic aerial photographs of the harbours and was developed in conjunction with the supporting frame, which was required due to limitations in material thickness. Using Proteus SC and the company’s unique framing system meant that a thinner perforated skin could be used on the face of the panel without resulting in deflection or distortion, helping the striking façade remain within budget requirements.

Complementary Proteus HR solid TECU Gold rainscreen cladding panels feature at ground floor level, adding structure and providing an aesthetically pleasing, hardwearing layer that protects the building from the elements.

The Proteus HR honeycomb core of the rainscreen cladding system involves structurally bonded two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin such as copper alloy to the honeycomb core. 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.

Proteus TECU Gold is a mix of copper and aluminium and offers outstanding mechanical abrasion and is highly corrosion resistant and durable. The initial bright gold appearance of the façade will gradually oxidise following installation, forming an enchanting warm golden surface.

Buildings featuring cladding systems made from copper alloy materials, like the Mulberry Park Community Hub, provide a vast scope of opportunities for architectural creativity. The striking natural, ever-changing surface creates unique, one-off designs that simply aren’t possible with some other cladding materials

This is one of the reasons the Mulberry Park Community Hub was recently crowned the winner of the South West Community Benefit category at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2019. The award recognises outstanding achievement in providing a facility that directly benefits the local community and can demonstrate its success through local community feedback.

RICS judges commended the project team — BDP Architects, housing association and housebuilder Curo, Rydon Construction and surveyors Ridge & Partners — “for creating an exemplary community hub that is a trailblazer for future community buildings.”

With a distinctive design, it is no doubt that the Mulberry Park Community Hub will be valued by the people of Fox Hill, Combe Down and Mulberry Park and shine bright as a beacon of the local community for future generations – thanks in part to its aesthetically pleasing, gold facade.

Mulberry Park supports a contemporary development of 700 high quality homes and open spaces. Within easy reach for local residents, the community building, fronting on to a new public square, accommodates a 210-place primary school, a 70-place nursery and public use facilities including a café, clinic, a fitness suite and business enterprise and flexible spaces for hire.

Proteus Facades Ltd offers a wide ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, and TECU Zinn. Some of these materials are also 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.

Spanish City, Whitley Bay

Although Spanish City closed in 2002, it has remained a local beacon and so became the focal point of North Tyneside Council’s £36m seafront masterplan, undergoing a £10m restoration and regeneration to bring it back to its former glory.

As a listed building protected by English Heritage, it was essential that the redesign by ADP architects retained as many of the building’s original features as possible, including the copper Terpsichorean female figures or ‘dancing ladies’, which were restored and positioned on top of two redeveloped Cupolas.

Alongside this was the addition of a bold extension featuring Proteus SC perforated TECU Patina, which was applauded by the judges when ADP’s vision for Spanish city secured a RIBA North East Award 2019.

ADP Architects specified TECU Patina for Spanish City, a copper material that features the natural green patina from the outset, as it created a beautifully aged aesthetic that complements the ‘old’ copper finish of the dancing ladies.

The homogenous pattern featured on the Proteus SC perforated cladding covers the entirety of the new extension at Spanish City, making it difficult to discern the position of the different floors and giving the structure a monolithic presence that is able hold its own against the imposing dome on the original building.

Choosing round perforations or ‘holes’ was no accident, it creates a contrast with the right angles of the surrounding cityscape, but mirrors the internal layout. A defining feature of the building is its extremely complex geometry, in fact only four rooms have walls in a square format, every other space is curved or a polygon, including the impressive rotunda which the panels were designed to meet.

The Proteus SC TECU Patina perforated copper cladding panels were fixed over extensive glazed areas at Spanish City, so both sides were visible by people inside the building and from those outside. This presented an engineering challenge because the architects envisaged large perforated panels due to the sheer size of the façade (larger cladding panels on large facades can look more visually striking), which can require thicker gauge metal.

Working with ADP architects Proteus devised a rear supporting aluminium PPC framing system that was discrete and avoided having to increase the thickness – and cost – of the copper material. The outcome was that it enabled the panels to be designed to meet the maximum optimisation of material, whilst meeting the challenging geometry of the project.

As Spanish City occupies a spectacular seafront setting overlooking the North Sea coast, it is susceptible to harsh coastal climatic conditions, which include high winds and salty sea and air. The Proteus SC perforated cladding panels will go some way to protecting the building from the elements, which was a major factor in causing the wear and corrosion that saw the demise of the original structure.

After more than two years of redevelopment work, by Robertson Group, the magnificent building is back to its former glory, transformed into an impressive mixed-use leisure venue that once again acts as a hub for tourists and members of the community.

The new extension block, clad by Chemplas Ltd, in Proteus SC perforated TECU Patina, to the rear of the building houses the new level-access entrance, toilets, plant and staircase that ensure compliance with modern standards.

Spanish City remains an iconic part of Whitley Bay’s heritage and a striking example of how old and new architectural styles and materials can work together. The building is now home to a Fish & Chip restaurant and takeaway, waffle and pancake house, Champagne bar, fine-dining restaurant, traditional tearooms and an event space.

Proteus Facades Ltd is able to offer a wide ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, and TECU Zinn. Some of these materials are also 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.

Spanish City in Whitley Bay, is a collection of Edwardian seaside pleasure buildings and grounds. Built in 1910, the iconic structure, which once included a concert hall, restaurant, tea room, ballroom and funfair, attracted thousands of people from across the UK until it fell into disrepair in the 1970’s.

 

Photography by Andrew Heptinsall

University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building

The £56.5m Life Sciences Building features a radical, undulating façade executed in Proteus HR solid and SC perforated free-form concave and convex panels with half-circle radii geometry.

The visual impact of Sheppard Robson’s design has been a beacon for the department, and the university reported a 40% rise in admissions in the two years following its completion.

The entire western block of Bristol Life Sciences is sheathed behind a striking combination of Proteus HR and Proteus SC solid and perforated, curved and flat aluminium panels that wrap, ripple and sheer across the facade.

Distinctly different in form, it is this west-facing wing with its gently snaking façade that defines this building. The striking geometry of the Proteus HR and SC façade establishes a new landmark on the Bristol skyline.

Proteus HR and SC are versatile and flexible solutions that provide aesthetic screening to building facades. Proteus SC is a single-skin metal panel system that can be specified as solid, perforated or mesh formats. Proteus HR panels have a honeycomb core to achieve a lightweight, perfectly flat surface, creating a powerful contrast to the curved panels below.

In a radical move by the architects, the large 1.5 m diameter ducts that provide services to the environmentally-controlled laboratories are located outside the building insulation line. These are expressed as bulbous shafts ribbed across the façade and shrouded by Proteus HR solid, curved aluminium panels.

Interwoven between these are three bands of window openings. In order to manage natural light levels inside the laboratories, the windows are set back deep within recesses and semi-obscured by the Proteus SC perforated panels that appear as bulbous, puffed-out, skeletonised versions of the curved HR panels around the service ducts.

The solar shade provided by the perforated panels reduce cooling loads within the teaching half of the building by enabling the use of exposed slabs with active chilled beams. This minimised floor to ceiling heights and that in turn enabled an entire floor height to be saved, which helped in planning and conservation terms.

Repositioning the service ducts to the outside of the also building had practical benefits because it enabled reconfiguration of the internal modular laboratory spaces in order to adapt to future requirements.

The overall appearance of the west-wing is staggering, with a beguiling industrial and machine-like appearance that is a perfect representation of the complex scientific activities that take place within.

Sitting above this sinuous, façade is a counter-balanced pod that features Proteus HR solid cladding panels in a tall, elongated arrangement. The optically flat, sheer face of the Proteus HR panels transition from the wrapped and rippled facade below with the help of swept curves around the edges of the overhanging pod.

A spokesperson from Sheppard Robson architects said: “Our goal on this project was to create a building that respects the neighbouring listed buildings and surrounding conservation area whilst also adding a confident piece of contemporary design to Bristol. The cladding panels have created a sinuous organic aesthetic that reflects the nature of the activities inside.”

The Life Sciences Building now has one of the largest learning labs in the country, capable of teaching 200 students at once. There are multiple screens to ensure all students can see close-up what the lecturer is doing and moveable walls can change the size of the space.

Bristol Life Sciences Building was shortlisted in the RIBA Awards and Education Estates Awards. It was designed by the architects Sheppard Robson and built by VINCI Construction UK.

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.

Northampton University Energy Centre

Further visual interest was added to this project by the juxtaposition between the Proteus SC perforated panels specified for the flue stack and Proteus HR solid cladding panels used to create the unusual vertical saw-tooth façade design on the Energy Centre’s main building.

This was a challenging project for MCW architects because the designers had to work around the constraints imposed by the requirement for a large ‘box’ like structure to house a 1MW biomass boiler, four 4MW gas boilers and a 120m³ thermal store.

Proteus HR solid metal skin with honeycomb core was used around the thermal envelope of the building combined with polycarbonate cladding in a striking internally lit vertical “saw-tooth” arrangement. The lightweight, exceptional flatness, strength and rigidity of Proteus HR panels allowed the architects to develop a large modular cassette system (2500x1000mm), which was replicated around the building providing uniformity across different façade elements.

An equally engaging aesthetic was achieved on the 26m high stack by wrapping it in the Proteus SC perforated ‘skin’, creating a sense of weightlessness in what would, at the height of three London buses, have been quite an imposing structure. The back-lit random perforations now appear as though they are pixels being projected outwards from the 12m LCD screen, whilst the elongated landscape perforated panels play with the eye to visually truncate the stack’s overall height.

The screen itself provides the university with a useful information bulletin that showcases courses and events as well as being an advertising medium, both of which have the potential to generate a useful secondary income stream.

In order to achieve the ‘random’ pattern for the perforations, each of the Proteus SC panels on the flue stack had to be manufactured to a specific drawing reference and to millimetre tolerances. This involved changing the location, number and layout of the perforations on each panel. The pitch of each hole had to be calculated so that they passed seamlessly over panel joints.

Proteus also addressed the aim of establishing a seamless link between its perforated panels on the stack and the 12m high LED screen. This was done by working with the architects, screen suppliers and façade installers, Deane Roofing and Cladding, to create a bespoke tray system allowing the screen to be recessed and the perforated panels butted up flush with the edges.

While the building function is essentially utilitarian and technical, the external envelope has been developed to create a visually strong elevation to the campus celebrating the University’s commitment to sustainability.” said MCW architects. .”

Both the Proteus SC perforated and Proteus HR solid cladding panels are executed in polyester powder coated aluminium in RAL 7044 Silky grey, creating visual integration between the stack and main building below.

The new Energy Centre forms part of the £330m Waterside Campus Development at the University of Northampton. It will provide sustainable heating and hot water for all the buildings and student residencies on the 58 acre site, whilst saving over 1,000 tons of CO2 in the short term, rising to 2,200 tons a year following the introduction of a Combined Heat & Power Engine.

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.

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

Molecular Sciences Research Hub, Imperial College

The concrete façade, combined with the perforated cladding and triple glazed curtain walling on the Hub fuse together to outwardly portray what this innovative research facilities does on the inside.

Aukett Swanke chose Capisco’s CAP 55 finish for the Proteus SC perforated panels early in the design process because they were looking to complement the flat bare concrete façade and glazed elements.

The CAP 55 effect was hand applied by patination specialist Capisco, which gave the Proteus SC TECU Brass perforated panels an enhanced flow, feel and texture. The appearance of the perforated and patinated panels now changes depending on the level of sunlight and the angle at which they are viewed from. The end result is a strikingly beautifully aesthetic that appears to move and shimmer across the visually flat façade beneath.

The perforated panels seamlessly transition through the entrance glazing to form a striking feature within the atrium entrance. This creates an impressive solar composition, accentuated by spotlights, when visitors cast their eyes upwards.

“The contrast between the concrete, glass and patinated brass couldn’t be more complementary and, with it, pleasing to the eye,” said Elias Niazi, Design Principal at Aukett Swanke. “The visual outcomes on this project have exceeded expectations. The perforated patterns on the brass panels with artistic patinations add a sense of mystery and mirror the innovative research works carried out inside the building.

Elias Niazi, Design Principal explained: “We specified Proteus SC because we liked the wide panels of its TECU Brass perforated system, as well as the company’s ability to work with Capisco on what is a completely bespoke cladding solution.”

Proteus Facades, again working with Capisco to create a matching patinated finish, manufactured the window flashings for the Hub. Initially conceived as a simple window flashing, Proteus had to overcome a real technical challenge – the profile of the window reveal is a narrow box that tapers across the width to make it appear as though the window blends into the concrete.

The maximum depth of the window reveal was too large for traditional manufacturing processes and so a multi piece flashing design was developed which could be stud welded and bolted together. This avoided any distortions that would have resulted from traditional welding processes, whilst creating a bespoke element that could be easily installed on site.

Proteus Facades is able to supply the CAP 55 finish in either Brass or Bronze materials. The TECU Brass Proteus SC perforated panels were developed in conjunction with the supporting composite panel behind. These had a maximum capacity to support the perforated panels, with the required cavity zone, at 750mm centres. Proteus SC perforated hock on panel system was used, set off from the company’s 125x50mm mullion.

The perforated panels encompass a PPC black stainless steel bird mesh, carefully integrated into the back to ensure there was no visual impact to the panel face.

The Molecular Sciences Research Hub encompasses technical and laboratory areas clustered around a full height atrium. The striking new hub forms the centre piece of the Imperial West campus. Laing O’Rourke commenced construction works at the end of 2014 with completion in 2016. The façade was installed by its in-house team, Laing Facades.