Steni cladding gives new sixth form centre its own identity
Cladding panels by specialist manufacturer Steni UK were specified for a new £1million sixth form centre for a multitude of reasons.
Four colours of Steni’s fibreglass reinforced polymer composite Colour panels form the rainscreen cladding of the 750m2 centre for 350 students at Ashmole Academy in Southgate, north London.
The white, grey, cream and orange panels were specified by architects Hunters LLP for the modular steel-frame building for five reasons in particular.
Associate director Peter Gibson said: “We specified the Steni panels because they are lightweight, strong, weather-resistant with a long lifespan, and available in a wide range of colours.”
The Colour panels, which feature a smooth surface of 100% acrylic that is electron beam cured without the use of solvents, have a life span of at least 50 years, are warrantied for 40, and are available in up to 60 standard colours.
A total of 250m2 were installed to the main entrance and side elevation on an aluminium sub-frame using structural adhesive over six weeks by specialist sub-contractor OSG appointed by main contractor MTX Contracts who are a specialist modular building provider and undertook all aspects of the project, from conception through to completion.
Hunters’ brief was for new study space and relaxation areas in modern, flexible space, and their design provides a contemporary feel as well as a separate identity for the sixth form centre that nevertheless does not dominate the existing school buildings.
It comprises a cafeteria and relaxation areas on the ground floor with a study centre on the top floor, and features a personalised permanent display over two walls of the entrance of Perspex bricks etched with the names of donors to the centre.
Peter Gibson said: “The crisp and clean look of the building complements the existing site and the Steni panels provide an interesting design feature marking the entrance and importance of the sixth form centre.
“They were used to create a randomised pattern of colours to create an interesting design feature that contrasts with the white wall of the main part of the building.”
OSG director Gavin Byram said: “The project was relatively straightforward apart from the fact it was a live school and a tight site within a courtyard-type location so the scheduling of the panels due to the colour layout and the four colours involved was slightly challenging. But the panels performed very well. There were no issues, they were easy to cut and install.”
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