Bournemouth Coast DT Website Case Study Main Image v2
Coast Bournemouth: zinc cladding at the seaside Coast Bournemouth: zinc cladding at the seaside

Coast Bournemouth: zinc cladding at the seaside

Coast Bournemouth: zinc cladding at the seaside

Project: Coast Bournemouth
Client: Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties
Architect: WADP
Specialist Cladding Contractor: ICEE
Zinc: elZinc Slate Advance

This group of seafront apartments on the site of the former Bournemouth International Hotel is perched right on the cliff side. The modern aesthetic of white render and glazed balconies is offset with crisp elZinc zinc cladding supplied by SIG Zinc & Copper and installed by the specialist cladding team at ICEE. The project for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties was designed post-planning and managed on site by architects WADP.

Using metal cladding on the coast

Metal is an increasingly popular material for use in roofing and cladding in the UK, and this isn’t surprising when one sees the beautiful precise lines of the material, and understand the longevity and almost zero maintenance of metal products. The materials are also very popular in projects at coastal locations, although as we have written before, you need to know what you’re doing using metals in environments exposed to marine winds and salt spray.

“The biggest challenge on this site was the extreme marine environment,” says Jonathan Tolley, Architect at WADP, “This scheme really is exposed to the elements. It’s on top of a cliff; there is literally nothing between it and the sea.” Any materials had to survive that environment and be resistant to staining of any salts on the surface and self-cleansing.

This was a suitable challenge for SIG Zinc & Copper, who provide a wide range of metal products for roofing and cladding. The new development of luxury flats known as […]

Vita Student Accommodation Newcastle DT Web Case Study Main Image 1
Vita Student Newcastle – timeless yet contemporary zinc and stone Vita Student Newcastle – timeless yet contemporary zinc and stone

Vita Student Newcastle – timeless yet contemporary zinc and stone

Vita Student Newcastle – timeless yet contemporary zinc and stone

Project: Vita Student Newcastle
Client: Vita Student
Architect/Interior Designer: Fuse
Main Contractor: Carillion
Window Subcontractor: Polar NE
Structural Engineer: WSP
Envelope Contractor: Roofclad Systems
Zinc: elZinc slate rhomboid shinglesThis is Vita Student Newcastle, a new development of 259 high quality student accommodation studios on Westgate Road in Newcastle town centre. The site is surrounded by eight listed buildings and is stone’s throw from Newcastle Central Station.

Architects and interior designers Fuse worked with Historic England and the city’s planning and design officers to develop a façade that is unashamedly contemporary, but has a timeless quality the client required, complementing the neighbouring buildings without imitating them.

The building presents a unified personality to the street and internal courtyard, stepping down across the site to respect the surrounding building’s massing. Façade materials are natural sandstone cladding on the major facades, changing to facing brickwork along Pudding Chare and to the rear of the site.

High quality anodised aluminium windows with detailed feature panels are used throughout, and elZinc Slate rhomboid shingles complete the look on upper levels, mansard roof and the recessed junction with the Union Rooms next door.

We talked to Project Architect Philip Walker of Fuse, who were the architects for the project and interior designers for the hub space, a recreational and break out space in the ground floor of the building.

Using zinc on the project

On a site of this importance, the façade treatment was always going to be important. “With eight listed buildings nearby, the architecture in and around the site is quite ornate,” says Philip Walker. “Our Design and Access statement reviewed the history of the site, and picked up the many mansard roofs and a lot of articulation and scalloped roof forms. […]

The Alchemist Case Study website main image 2 v3
The Alchemist, Salford Quays –  cladding a gold folded box The Alchemist, Salford Quays –  cladding a gold folded box

The Alchemist, Salford Quays – cladding a gold folded box

The Alchemist, Salford Quays – cladding a gold folded box

Project: The Alchemist, Salford Quays
Client: MediaCityUK / Peel Land and Property Group
Architect: Reid Architects
Main contractors: 
Artez Group
Envelope contractors: Longworth
Zinc: elZinc Rainbox Gold Protect supplied by SIG Zinc & Copper

A new gem has taken its place in the architectural playground that is Salford Quays in Manchester. Between the towers of MediaCityUK and Michael Wilford’s The Lowry, sits a small but perfectly formed gold parcel – a new home for The Alchemist, an innovative cocktail bar and restaurant which will open at the end of August 2017.

We spoke to its architect, Marion Room of Reid Architects and Paul Smith, MD of Longworth whose team installed the stunning folded gold roof and wall

The Evolution of a gem
The bund is a transitional space where pedestrians cross between Media City and the Lowry. MediaCityUK developers Peel Land and Property Group commissioned Reid Architects to create a design icon that would be a beacon linking both sites and provide an oasis for walkers between the two.

Reid Architects started discussions with the planners before there was an anchor tenant. “It was clear we would need to maintain several significant views across the site, and that the roof would be as important as the walls because so many people look down on it,” said Marion Room. The building is therefore all elevation, with a roadside main entrance and a cantilevered terrace looking out over the Manchester Ship Canal.

The team at Reid Architects began experimenting with cutting away the geometry in plan, but to address all the site constraints the design ‘became a wrapped object, like a […]

The Grove Hotel D&T Website Case Study Main Image
The Grove Hotel – it’s got to be green The Grove Hotel – it’s got to be green

The Grove Hotel – it’s got to be green

The Grove Hotel – it’s got to be green

Project: Cedar Suite, The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire
Client: Ralph Trustees
Architect: James Blake at Purcell
Designer: Martin Hulbert Design
Structural Engineers: AECOM
Main Contractors: Galliford Try
Copper Contractor: CEL Ltd
Copper: KME Tecu Patina

It wasn’t always as placid at The Grove as it is now. The former country estate of the Earls of Clarendon near Abbot’s Langley in Hertfordshire, the 18th century mansion house was called in by Secretary of State John Prescott in 1997 in a landmark green belt test case, when new owners the Ralph Trustees were trying to convert it into a luxury hotel. They eventually won the two-year legal battle and architect Jeremy Blake, now at Purcell, was involved from the outset. He is handling the current programme of increased facilities and improvements at The Grove.

As part of the hotel’s ongoing development the client decided in 2014 to create the Cedar Suite, an oval copper-clad structure that would act as a stand-alone wedding and events space for the hotel with its own unique quality and relationship to the garden. Influenced in part by the fact that interior designer Martin Hulbert’s Bermondsey office overlooked a church copper roof, the design team decided early on to go for either copper or verdigris sheeting, becoming rapidly aware that with reduced sulphur dioxide levels in the air, real copper was unlikely to patinate. ‘It was always going to be green so we looked at alternatives,’ recalls Purcell’s Kags Alexander-Cahill, ‘But copper never left the table and finally we opted for verdigris copper sheet.’ The chosen […]

Imperial Tobacco Website Case Study Main Image
As above, so below As above, so below

As above, so below

As above, so below

Project:  Imperial Tobacco’s Bristol HQ
Client: Imperial Tobacco
Architect: Atkins, Walters & Walters
Contractor: BAM Construction
Cladding: Proteus HR honeycomb metal rainscreen
Zinc: NedZink NOVA

The versatility of zinc is clear at Imperial Tobacco’s Bristol HQ, where it moves from roof to facade to become a smart coat that will withstand all weather.

Crisp lines, generous bright spaces and high quality natural materials define the £18m Imperial Tobacco HQ in Bristol, designed by architect Atkins, Walters & Webster (AWW) to reflect the corporate standing of the international FTSE top 25 company.

The 100,000m2 office is set over four floors, each linking to a generous front atrium with curved white balconies. An executive floor with boardroom and bar opens to a terrace overlooking a large courtyard.

Sustainability is at the heart of the scheme, which includes an energy centre with biomass boiler, over 500m2 of photovoltaic panels and efficient LED lighting.

The building’s highly orthogonal facades are a mixture of glazing, unitised curtain walling and horizontal bands of zinc cladding. The layout is designed to maximise natural daylight for interior lighting of offices, while minimising solar heat gain.

Imperial Tobacco Website Case Study Inset ImageZinc cladding, supplied as a flat Proteus HR, Honeycomb Metal Rainscreen, matched the project’s corporate feel and the local context.

AWW project architect Andrew Boardman said: ‘The zinc was appropriate to the local area, which has light industrial buildings and car showrooms. The site was home to Imperial Tobacco’s original cigar factory and the zinc seemed to reflect that in a more refined, contemporary way.’

AWW had considered using white rendered blockwork walls, but changed tack after seeing the effects of weathering, including staining, on other white rendered buildings. […]

Northbrook College Case Study D&T Web Main Image
Lead by example Lead by example

Lead by example

Lead by example

Project: Northbrook College
Address: Worthing
Architect: ECE Architecture
Cladding subcontractor: Kingsley Group
Product: NedZink NOVA

A bold addition to Northbrook College’s West Durrington campus has provided new facilities for students and staff and improved the visibility of the college in the local community. The new Learning Resource Centre forms the social heart of the redesigned campus, with its new entrance, three-storey atrium, library and refectory.

You could say that the existing vernacular style of West Durrington’s Northbrook College in Worthing directly inspired its modern reinvention – despite the fact that it’s been interpreted using completely different materials.

‘The college buildings were all a dark brown brick and we wanted to contrast that with something striking, light and open,’ says ECE Architecture associate Gary Kelly. ‘We had to demolish part of the original building and its lead flashing got us thinking.’

The result for the college, which offers a wide range of creative degree courses, is the modern zinc and glass clad facade of its new Learning Resource Centre, 

Zinc shingle at Northbrook
Huge sloping steel V columns support the large span precast concrete hollowcore floors. These are one component of the building’s aesthetic; the other is the partially glazed zinc shingle facade inspired by the lead flashing.

Initial concerns that the prepatinated NEDZink NOVA sheet might be affected by salty air from the nearby coast were rapidly scotched and, having used it before, the firm was confident that the material had good general robustness.

ECE Architecture had decided at planning to go with strip windows, which had knock on implications for the facade’s shingle design as alignment was everything. ‘We wanted strip windows on the first and second floors, which would either be 350mm high or 700mm […]

Amphibious House banner 1
NedZink Zinc shingles on the Amphibious House NedZink Zinc shingles on the Amphibious House

NedZink Zinc shingles on the Amphibious House

NedZink Zinc shingles on the Amphibious House

Name of project:  Amphibious House
Location:  Buckinghamshire
Product:  NedZink NOVA shingles
Architect:  Baca Architects
Roofing & Cladding Contractor:  Kingsley Specialist Roofing

One of the most innovative private houses to be completed recently in the UK is this amphibious house, featured twice on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. We spoke to Robert Barker of Baca Architects about how the project came about, and why they chose to use zinc shingles to clad it.

The Project

Baca Architects were approached by the new owners of a very compact three-bed house on a fantastic island site on the Thames in Buckinghamshire. The site suffers from very high risk of flooding – predicted by the Environment Agency to be up to two metres of floodwater once in 100 years, Robert Barker explained. To produce a successful replacement house, the architects must first find a solution to the flood risk issue, and Baca looked at a number of possible solutions, aligned with their practice principle, ‘build to reduce flood risk’.

Firstly they considered an elevated building – raised above the flood level.  Given the height of the water level change, the house would have to be raised over 2m.  As the building is in a conservation area, the allowable ridge height would have reduced the amount of available accommodation to a tiny single storey building raised high up in the air.

Secondly Baca looked at the option of a flood resistant or resilient building – one that would prevent floodwater entering.  But given the heigh of water predicted, the waterproof structure would have to be huge, and the water pressure would also give the resultant building a tendency to float.

Finally the practice proposed something rather special – not a building above […]

Bolton College STEM Centre
NedZink Zinc cladding at Bolton College STEM Centre NedZink Zinc cladding at Bolton College STEM Centre

NedZink Zinc cladding at Bolton College STEM Centre

NedZink Zinc cladding at Bolton College STEM Centre

Name of project:  Bolton College STEM Centre
Location:  Wellington Road, Bolton
Product:  NedZink NOVA 485m2 of angled and vertical standing seam zinc cladding
Client:  Bolton College
Architect:  IBI Group
Main Contractor:  Heron Brothers Ltd
Cladding Contractor:  Longworth Building Services
Completion:  October 2014

About the Project

Bolton College has opened the doors of a brand new state-of-the-art STEM Centre to provide support for learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The new 1800m2 centre completes the Deane Road campus and aims to increase aspiration and motivation amongst the town’s young people by offering different options following secondary school.

A key component of Bolton’s Skills Strategy, the STEM Centre has real life working environments and increased laboratory space to help learners follow a range of career pathways including environmental science, sustainable technologies, engineering and manufacturing. New automotive workshops will train highly skilled technicians and provide progression to local university provision.

About the Cladding


Specialist subcontractor Longworth Building Services was employed to carry out the zinc cladding and associated substrate works. The Nedzink NOVA standing seam cladding was applied to a plywood surface, brackets and rails and insulation, fixed into an SFS frame prepared by the main contractor.