Innovative Glass Cladding adds final touch to checkerboard facade

For the creation of a new student accommodation building, architects wanted to create a building that provided visual impact. To help achieve this, an innovative opaque glass cladding system from Cladding Solutions Limited (CSL) was chosen.

Located on the main A1 running through Islington, London, Derwent Point features 136 studio apartments plus retail and commercial space at ground floor level. Designed by architects Church Lukas to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’, the building, which incorporates 20% on-site renewable energy, features a checkerboard facade that features an ambitious mix of four different cladding products. Built by main contractor Galliford Try, specialist contractor Oskomera was tasked with installing the complex facade. To meet Church Lukas’s design intent for a dark grey ceramic backed glass panel, Oskomera specified Chromatics RS.

The mix of cladding includes an FRP composite panel from Steni UK, high pressure laminate (HPL) panels from Trespa and a stone cladding system. For architectural interest Chromatics RS from Cladding Solutions was specified. This was used to create a reflective strip that runs up one elevation of the building and round part of the top. Specified in black, it creates a reflective contrast between the biscuit and white colour of the rest of the building facade.

Developed for rainscreen cladding applications, Chromatics RS is the result of 15 years of research and development. An opaque glass system, it can be produced in any RAL colour or with digital imagery.

In addition, unlike other coloured glass rainscreen cladding systems, Chromatics RS does not suffer from roller wave distortions, pinholes or transparency variation. This is achieved through an advanced manufacturing process that sees the organic pigments processed at low temperatures. This helps to retain their tone without discolouring or burning, ensuring the finished product does not degrade over time.

To hold the Chromatics RS system in place without detracting from its clean architectural lines, a cladding support system from Eurofox Engineering was chosen. This was used in conjunction with an innovative secret fix adhesive system from Sika. Together the two systems – both of which are BBA (British Board of Accreditation) approved – have enabled the opaque glass to be held in securely in place without any noticeable fixings or support mechanism.

Eurofox Engineering produces a range of aluminium cladding support systems, suitable for both visible and secret fix. Available from stock and supplied cut to size, the company’s systems enable an efficient method of fixing a variety of cladding types, for this reason, the system was chosen for the fixing of all of the different cladding products at Derwent Point.

Whilst some of the cladding was secured using mechanical fixings, SikaTack Panel Adhesive from Sika was used for bonding the Chromatics RS, the Stenni mineral cladding and some of the Trespa cladding.

A revolutionary elastic bonding system, it requires no screws or brackets, instead using advanced elastic bonding technology to adhere cladding panels to the support system.

Thoroughly tested at Taywood Vinci, Chromatics RS is classed as a safety glass (BSEN 12600) and if fractured by a significant point impact, the panel remains intact, waterproof and functional until replaced.

Whilst tough and resilient, Chromatics RS is incredibly lightweight at just 15 kg m².

Supplied cut to size and edge finished, the product is also UV stable for over a decade (CIELab standard) and UV degradation is further negated by encapsulating the colouring under glass.

With its stunning checkerboard design and with the final touch provided by Chromatics RS, held securely in place with the Eurofox Engineering and SikaTack Panel Adhesive systems, Derwent Point is a shining – and in part reflective – example of what can be achieved by mixing different cladding systems.

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