Stylish AshTech façade for London’s state-of-the-art Metropolitan Works

Perforated AshTech rainscreen cladding panels from Ash & Lacy Building Systems were chosen to clad the walls of the £4.5m Metropolitan Works in London, developed specifically for architects and designers.  The centre houses £2m worth of state-of-the-art rapid prototyping and digital manufacturing equipment and is the only industrial resource in the centre of London to combine CAD training, a bureau service and pay and go project workspace.

Designed by Cartwright Pickard Architects and managed by Mansell Construction Services Ltd, the building was conceived as a ‘simple metal box’ reflecting some of the materials used within the centre.  Perforated AshTech panels were specified to add dramatic effect to the building and create a sense of movement and life.  The unique patterned frieze was designed by local artist, Tom Price and each panel was laser cut to produce the desired effect. 

Metropolitan Works also incorporates a number of sustainability features which have helped secure its ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.  The building has a green roof fitted with solar panels to contribute to the hot water provision and rainwater is harvested for toilet flushing.

The centre offers excellent facilities for design and production, including a double-height machine hall to accommodate London’s largest 5 axis CNC router and 5 axis water-jet cutter.  Traditional workshops, CAD offices, a refectory and conference rooms fill the rest of the 1,100sqm space.  James Pickard, Director of Cartwright Pickard Architects commented, “We believe the finished building successfully reflects this world-class centre of excellence for design and production and demonstrates how good, imaginative design can be combined with innovative methods of construction.”

Mr Pickard’s comments were also reflected in the feedback from the judges of the Ash & Lacy Awards 2010, in which Metropolitan Works won a Commended award for the Exterior Walls category.

Perforated AshTech adds a new dimension to the overall aesthetics of a building façade, creating a unique feature through the use of texture, pattern and colour.  Fabricated from ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) and solid aluminium to provide the external element of a rainscreen system, panels are available in a range of vertical and horizontal joint arrangements and are backed up by a full design, technical and support service.

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