downside of this unusual medium. Run-off can cause staining on surrounding materials, so careful planning of guttering and drainage channels is vital. Powder coated cladding can also be used to recreate the look and feel of the material where use of actual corten proves challenging – for example, in sub-tropical environments or for low-level applications where clothing could be marked.

Stand out from the crowd

CONTRASTING The corten facade of the extension to the Henry Moore Foundation provides contrast with the traditional style of the original archive building © Hufton+Crow

Corten-clad buildings have a high visual impact that evolves and then settles into the landscape. Perhaps one of the most iconic examples in the UK is the award-winning Broadcasting Tower in Leeds, which won the 2010 Best Tall Building in the World award by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, 9200 m2


steel hook-on cassettes were used to create the distinctive facade with its cantilevered projections. The colourful, industrial appearance can also be used to great effect in refurbishment or extension applications. For example, at Kennington Park in London,

architects Carey Jones utilised corten rainscreen facades as part of the refurbishment, conversion and extension of a Victorian warehouse.

The cladding was installed as part of a

new, four storey entrance unit to Chester House, which now offers Grade-A office space. The material reflects the building’s rich industrial heritage while, through its appearance and modern design, simultane- ously providing a clear visual reference point to draw visitors from the forecourt into the main entrance area.

Under control

Corten structures always promote a good deal of debate, both in architectural circles and among the general public. As with any distinctive facade material, corten speci- fications require considerable thought and planning, however, as a growing number of projects have shown, when used well it can deliver truly iconic buildings which will continue to change and surprise over time.

Ian Sutherland is area sales manager and chartered architect at Benchmark by Kingspan

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