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82 EXTERNAL ENVELOPE


Corian®


is ahead of the curve with


impressive interior and exterior cladding for the new Menai Science Park building by FaulknerBrowns


A


n undulating ribbon of Corian®


Solid


Surface forms the high-impact first impression of the magnificent new


Menai Science Park (M-SParc) by FaulknerBrowns Architects. The first science park to be developed in Wales, the £15.5million project aims to drive growth in knowledge-based industries, with a focus on clean and sustainable technology. A wholly owned subsidiary of Bangor University, M-SParc is working closely with the university to provide expertise and support to local enterprise. The 5,000m² building features an Open Innovation Space offering conferencing, co-working and hospitality (both for businesses and the wider community) plus incubator and grow-on office space, laboratories, clean workshops and admin facilities. The structure is characterised by a


continuous flowing ribbon that forms floor, wall and roof surfaces, wrapping around the space within while also connecting the building to the exterior landscape. “The architecture is intended to reflect the


values of M-SParc,” says Leighton Cooksey, Project Director at FaulknerBrowns, “and to create a high quality, unique environment to promote energy and innovation while attracting the best new initiatives and creating a thriving community space.” The form of the building posed a number


of challenges as the ribbon needed to contain all building services, structure and waterproofing within a continuous thickness of just 850mm. A seamless finish was desired to create a monolithic appearance with minimal joints. The chosen material had to meet a variety of orientations, be formed into tight internal radii of 400mm and withstand


the worst of the Anglesey weather. “We investigated a number of alternative cladding systems including glass reinforced concrete, aluminium composites, cassette panels and high-pressure laminate, but very quickly chose Corian®


as the preferred


solution,” Leighton continues, “Working with Unique Fabrications, we developed the principle of a Corian®


rainscreen cladding


system over a waterproofed steel frame. Corian®


proved to be the perfect material to


deal with the sinuous form of the ribbon, with the thermoformed curved panels, preformed corners and invisible fixings and thus to meet the architectural design intent.” FaulknerBrowns carried out extensive research together with M-SParc to assess the weathering performance and robustness of the proposed cladding, confirming that it would withstand the rigours of the exposed


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ADF SEPTEMBER 2018


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