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COMMENT


The challenges and pleasures of life in the Bronze Age


Architectural bronze has long been the choice for delivering a premier feel and finish to any building, but specifying it has always come with challenges. Warwick Penson of Bronze Architecture discusses the resurgence of this material and its uniquely distinctive properties


rchitectural bronze is often used to bestow a mark of quality upon a project. A bespoke, high-end finish, it traditionally comes with a price tag four or five times more expensive than its nearest equivalent, making it an exclusive product for a niche clientele. Owing to this, it often becomes difficult to retain the material right through every stage of a project, resulting in sparing use on the less noticeable details or even a transition to a bronze equivalent finish. Today’s evolution in engineering and technology has however realised some outstanding schemes, putting genuine architectural bronze finishes within reach of even the most conservative budgets.


A


Architectural bronze does have pretenders to its throne – anodised aluminium for example – but they don’t feel like architectural bronze to the touch, or perform in the same way. In its natural form, real architectural bronze becomes a living, changing material, interacting with the environment and even building users over time, creating an ever-changing scene through age and exposure. However, in a bustling city environment or the quiet of a coastal retreat, finish patinas can bring colour retention challenges – the sensitive nature of an architectural bronze finish means that in its unprotected state it will rapidly darken. But with development expertise, high-end technology stabilisation methods


CAFE ROYAL


Designed by Colorminium (London) in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects for the Crown Estate, the Cafe Royal restoration in London’s Regent Street has transformed the famous restaurant and meeting venue into a 160-room, six-star hotel


ADF OCTOBER 2018


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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