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28 Making a solid decision


Andy Noble of CD (UK) looks at why architects should consider staying ahead of the curve by specifying solid surface facades for a highly contemporary look


MENAI SCIENCE PARK


The award-winning ‘M-SParc’ in Anglesey designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects is wrapped in a ribbon of Corian cladding


H


ow do you create a contemporary and yet timelessly effective facade? From a wave-like ribbon wrapping a new science park in Wales to the undulating frontage of a mixed-use building in Poland and a curvaceously clad villa in the Netherlands, facades that have been formed with an advanced solid surface can enable bold and distinctive architecture to perform as designed. Add both ease of installation and maintenance into the mix and a reliable solid facade solution (such as Corian) makes sense for the skin of modern buildings – as an innovative yet eminently practical choice.


From distinctive aesthetics to thermal efficiency, and from creative freedom to lasting performance, there are many reasons to consider a high quality solid surface as a facade finish. In terms of design versatility there are a range of advanced fabrication techniques at the architect’s disposal. These range from CNC pattern cutting to integrated backlighting and 3D texturing. The ability of the material to be thermoformed into a wide range of different forms makes it a particularly attractive option for architects.


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


Curve appeal


Curves add an organic allure to the urban landscape and solid surface allows this look to be beautifully expressed via a ventilated facade. Each solid surface brand will have a different composition and ratio of key ingredients, and source for those ingredients, as well as a different manufacturing ethos – but working with a reliable, high quality material, gives the benefits of extraordinary flexibility combined with mechanical strength, and crucially, technical support, including answering key questions on certification and regulatory compliance. Combine the ability for seamless joining (or subtle shadow gaps) and an expansive, strong yet comparatively lightweight sheet can be transformed into either a monolithic effect or a complex interplay of shapes. Extensive networks of approved, highly trained and skilled technicians understand how to get the most from the right material, fully appreciating tolerances and capabilities, without compromising on safety or reliability. Indeed, it is the creativity of large numbers of fabricators who have worked to solve a design challenge presented to them by architects,


ADF FEBRUARY 2019


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