Building 1, Gatwick Road

Client: Canadian & Portland Estates
Architect: Hamiltons
Contractor: Talbot Construction
Type of works: supply and installation of Stratascreen metal rainscreen system in Colorcoat Prisma®.

In a market that is driven by climate change and sustainability, refurbishment is an increasingly important part of the UK construction industry.

Illustrating what can be achieved with a committed refurbishment programme, Building 1, Gatwick Road demonstrates the economic benefits that refurbishment work presents including energy savings and cost-effectiveness with the added benefit of also improving the aesthetics to attract customers.

The 5,628m site, located in Crawley, West Sussex, was previously occupied by a Suzuki Warehouse and was originally part of a larger car showroom development. It is situated centrally in its site surrounded by car parking with a service area within the building to the rear, with the car showroom at the front of the building fronting Gatwick Road. The project involved refurbishing the exterior of the existing car showroom, and reorganising the internal layout of the main showroom into a new car showroom with service and preparation bays, ancillary offices and parts storage and parking.

Impact on the character of the surrounding area and on the neighbouring amenities were key factors that needed to be considered when designing the new showroom. With this in mind, key to the design brief was to find an ‘elegance within simplicity’ suitable for a high quality showroom. The main façade of the building, with large curtain wall glazing, provides excellent visual connections between the inside and the outside of the building, creating an inviting atmosphere for the visitors and passers-by. The building’s clean rectilinear exterior belies its complexity and the skills involved in over-cladding and existing building.

To achieve the elegant structure, Hamiltons specified extensive curtain wall glazing and 1,500m2 of Panels and Profiles Stratascreen metal rainscreen system in Colorcoat Prisma® from Corus Colors, giving an elegant and smooth finish to the overall design. The project also involved the stripping of over 3,000m2 of the external cladding on the roof and re-sheeting with Corus Panels and Profiles Trisomet® in Corus Colorcoat HPS200® in Goosewing Grey. Trisomet® is a PIR foam composite panel roof and walling system that provides fast track insulated construction and provided the ideal solution for Gatwick Road.

The restrained clear-cut design of the building also took the building well away from the common perception of ‘industrial building as a tin shed’. It provides in its deployment of space a well interpreted outlet for the high end products of the car industry. The completed building is a superb example of modern urban regeneration, with the overall appearance of the site greatly enhancing the built environment of Crawley.

The refurbishment of Building 1, Gatwick Road is in line with Planning Policy on Delivering Sustainable Development, which sets out the Government’s overarching planning policies on the delivery of sustainable development through the planning system on regeneration and refurbishment. In addition, the development also falls in line with the West Sussex Structure Plan that encourages the re-use of previously developed land where the impact of proposed development is acceptable to the locality. The plan also emphasises the importance of retaining existing employment sites, supporting the economic growth of Crawley to ensure that the best use is made of employment land.

Building 1, Gatwick Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 9XF

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