Haymarket Metro station, Newcastle

Haymarket Metro station, Newcastle

Client: Nexus
Plastering contractor: Ornate Interiors
Main contractor: Tolent Construction
Type of works: supply and installation of Knauf MP75 machine-applied plaster.

Multiple curves in the vaulted ceilings of Newcastle’s rebuilt Haymarket Metro station provided a tough new challenge for Knauf MP75 machine-applied plaster. Specialist plastering contractor Ornate Interiors successfully took one-coat MP75 to new heights, applying it to curved lathing of expanded metal. Knauf MP75 is normally used for a high-quality finish on masonry walls, where it is up to three times faster than conventional hand-applied two-coat plasters.

Haymarket is Tyne and Wear Metro’s deepest underground station, and the second busiest on the 48-mile network, with more than six million passengers a year. After nearly 30 years’ use, the station has been refurbished below ground and the original circular surface building of 1980 has been replaced by an eye-catching four storey steel and glass building which provides better facilities for passengers and creates additional retail, leisure and office space on its upper floors. The two-year, £20 million redevelopment is the first stage in Metro’s £300 million modernisation programme led by Nexus, which owns and manages the entire system.

The 1,300m2 vaulted ceiling at the top of the new Haymarket building includes 3.9m radius curves up to the rooflights and reverse curves which flow into the ‘eyebrows’; dramatic round-topped detailing in the glass façade. Ornate Interiors' Contracts Manager Jim Dodd says with the ceiling curving in two directions over most of its surface, the plastering team had to use custom-made curved ‘straight edges’ to smooth the MP75. He says: “Considering the team sprayed 18 tons of MP75 – mostly overhead – the end result is exceptionally good. Everyone involved with the project is very pleased.”

Pudsey-based Ornate Interiors is an award-winning plastering contractor, specialising in fibrous plaster mouldings and solid plaster for newbuild and restoration projects, as well as traditional lime plastering, rendering and modern techniques such as machine application. Jim Dodd says: “We had previously applied MP75 to masonry walls, and after discussing the Haymarket requirement with Knauf Drywall and the main contractor, Tolent Construction, we felt it was the best system for the job. Through overcoming the challenges of the curves, the overhead work and the expanded metal lathing, we have set a new benchmark for MP75.”

Knauf MP75 is a bagged dry plaster which is machine-mixed with water and pumped to a spray nozzle for application to masonry walls. It is sprayed on to masonry in overlapping bands, then simply ruled flat with a steel straight edge. Minimal trowelling is required during the drying process to achieve a firm, White finish that is ideal for final decoration. Already the first choice of many plasterers in Europe, time-saving one-coat Knauf MP75 is fast becoming a major solution in the UK market.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, dry flooring, drywall accessories, and metal sections for domestic, commercial and public sector applications. Knauf Drywall pioneered carbon neutral plasterboard in the UK with Knauf Futurepanel. Knauf Drywall also actively promotes recycling from building sites and has a zero waste policy in its energy efficient factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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