The through-colour Anthracite Natura Plus panels clad the Speedmaster conference centre and showroom for sports cars, performance racing cars and vintage cars that was officially opened by none other than Sterling Moss.
They were specified by Halliday Clark Architects as a key product to give both quality and a modern appearance and minimise long-term maintenance issues, and have been used both externally as rainscreen and internally.
The brief from the clients the Hanson brothers, whose passion for cars was inspired by meeting two times world champion Jim Clark many years ago, was to design a multi-use facility that brought the wow factor and a use not previously available in the region.
This in turn brought a new lease of life to a former spinning warehouse at the heart of the Albion Mills in the citys Greengates area which started life in the 1950s producing Lycra for DuPont but had been redundant since the 1980s.
The nine-month project involved revealing the original 120-metre tall chimney in a new courtyard and installing a new frontage to the double height, steel portal frame warehouse which totals 30,000ft² over two floors. This comprised curtain walling which floods the showroom with natural light and is surrounded by the Marley panels.
Inside, a new mezzanine floor was installed along with a café, offices and conference facilities for up to 400 people with room names such as Goodwood, Brooklands and Silverstone. Natura Plus panels have been used in the reception area. The Hanson brothers, as Hanson Partners, have their offices on the first floor.
Project architect Nick Mortimer, of Halliday Clark Architects who have used Marleys cladding panels frequently before, said: The highest quality design and materials have been used to totally transform the redundant spinning building. The use of specialist material finishes to both the external elevations and floor finishes further enhances the commitment of the design team to mix history with new technology. The contemporary design of the external envelope and use of high-quality materials have been taken into the interior with the use of high-quality, modern finishes.
The use of Marley was seen as a key product to give both quality and a modern appearance when viewed externally. The glazed façade is the first point of contact for the new facility and needed to give an impression of quality and a modern façade. The colour chosen also gave the qualities we were looking to achieve.
The use of the Marley cladding fits seamlessly with the curtain walling system. The planned use of both systems minimises long-term maintenance issues. They have certainly given the project the right feel in terms of quality and have allowed our vision for the scheme to be realised.
He added: The project and use of materials has been very well received. The opening event was attended by a large number of people who all stated the project had the wow factor. It was officially opened by Sterling Moss who I believe said he thought the project was excellent.