Prestwich Arts College, Manchester

Prestwich Arts College, Manchester

Type of works: supply of Marley's Textura fibre-cement cladding

Marley’s Textura cladding has given an aesthetically pleasing, futurist appearance to a new £1.1m auditorium and drama facility at Prestwich Arts College, Manchester.

The lightweight yet strong properties of fibre-cement Textura cladding enabled the designers to realise their vision for the building to be angled outwards at a 10 degree angle.

At roof height, this means the angled plane of the walls extend beyond the building’s footprint. A conventional masonry wall construction would have required a much more complex approach involving cutting and bonding of brickwork to cope with the geometries. However, the lightweight nature of the fibre-cement Textura panels, along with the proven weather performance properties of decorative rainscreen cladding meant that it provided a much more practical and cost-effective solution.

The angled design theme of the new building is carried through in a configuration of 300 x 800mm Textura panels, which were fixed to the building at a 45 degree angle using a structural bonding adhesive system. This type of system was specified because it was the most cost-effective method of fixing the high number of relatively small panels required.

An additional twist was added by the Royal Blue, Grey and White Textura panels appearing to be randomly interspaced across all four facades, giving the building an edgy and challenging appearance befitting of this leading creative college. The highly glazed surface on Textura contains small glass beads that allow rainwater to ‘pearl’ across the face of the sheet, reducing the possibility of staining. The client recognised that this would provide the building with a low maintenance means of retaining its long term visual appeal.

Over 150 square metres of Textura covers all four sides of the building, which was constructed using a steel frame system and internal masonry wall, 80mm of rigid insulation was mechanically fixed to the wall before the Textura rainscreen wall cladding was installed. A 50mm ventilated cavity between the Textura cladding and insulation provides the building with enhanced weather performance. The new wall construction now achieves an overall U value of 0.19 W/m2K.

Craig Davenport, architect at TWBA said: “Textura offered us the ideal solution for this project because it is a durable and lightweight cladding material that allowed us to realise our original design vision. The client also preferred the surface finish, range of colours and low maintenance offered by Textura. We are delighted with the modern, edgy appearance of the building – it should create the right impression for future generations of students at the college.”

Marley’s fibre-cement Textura range is available in 15 colours and can be produced in a wide range of RAL colours (subject to minimum order quantities).

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