Perforated stainless steel panels are bringing reflection, cohesion and illusion to an award-winning £3million redeveloped school. The Proteus SC panels, which were mirror polished on the face and grit polished on the rear, form a 54m long screen to the upper half of the façade of the front and side elevations of the double-height extension onto Hayes Primary School in Kent.
With the perforations reducing in size from the bottom to the top of the panels, they maximise translucency at the former and reflection, of the canopies of mature trees at the front of the site, at the latter. They also act as brise soleil, providing shade from solar glare and preventing over-heating to the teaching spaces. The Proteus SC screens also give a uniformed building elevation to what had previously been a piecemeal development, an incoherent complex of buildings which failed to announce themselves on the street front. Now the veil gives the illusion of a state-of-the-art new school, shielding the existing building from the road.
Such is the transformation that the school has won awards including a New London Award run by Londons Centre for the Built Environment to recognise the best in architecture, planning and development in the capital and a RIBA National Award (London).