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Home Cladding Mulberry Park community hub shines bright thanks to Proteus facades
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Mulberry Park community hub shines bright thanks to Proteus facades

by Matt Downs

The £10 million community hub, which acts as a local educational facility, was commissioned by housing association Curo and designed by architects BDP. It sits at the heart of Mulberry Park, the renovation of the former Ministry of Defence site on Fox Hill in the village of Combe Down, on the southern fringes of Bath.

The eye-catching building features Proteus SC perforated TECU Gold panels with a PPC coated aluminium support frame on the school hall and the third floor cantilevered above the main entrance and Public Square. This section, installed by Cladanco, acts as an enterprise space and was inspired by the temporary floating Mulberry Harbours once used for the Allied invasion of Normandy during the Second World War.

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is offered in either solid, perforated or mesh panel formats. By using an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms, it can add another dimension to any façade cladding project.

The perforated pattern of the Proteus SC panels at Mulberry Park is derived from historic aerial photographs of the harbours, and was developed in conjunction with the supporting frame, which was required due to limitations in material thickness. Using Proteus SC and the company’s framing system meant that a thinner perforated skin could be used on the face of the panel without resulting in deflection or distortion, helping the striking façade remain within budget requirements.

Complementary Proteus HR solid TECU Gold rainscreen cladding panels feature at ground floor level, adding structure and providing an aesthetically pleasing, hardwearing layer that protects the building from the elements.

The Proteus HR honeycomb core of the rainscreen cladding system involves structurally bonding two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin, such as copper alloy, to the honeycomb core. Each panel is supported by the Proteus system of aluminium carriers and ancillary components, which can be installed on to any type of wall construction.

Proteus TECU Gold is a mix of copper and aluminium, which offers outstanding mechanical abrasion and is highly corrosion resistant and durable. The initial bright gold appearance of the façade will gradually oxidise following installation, forming a warm golden surface.

Buildings featuring cladding systems made from copper alloy materials, like the Mulberry Park Community Hub, provide many opportunities for architectural creativity. The striking natural, ever-changing surface creates unique designs that aren’t possible with some other cladding materials.

The Mulberry Park Community Hub was recently crowned the winner of the South West Community Benefit category at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards 2019. The award recognises outstanding achievement in providing a facility that directly benefits the local community, and can demonstrate its success through local community feedback.

RICS judges commended the project team — BDP Architects, housing association and housebuilder Curo, Rydon Construction, and surveyors Ridge & Partners, “for creating an exemplary community hub that is a trailblazer for future community buildings”.

Mulberry Park supports a contemporary development of 700 high-quality homes and open spaces. Within easy reach for local residents, the community building, fronting on to a new public square, accommodates a 210-place primary school, a 70-place nursery and public use facilities including a café, clinic, a fitness suite and business enterprise and flexible spaces for hire.

Proteus Facades offers a wide ranges of TECU copper and copper alloys in the UK. This includes TECU Copper, TECU Bronze, TECU Brass, TECU Gold, and TECU Zinn. Some of these materials are also available pre-patinated, which bypasses the gradual weathering process, so that the cladding panels take on the beautiful earth tones from the day the façade is installed.

www.proteusfacades.com

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