According to the judges, ‘the refurbishment of the old university building has revitalised the locality whilst providing enhanced working spaces within. The architects have created something that is joyful with a degree of playfulness without being frivolous. It is a completely different approach from the standard and shows how to use cladding systems in a different way.’

The judges agreed that the scheme, designed by FaulknerBrowns, exemplifies the use of aluminium in renovation and deserved the status of overall winner. The fabricators and installers for the façade were AC Yule, who produced and project managed the glazing contract.

Bob Welsh, General Manager of Hydro Building Systems which designs and manufactures the Technal brand of façade systems, said, “This scheme demonstrates how buildings which until recently would have been demolished, can be revitalised in an intelligent way and become an asset to their surroundings. It also proves the case that standard façade systems can be used to create elegant and highly innovative architectural solutions. We would like to offer our congratulations to the design and construction teams for producing a really outstanding project.”

As part of the extensive refurbishment, the campus building was stripped back to its original concrete frame, and steel windows and spandrel panels were replaced with high performance curtain walling from Technal.

The fenestration features a bold pattern of irregular bays that has created a visually striking façade incorporating a mix of transparent, opaque and opening panels, whilst also meeting the demanding requirements of the Building Regulations.

The new Technal MX SSG structurally glazed curtain walling system forms projecting bays to the front elevation and carries coloured panels in the university’s corporate colours. Top hung concealed vents provide natural ventilation, the Trame Horizontale façade system was used for horizontal emphasis to enclose the stairwells between areas of brick cladding, and capped visible grid curtain walling features on the other elevations.

The geometric design for the façade is distinctive in style, giving the building a strong identity and providing a focal point for the main university square.

Technal has recently expanded its MX curtain walling suite to offer the structurally glazed option, which meets architects’ requirements for significantly less visible aluminium. MX SSG uses the same technically advanced grid system as MX, offering the benefits of simplified specification, improved fabrication and installation quality, cost efficiency and reduced time on site.

Project Name: University of Sunderland
Project Location: Sunderland

Structurally glazed aluminium curtain walling

Structurally glazed aluminium curtain walling

Structurally glazed aluminium curtain walling