University of Sunderland

Architect: FaulknerBrowns
Main contractor: Surgo Construction
Fabricator: AC Yule
Awards: Overall winner - UK Aluminium in Renovation Awards; Special Prize for Cladding and Roofing - UK Aluminium in Renovation Awards
Products: MX SSG structural glazing, top hung concealed vents, Trame Horizontale and visible grid curtain walling

A façade project for the University of Sunderland, which transformed a former 1960s campus building into a bright and dramatic gateway to the university, is the first UK application of Technal’s new MX SSG structurally glazed curtain walling system.

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.

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.

MX SSG 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 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.

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 with FXi65 casement windows features on the west and east elevations.



The Architect’s Perspective

Rebecca Williams, Project Architect, FaulknerBrowns:

“Our aim was to create a new, colourful and inspiring entrance to the university. The use of structural glazing allowed us to form smooth projecting bays on the main elevation and an off-set arrangement of transoms and mullions with a flush finish. This gives the building its impact and a sense of dynamism, and a different appearance to conventional capped curtain walling.”

“We have used Technal’s Trame system on a number of projects and felt the system’s horizontal emphasis would be the ideal solution to add interest to the areas of glazing between the strips of original brick cladding. We are very pleased with the finished building and the curtain walling is performing well.”