The £1m centrepiece in the restoration of a historic park in Lancashire has been completed, incorporating innovative use of the new MX curtain walling system from architectural aluminium glazing specialists, Technal.


Designed by McChesney Architects and built by John Turner & Sons, the dramatic sculptural pavilion in Avenham Park was the winning design in an RIBA competition for Preston City Council.


The building has a strong geometric design, which includes a complex zinc-clad ‘saw tooth’ roof and extensive use of timber, aluminium and glass.


Unusually, Technal’s MX Visible Grid curtain walling was used with specially designed timber caps to accentuate the vertical profiles, both internally and externally. The transoms were finished in black and provide an effective and subtle contrast to the timber capped mullions.


Three different module widths break up the uniformity of the glazed façades, whilst maximising the spectacular views of the River Ribble from the inside. The curtain walling was also faceted, to follow the sweeping curve of the building, which forms a small performance space to the north. The curtain walling was fabricated and installed by LDG Contracts.


“We wanted the pavilion to have a natural feel in this beautifully green parkland setting, which was achieved with extensive use of timber”, said Ian McChesney of McChesney Architects.


“This theme was also applied to the glazing, where douglas fir caps were fixed to the curtain walling, giving us the major advantage of the improved weather tightness of a high performance aluminium system and more efficient drainage to prevent water ingress. We are delighted with the end result."


Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Single Regeneration Budget and Preston City Council, the new riverside pavilion sits within a conservation area and is the focal point for year-round events that take place in this landscaped Victorian park. It provides a modern facility for the arts, education, entertainment and leisure activities, a café and an operational base for park rangers.


Technal’s new MX curtain wall is the first in the UK to offer such a wide choice of aesthetic options from a single grid system, including low to high rise, visible grid, faceted, structural, beaded and sloped glazing, and MX Trame Horizontale and Verticale. These options use the same transom and mullion grid, giving architects the opportunity to vary the appearance of the building envelope, with all the design and construction benefits of one fully integrated system.


MX will achieve low U values and enhanced thermal efficiency in accordance with the most stringent Building Regulations, and offers consistent site lines and interfaces, design flexibility and ease of installation to reduce time on site.


Client: Preston City Council
Architects: McChesney Architects
Contractor: John Turner & Sons
Structural engineers: Atelier One
Curtain walling: Technal
Glazing fabricator: LDG Contracts
Project Name: Avenham Park
Project Location: Preston

Avenham Park, Preston


Avenham Park, Preston


Avenham Park, Preston