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A curtain wall facade set in a zinc-clad 'box'

working details

The new community centre slots into the original street pattern between stone tenements; the street facade comprises a twostorey zinc-clad 'box' set above a fully glazed ground floor facade.

The slope of the site allowed the insertion of a lower ground floor at the rear which houses a nursery with its own southfacing garden.

The building has a steelframe structure with cast in situ concrete floors on metal deck permanent shuttering. The ground floor facade is a fully glazed curtain wall 4 metres high to relate to the glazed shop facades of the adjacent tenements and to give the main entrance an open, welcoming feel. The glazing mullions and external caps are clad with iroko to soften the appearance of the curtain wall system.

The two upper floors are clad with zinc with horizontal standing seams; zinc was chosen as a material which, although lightweight, would reflect the scale of the stone tenements alongside. The zinc cladding frames a large two-storey high glazed aperture on the west side of the street facade; deep zincclad reveals around this and the other, smaller glazed apertures reinforce the impression of a zinc 'box'. The large aperture is glazed with the iroko-mullioned curtain wall system. Because the second floor slab is set back from the edge and no horizontal transoms are used, the curtain wall appears to run continuously.

To help patients orientate themselves on upper levels in relation to the entrance, a 5 x 2 metre section of both the firstand second-floor slabs adjacent to the glazed facade has been cut out to form a void which is lined with glass balustrades. The void is emphasised by a gap between the curtain wall facade and the zinc panel alongside it.

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