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Armstrong CEILING TILES

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Armstrong World Industries has one of the largest product ranges in the UK. Recent projects undertaken using Armstrong solutions highlight a wide range of applications, from small refurbishment schemes to large, high-profile head office commissions

SPECULATIVE OFFICE BUILDING, CELTIC SPRINGS BUSINESS PARK, NEWPORT ARCHITECT Atkins MAIN CONTRACTOR Vanbotts CEILING CONTRACTOR McKenzie Interior Builders Atkins has designed a landmark building for the new Celtic Springs business park in south Wales. It is one of six offices on the site and was built speculatively, with a call centre as the most likely use.

The building has an impressive drumshaped circular entrance and atrium, opening out to large open floor plates housing the office or call-centre space.

The suspended ceiling to the atrium is from Armstrong's Orcal metal ceiling range, with a plain white finish. As project architect Rob Lewis of Atkins says: 'It gives a crisp appearance and a clean look.' To match the drum-shaped space, the Orcal tiles had to be cut to a curve and crafted to fit.

Elsewhere, throughout the open office spaces, Atkins specified Armstrong's Dune board tiles. These are finished by the addition of Armstrong curved Axiom margin trims both at the ceiling edges and elsewhere.

'There is a series of Axiom plasterboard margins running along the building's column zones, ' explains Lewis. 'The Axiom is a double trim which forms a plasterboard margin on one side and a ceiling trim on the other.'

DAMILOLA TAYLOR CENTRE, PECKHAM, LONDON CLIENT London Borough of Southwark ARCHITECT Southwark Building Design Service MAIN CONTRACTOR Crispin & Borst CEILING CONTRACTOR Hunter Melsom tThe Damilola Taylor Centre is a youth and sports centre for the community in Peckham, south London, aimed at providing opportunities for young people aged between eight and 19. It was originally built in the mid1990s and refurbished in 2001 to provide new facilities and improve existing areas.

The refurbishment was undertaken with the help of funding from carpet magnate Lord Harris, who originates from Peckham.

The building is of robust construction, designed to cope with wear and tear. The main structure is of fair-faced painted blockwork, and finishes have been chosen for practicality ahead of aesthetic appeal.

The changing rooms formed a key area for refurbishment. Project architect Malcolm Bates of Southwark Borough Design Services (SBDS) says: 'We didn't use ceiling tiles in the changing rooms because of the possibility that they would be damaged. We opted for plasterboard instead, but did go for ceiling tiles in the corridors, which are more public.'

On the upper floor there is a general-purpose room used for a range of activities, including dance. 'We really wanted to improve the quality of that room, ' explains Bates.

Originally the sloping soffit of the roof was clad in fibrous material that weathered very badly. SBDS wanted to replace this with a ribbed timber ceiling, which it had used elsewhere in the building, but, with an angle of slope of 20infinity, this proved problematic.

However, the designer has succeeded in generating much of the warmth and visual appeal of timber by installing Armstrong's Madera wood-veneer ceiling panels. The system comes in over 80 specifications, with both laminate and wood veneers, in finishes including maple, beech, pear, lime and cherry.

The 600mm square wood-veneer tiles are set in a black grid on the sloping roof soffit, with downlights giving a warm, softer feel to the room than in the sports areas beneath.

UK HEADQUARTERS FOR XSTRATA, PANTON HOUSE, LONDON CLIENT Xstrata FIT-OUT ARCHITECT Greg Firth Design CEILING CONTRACTOR GPL Interiors MAIN CONTRACTOR MA Solutions t International mining company Xstrata has its registered office in Panton House in central London. The 1960s building has recently undergone a total refurbishment to bring it up to modern office standards.

Like many refurbishment projects, the installation of new services reduced the floor-to-ceiling heights, which heavily influenced the choice of ceiling tiles for fit-out architect Greg Firth.

'There is a very narrow void and no ceiling space to work with, ' he explains, 'which means everything has to be accessible from underneath the tiles. So we had to have a system that dropped down rather than opening upwards, and there are not many on the market.'

The ceiling-tile system Firth chose, Armstrong's Orcal Axal, is a mid-price product in which the tiles are locked on to the underside of the grid and drop down to give access to the services above. The standard tiles measure 600 x 600mm, and a 6mm grid reveal is exposed between tiles.

Firth says the only alternative to the Axal tiles would have been mineral tiles, but believes the minimal grid reveal provided by Axal gives a visual impact more appropriate to this setting. 'These are executive offices, and the system gives us that look, ' he says.

Axal measures just 54mm in depth, including the grid, and is downwardly demountable, which makes it the most suitable option when access to services is required but minimum void depth is available.

At Panton Street there are a lot of very small rooms, each with their own ceiling field, so most of the tile edges had to be cut.

Unlike other systems, though, the Axal tiles could be cut to fit on site rather than having to be pre-cut before delivery.

Xstrata is now refurbishing the top floor of the building, again using Axal for the ceilings.

SPIN BOWLING CENTRE, CARDIFF ARCHITECT Oriel Design MAIN CONTRACTOR Carter Lauren CEILING CONTRACTOR Ceilings and Partitions, Exeter t The Spin Bowling Centre is a 10-lane tenpin bowling alley housed in a former cinema in the Roath area of Cardiff. Prior to its recent £1 million redevelopment, the ground floor of the building had been home to a bingo hall, with the upper seating galleries unused.

Now Oriel Design has converted the building into two complete floors, with six bowling lanes upstairs and four lanes plus refreshment facilities on the ground floor.

'Originally the place had a barrel-vaulted ceiling generally, with a domed ceiling over the gallery areas, ' explains project architect Steve Price. 'Unfortunately they were all made of asbestos.'

Although the building is not listed, it is of historic significance, and Oriel wanted to retain a memory of what had been there before. This has been achieved mainly on the upper floor, where the barrel vaulting has been recreated, and the ceiling over the galleries has been formed in an 'inverted wedding cake' to give a reminder of the old dome.

Price chose Armstrong's Dune tiles throughout, complemented by its curved Axiom plasterboard perimeter system, in which recessed lights have been installed. 'The floating panels and the perimeter make it look like a ceiling, not like tiles, ' he explains.

The Dune system comes in a variety of colours and edge details, and is a simple 15mm board that can be installed in a range of grids. Its low-to-medium price enables projects to be redeveloped cost effectively.

sOSBORNE CLARK HEADQUARTERS, BRISTOL CLIENT Osborne Clark ARCHITECT Atkins, Walters, Webster MAIN CONTRACTOR Mowlem CEILING CONTRACTOR TS Interiors Osborne Clark is a large international law firm with UK offices in London, the Thames Valley and Bristol. It has recently moved into a brand new, £16 million bespoke office in the new business enclave of Temple Quay in Bristol.

The 9,000m 2building has just won the southern region corporate headquarters award in the British Council for Offices' awards. It was developed by Osborne Clark itself, which bought the land from the site's developer, and liaised directly with architect Atkins, Walters, Webster.

The design is striking, comprising a fullheight central atrium surrounded by five floors of open-plan offices. 'The design was very much developed with the users, ' explains project architect Roger Guck. 'They wanted fiwowfl factor and a building that would give them an edge over their competitors.'

All five floors are open to the atrium and the only enclosed spaces are the small meeting rooms and 'break-out' rooms scattered through the floors. 'Wherever you are in the building you feel part of it as a whole.You can see your colleagues on different floors, which brings the occupants together, ' he adds.

The space has been designed on a 1,500mm square planning grid, so the few internal partitions that exist fit within this grid. Ceiling tiles (Armstrong's Ultima range) are on a 500mm grid, so walls always match with the joints rather than cut across a tile.

The plain white tiles are a mid-range product. Guck says: 'It had to be an economic solution but it looks very smart. We did not want something too designed. The drama of the building comes from the atrium space and the building's configuration. The office spaces themselves need to be quite calm.'

He was also keen to specify a standard product so maintenance and replacement would be simple and cheap.

Throughout the building all the edges have painted plasterboard margins to give a smooth finish. Armstrong's Axiom painted aluminium profile was used to provide a transition between the margins and the Armstrong ceiling tiles.

For the communal spaces of the ground floor the architect specified Armstrong's Madera wood-veneer system in a maple finish. 'The wood-veneer panels give the areas a highlight and a warmth, as well as differentiating them from the office areas, ' says Guck.

tKIMBERLY-CLARK SERVICE CENTRE, BRIGHTON CLIENT Kimberly-Clark ARCHITECT BDG Workfutures INTERIORS CONTRACTOR Stortford Interiors MAIN CONTRACTOR Wates Kimberly-Clark's Brighton service centre is in a refurbished modern building near the centre of the city. The company, which supplies industrial protection, cleaning materials and hygiene products to industry, occupies two floors with a total floor area of 2,300m 2.The working areas are predominantly open plan, but there are also some meeting rooms formed of circular pods within the open spaces.

The architect wanted to be able to remove tiles easily during maintenance of services and opted for Armstrong's Orcal Axal System, which drops down from the grid, and can be demounted without a special extraction tool.

The designer also liked the crisp aesthetic created by the system, with only a 6mm shadowgap reveal visible between the white metal powder-coated tiles.

At Kimberly-Clark's office, the tiles have two different types of sound insulation. The majority have a black acoustic fleece for sound absorption, but in areas where sound reduction is an essential requirement, the tiles have an additional Premium B15 layer.

Premium B15 is an infill material that blends high sound attenuation and absorption performance in one simple infill solution.

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