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working details

The Deep, Hull Terry Farrell & Partners A four-storey aquarium building with sloping walls

The four-storey, wedgeshaped building houses an aquarium and Hull University's marine research department.

It has sloping walls and a roof which gently rises up to a glazed observation point looking out to sea.

The walls are clad with a range of materials which 'evokes the metamorphosis of base rock into jewels and precious metals'. The materials include panels of 3mm marine grade aluminium, panes of frameless glass, vitrified in a range of various colours, and, at the observation point, a frameless glazing system. The vitrified glass panels and marine-grade aluminium panels act as a rainscreen;

they are trapezoidal in shape and are laid in diagonal lines - reminiscent of fault lines - over the sloping surface of the walls. They were chosen for their ability to resist the harsh marine environment.

The structure, circular columns of 254 x 254mmdiameter UBs encased in concrete and floors of precast concrete planks, rests on a cast in-situ concrete base wall with a solid concrete 'surge'wall at the perimeter to protect the building from floods.

The rainscreen of vitrified glass panels and 3 x 6m marine-grade aluminium panels is backed with a system of insulated aluminium 'cassettes'. Each cassette is a 500mm-wide aluminium channel filled with insulation and faced on-site with 1.2mm of polyester powder-coated roll-form aluminium sheet.

The cassettes are clipped back with steel tags to horizontal 252 x 152mm UC steel rails and the vertical joints are sealed.

The laminated glass panels are 100 per cent vitrified and toughened on their inner faces; they are clipped through the cassettes to a secondary structure.

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