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Solutions Cafe

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Designed and built almost entirely using Hoogovens' own products, the Solutions Cafe is located within the company's Haydock, Merseyside, headquarters.

The idea stemmed from a decision to display an aluminium domed feature which had been made by the company's fabrication shop sheet-metalworkers as the centrepiece of the group building division's stand at the Utrecht Fair early in 1997, and which had been inspired by the cupola of San Gioacchino Church in Rome, built more than 100 years ago and clad in 1.3mm sheet aluminium. The material has weathered well and is still in pristine condition today.

Taking up the ecclesiastical theme for the new coffee bar, a tightly- radiused 'smooth-curved' kal-zipregistered standing-seam roofing system was used to span unsupported between the side walls. This produced an arch effect which was continued at the front of the building where a semi-circular gable end was created using a configuration of kal-formtrade mark flat cassettes of stucco-embossed natural aluminium.

Sheets of kal-bauregistered aluminium trapezoidal liners, installed at 45degrees, and vertically, were used for the internal walls; and all internal trims are of box-sectioned aluminium forming the skirtings, jambs, head closures, etc, in a combination of colours (Light Green, White and Ultramarine Blue). The soffit of the barrel-vaulted roof and the dome were left in natural aluminium.

The soffit of the dome is made from tapered kal-zipregistered with inset downlighters, and much of the bar frontage is in kal-formtrade mark plankings with concealed fixings.

Apart from providing staff with a meeting room and a place to entertain visitors, the new cafe is an innovative and personalised way for them to demonstrate some of the company's key products to customers.

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