Posted by Amy Bradbury on 12/04/22 09:11
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Twelve miles of timber cladding have created an architectural façade at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Maple worked with AFL Architects and main contractors Vinci to design the façade for the new 818-space cark park, which sits close to the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and needed to be sensitive to residential neighbours.

Aluminium folded panels mimic those on the nearby research centre, but the Brunnea-treated timber cladding is the stand-out feature. It has narrow slats on the upper levels of the car park provide the neighbours with privacy and protect against light spill. At lower levels, wider spaced timber fins have been installed  to provide ventilation as well as protection from the elements.

“Visually, it looks very good for a car park,” said Peter Dodd, Senior Project Manager for VINCI Construction UK. “It’s exactly how the architect wanted it to look. And it had to be, because it was such a sensitive scheme with the locals.”
Brunnea-treated timber holds colour for longer than similar products and reduces the rate of weathering. The treatment process impregnates wood cladding with a blend of preservative and Brunnea pigment to provide long-term protection against insects, rot and fungal decay.
The organic effect of the timber façade is further complemented by living walls which were supplied by Viritopia.

As well as looking great also had to comply with fire regulations. “The biggest challenges were the fire regs and the quick turnaround required for design and manufacture,” added Peter. “Maple had a vital contribution. The envelope design was fixed because it was already planning approved, but they helped us fit that in with the new fire regs. Following that, they managed to meet our accelerated programme and deliver a quality product.”

As Maple close in on their 50th car park project, The Christie car park design is further evidence of the growing importance of architectural façades in creating visual interest and practical benefits.

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