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Maple have completed a striking architectural façade for Chester’s new Northgate multi-storey car park.

Perforated, solid and expanded mesh panels cloak the seven-storey building, which is part of a £72m transformation of the city centre. The coloured aluminium panels, powder-coated in shades of grey, silver and gold make a bold statement. But they’re not the first thing people see. Instead, a vibrant living wall dominates the façade – envisaged by architects AHR and made possible by Maple’s innovative support structure. 

As well as providing a hidden framework for the aluminium panels, the structure supports ‘green wall’ panels from ANS Global, and incorporates ‘C’ channels to hide irrigation and drainage pipes.

“I remember early on that we had some really productive workshops with Maple, especially in terms of incorporating the living wall into the façade, and understanding how it was going to work,” said Michael Dunn, Associate Director at AHR, whose initial concept Maple have brought to reality.

“The living wall is the stand-out feature of the project, but practicality-wise, Maple’s panels provided the ventilation for the car park we needed, as well as that visual variation. What’s on site, is what we had at the planning stage.”

From Day One, Maple liaised closely with AHR, main contractors VINCI Construction UK and ANS Global. Michael added: “Design services from Maple were outstanding, as was the quality of the final product. Project support was also excellent.”

Maple fabricated more than 250 panels for the seven-storey, 800-space car park, and our installation team worked closely with the living wall supplier to ensure a seamless finish. The living wall panels simply slotted into Maple’s bespoke support structure – designed to highlight the green credentials of the multi-storey, which has electric car charging points, and a cycle hub with showers and changing facilities.

As well as the car park, the £72m Northgate Development features the new Chester Market, a six-screen cinema, new bars and restaurants, and office spaces.