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Architects deliver 'civic qualities' with Shackerley's ceramic granite cladding

Shackerley has supplied over 900m² of SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated façade cladding in different styles for Consett Academy and Consett Leisure Centre, adding premium quality external finishes for both parts of this £44 million regeneration project in the North East which aims to inspire the local community into active living and learning.

Whilst the new facilities have been constructed as a single combined building with many shared facilities, the specification of ceramic granite façade panels in different colourways and surface textures has helped to clearly differentiate the educational establishment from the adjoining sports and leisure centre.

Seymour Harris, architects for the main contractor Carillion, had previous experience of using SureClad® in the education sector and had no hesitation in specifying Shackerley's patented façade system for this project.

Multi-format polished and unpolished black panels have been installed 'broken bonded' to form a key design element for the main frontage of Consett Academy. "Using premium black materials normally associated with the high end commercial sector underlines the message that this is a place of work and that learning leads towards a bigger world," commented Seymour Harris Director, Tim Johnson. "The Academy also has a technology specialism and the use of an advanced technical cladding system seems appropriate as it serves to emphasise the focus of the school."

SureClad® ceramic granite façades in a lighter stone colourway have been used to clad the adjoining Leisure Centre, with contrasting black detailing at the main entrance. "The cladding material has given the Leisure Centre the civic quality required, and maintained design continuity with the Academy, whilst the less imposing, brighter colour has given the facility its own fresh identity," said Tim.

"The SureClad® system gave us the design flexibility we needed," he added. "It allowed us to manipulate the coursing on the façade to employ both matt and polished layers of different heights and to interface effectively with entrance features and glazing elements. The ease of forming the junctions with other materials was an added bonus."

He concluded: "The SureClad® ceramic granite just gave us everything we were looking for... excellent clean lines, stunning appearance of quality, robustness with long-term low maintenance and confidence that it would perform on all counts. The range of aesthetic choice available to us also meant that we were able to reflect very effectively the natural local materials of stone buildings, slate roofs, and strata and outcrops of the surrounding landscape in our designs, whilst maintaining the civic quality demanded and continuity of detailing."