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SureClad® Natural Stone Façade Reflects Museum Past & Future

Shackerley’s SureClad® Natural Stone cladding system has been used to create the façade for the £13m National Heritage Lottery Fund financed extension to Manchester Museum.

Part of the Museum’s ‘Hello Future’ project to encourage diverse communities to visit, the new extension provides a new main entrance, foyer and visitor facilities along with gallery space to display travelling exhibitions, a permanent gallery showcasing Southeast Asian culture, and a performance space. Manchester Museum dates back to 1821, when it was founded as a natural history museum, and the new building sits within its historic courtyard of grade II and II* listed buildings, which form part of the University of Manchester.

Designed by architectural practice, Purcell, the new building features the Shackerley SureClad® Natural Stone façade system in a honed, cream-coloured limestone, with bronze and copper inclusions. The natural stone cladding complements the stone façades of the historic museum buildings, while referencing its original remit as a natural history museum, with the organic appearance of the inclusions, created by crystallised minerals. This natural irregularity would be virtually impossible to replicate with any other façade material, and Shackerley’s façade panel manufacturing expertise and innovative façade panel carrier system enabled the use of natural stone cladding on the two-storey, steel-framed building with 1066mm x 616mm panels that were just 20mm thick in most areas.

The subtle colours within the stone also complement the dark green faience manufactured by Darwen Terracotta, which was chosen for the upper section of the façade to reflect the green tiling used extensively in Manchester’s architectural heritage from the industrial revolution era.

The faience was prefabricated by Shackerley prior to installation, thanks to our specialist fabrication capabilities in our ISO 9001 accredited Lancashire factories. The Shackerley team worked closely with Darwen’s production department to ensure that their glazed façade panels were manufactured in a format compatible for use with a Shackerley SureClad® mechanical fixing façade carrier system, using Shackerley’s undercut anchors and Hang On support carrier brackets.

Both the Shackerley SureClad® Natural Stone cladding system and the Darwen Terracotta faience were installed using the Shackerley Hang-On mechanical façade fixing system by cladding contractor, Varla Cladding Ltd, who received a Specialist Supply Chain Partner award for their work on the project from main contractor, Kier.

The new extension has been designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ requirement in-line with Manchester Museum’s sustainability strategy, and the project adds to a diverse portfolio for Shackerley in both the heritage and museums sectors.