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Shackerley SureClad® Ceramic Granite Façade

Shackerley has provided the SureClad® Ceramic Granite façade system for the prestigious £5.5 million Spitfire Gallery at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, delivering a façade that frames the iconic Spitfire aircraft as visitors approach the new two-storey extension.

The Spitfire’s designer, Reginald Joseph Mitchell, was born in North Staffordshire and the Spitfire is one of 24 planes and flying boats he designed during his career. The client, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and the architect, Glancy Nicholls Architects, wanted a cladding system for the gallery’s façade that provides a timeless and natural aesthetic, while providing durability that will stand the test of time. Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite façade system, in a creamy beige colourway and natural finish, provides the perfect solution for this design intent, showcasing the aircraft’s classic British design with a UK-manufactured façade system produced at one of Shackerley’s ISO 9001 certified factories in Lancashire.

The façade for the new Spitfire Gallery combines Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite cladding system with specialist strengthened glass, which creates a full height picture window to the front elevation. The façade features vertical fins to either side of the glazed section and the specialist expertise, facilities and software at Shackerley’s factories enabled bespoke manufacture of the cladding details required for both the vertical fins and the large raked soffits, which evoke the wings of the aircraft in the design of the building.

The raked soffits are integral to the façade, and Shackerley manufactured angled SureClad® Ceramic Granite return panels that create a diagonal joint in the soffit corners. Precision manufacturing in Shackerley’s ISO 9001 certified factories was also required for the tapered panels that create sills, which follow the slope of the ground. The Shackerley team cut these cladding panels to fit around full height columns, which are set at varying angles to create a feature.

Shackerley’s UK façade manufacturing capabilities were also essential for engraving the name of the new gallery into the ceramic granite façade panels. The letters were etched on eight of the large format 1202 X 600mm SureClad® Ceramic Granite panels with meticulous accuracy to ensure the sections of each letter could be lined-up seamlessly when the façade system was installed on site.

Shackerley’s in-house team of façade experts worked closely with the project’s design team to support the detailed design of the façade, ensuring that the SureClad® Ceramic Granite cladding system interfaced perfectly with other façade materials and provided a neat finish across all complex details.

The Shackerley SureClad® Ceramic Granite façade system was installed across a total façade area of more than 5,000 st ft for the 3,800 sq ft gallery project, using the Shackerley SureClad® Hang On façade fixing system.