PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Grand Central Square Offices, Leicester
Specified by: Stephen George and Partners
Leicester-based property investment and development group, Charles Street Buildings, has redeveloped a prime city centre site in Leicester, which was formerly occupied by the Grand Central Station.
The developer wanted to create a legacy project that would showcase their quality approach. The resulting mixed-use scheme comprises prestigious office accommodation, two hotels and a leisure destination within the refurbished former station building, set within pedestrianised public realm improvements.
Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite ventilated façade system enabled Charles Street Buildings to specify various colourways and finishes for the office development and two hotels from a single supplier. Not only did this bring variation to the project, balancing synergy with differentiation, it also offered project planning and co-ordination advantages, buildability benefits and confidence in a façade that will stand the test of time.
The high specification office development, designed by Stephen George and Partners, needed to complement the materiality of the hotels while having a distinctive style of its own. Specification of Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system delivered this design objective and provided a robust and prestige façade for the building.
The reduced maintenance offered by the SureClad® Ceramic Granite System’s resistance to graffiti and algae growth were also key considerations in the specification, along with the panels’ resistance to discolouration due to U/V or pollution, which provided reassurance that the office building will retain its high-quality appearance over time.
As part of the specification process, the Charles Street Buildings team visited Shackerley’s ISO 9001 production plant and the material supplier in Italy before making a final decision. Shackerley worked with the architects across both the office and hotel elements of the project to deliver a cohesive supply chain partnership for the whole development.
Gretta Murphy director of Charles Street Buildings commented: “The façade is the first thing a visitor sees when arriving at a development so it’s important to get it right. The site visits to Italy and Shackerley’s headquarters in Lancashire provided us with reassurance of a quality product and a reliable supply chain. Using a system that was fabricated in the UK was a big plus for us and the specification process gave us confidence that Shackerley’s SureClad® system would provide buildability, aesthetics and durability benefits, along with a smooth-running programme.”
Shackerley’s SureClad® Ceramic Granite system was specified in the ‘Lunar’ colourway; a pale grey with a mid-grey fleck, in a pearl finish. This colour and finish contrasts with SureClad® ‘Antigua’ ceramic granite red/brown panels in a natural finish.
Further contrast was achieved with variation in the panel sizes. The Lunar panels were installed in a standard 1196mm x 596mm size while the Antigua panels were supplied as large format 3150mm x 1440mm x 12mm panels.
The SureClad® Access installation system allowed the Lunar panels to be installed non-sequentially, while the SureClad® Hang On system was used for the larger format Antigua panels.