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Project Details - Freeman Hospital (Institute of Transplantation)

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Shackerley ceramic granite adds extra sheen to landmark healthcare building

Gleaming ceramic granite ventilated facade systems supplied by Shackerley have provided an exceptionally high standard of aesthetic finish, inside and out, at the UK’s first dedicated organ transplantation centre.

The new state-of-the-art Institute of Transplantation at Newcastle upon Tyne’s Freeman Hospital, built by BAM at a cost of over £25m, is one of only four such medical centres of excellence in the world.

Shackerley’s Sureclad ventilated cladding has not only helped Ryder Architecture to deliver a landmark healthcare building for The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: the facility to install thermal and acoustic insulation within the air cavity behind the facades has also contributed toward a BREEAM standard of ‘Very Good’.

Ceramic granite was specified as an exterior cladding finish because of its premium aesthetic qualities and its durable hardwearing and low maintenance characteristics. A highly polished white ceramic granite facade panel was selected to clad the enclosed courtyard at the heart of the facility which provides an oasis for staff and visitors and a pleasing aspect for the patients being treated in the surrounding clinical spaces. With its reflective ceramic elevations and pastel tinted fenestration the courtyard’s appearance continually changes in response to prevailing weather conditions.

Similar highly polished white ceramic granite panels have also been used to ‘frame’ the main entrance to the building, and to provide visual continuity the architects have used the same panel and facade system to provide sleek , reflective ‘floor to ceiling’ wall cladding. A contrasting highly polished ceramic granite panel in charcoal black has also been employed to clad adjacent elevations and lift lobbies on each floor of the building, providing maximum dramatic effect.

All the exterior and interior ceramic cladding was installed on behalf of BAM by roofing and facade installation specialist Keyclad, part of the Bowmer & Kirkland Group.

Ryder Architecture Associate Mike Melia said: “The Trust was determined that the new building should leave staff, patients and visitors in no doubt that this is a world leading healthcare facility providing groundbreaking medical treatment and unrivalled standards of patient care. We were not constrained by preconceptions of how a hospital should look, and were urged to specify premium quality materials throughout.

“We knew that we could rely on Shackerley’s ceramic granite to deliver a high quality finish for internal and external elevations, but when we saw the finished results we were really pleased how attractive it looked, particularly in the reception and courtyard.”

Steven Bannister, Director of Estates and Facilities for the Trust agreed: “Ryder Architecture understood our requirements intimately - in terms of space, light, finishes and standards. I am delighted to say that they have exceeded all our expectations, especially where the interior and exterior cladding finishes are concerned.

“Our new facility really is top class. It makes a bold and unequivocal statement about the confidence and pride the Trust has in its world leading transplantation services and the quality of patient treatment and care we are able to offer.”