Project Spotlight -
Second Hilton hotel is clad with Shackerley's ceramic granite
The Manser Practice , London
Gleaming black polished ceramic granite ventilated facades supplied by Shackerley have provided a stunning appearance and a high performance outer envelope for the new Hilton London Wembley Hotel, which overlooks two of the capital’s best known landmarks, Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena.
The luxury 361-bedroomed hotel was delivered as part of the wider Wembley Masterplan, which incorporates a mixture of commercial, leisure, retail and residential accommodation and community facilities around the stadium. The Manser Practice specified polished black ceramic granite facades and flush glazing to reflect the striking imagery of the surrounding buildings and at the same time provide a vivid contrast with the dramatic white concrete of Wembley Arena.
The Manser Practice was one of the very first architectural practices in the UK to recognise the aesthetic and technical benefits of Shackerley’s ceramic granite ventilated facades a decade ago. Back in 2002, in a move which would attract the attention of the wider UK A & D community, the architects opted to clad the exteriors of the £26million extension to the Hilton London Gatwick Airport with the Lancashire manufacturer’s large format ceramic granite panels, selecting a polished buff colour to complement the travertine of the original building. Since then the practice has gone on to specify Shackerley’s Queen’s Award winning Sureclad ceramic granite ventilated cladding system to enhance and protect other standout buildings in the hotel, health and general commercial sectors, including this second luxury Hilton development.
Whilst the facades on the new hotel have been constructed from a modern, innovative and technologically advanced material, the design of the building itself was inspired by two majestic buildings constructed in the 1930s as Barry Mullin, Project Architect at The Manser Practice reveals:
"Sir Owen Williams, the design engineer responsible for Wembley Arena, also designed the Daily Express Buildings in Fleet Street and Manchester, both of which are striking, highly reflective flush black buildings. We wanted to follow this precedent and design a hotel that was not only striking in its own right but which would complement and reflect the grandeur of the Arena. Having used Shackerley’s polished ceramic granite successfully on previous projects we knew the material would deliver the clean uncluttered lines and the highly reflective finish we required and at the same time provide the durability and low maintenance properties needed."
The hotel, which was completed in time to welcome visitors to the Olympics, has met with widespread acclaim. It has also met environmental targets, attaining a BREEAM rating of Very Good.
Over 3400m² of polished black ceramic granite was supplied in a 1200 x 600mm format for the exterior hotel elevations. As Barry Mullin commented, "This is a cost effective facade panel module that we’ve used before. It works with standard floor to floor heights and minimises the amount of bespoke cutting needed which makes it an economical solution."
The facades were erected using Shackerley’s Sureclad Hang On system and the ‘installation ready’ panels were pre-assembled at works prior to delivery to site, with hanging brackets secured by a patented stainless steel undercut anchorage system. All prefabrication works including the precision undercut drilling required to facilitate a safe secure mechanical fix, was carried out at Shackerley’s ISO 9001 accredited production facilities in Lancashire. This minimised the amount of preparatory work that needed to be carried out on site by Prater, who were subcontracted to install the facades by main contractor John Sisk & Son on behalf of Quintain Estates & Developments.
A further 100m² of ceramic granite panelling was destined for the hotel reception area where it has been installed on a modified shallow zone Sureclad system of brackets and rails to provide visual continuity with the exterior and create high quality wall cladding for the lofty three-storey high interiors.