Project Spotlight -
Shackerley’s ceramic granite helps Hotel La Tour establish new identity
PHP Architects, Northampton
Ceramic granite façades supplied by Shackerley® have played a major part in the creation of a unique and striking brand identity for Hotel La Tour Ltd, providing the perfect complement to the ultra modern design of the company’s £24m flagship hotel in Birmingham.
PHP Architects of Northampton specified Sureclad® ceramic granite ventilated cladding in two contrasting colours and textures to provide a dramatic outer envelope for this landmark building, the first of five city centre 4-star hotels that Hotel La Tour is hoping to open across the UK as part of a five year development programme .
Hotel La Tour was always intended to stand out in its location in terms of design concept and colour scheme, as PHP Architect Robin Hedger explains: ‘The basic form of the building is an L-shaped bedroom block defining frontages to the main roads, set over a triangular podium, filling the site footprint. The concept design features a folding plan form, and the hotel accommodation has been divided into two halves of unequal heights, with dramatic towering end elevations and glazed lanterns at significant points.’
‘The twin blocks are expressed in black and white,’ continues Hedger, ‘effectively underscoring the contemporary theme that Hotel La Tour has set for its new hotel chain.’
Ventilated cladding was deemed to be the most logical way to achieve the sleek and contemporary styling required for the 174-bedroom hotel whilst protecting and enhancing its sealed reinforced concrete structure. It has allowed for effective thermal and acoustic insulation to be installed to external elevations, protected from the elements, which has improved the environmental credentials of the building and minimised running costs whilst maximising the comfort of hotel users. Ceramic granite was specified for the external façades because of its attractive premium quality appearance, its performance in terms of strength, hardness and durability, and its low maintenance properties.
Hotel La Tour Birmingham has added to the city’s stock of contemporary architecture and has very quickly established itself as one of its top hotels. Adrian Colman, Operations Director for the hotel group, commented: ‘We have set out to build a new brand in city centre hotels, distinguishing ourselves with great customer service, in chic and sophisticated settings. As our flagship venue, the new hotel in Birmingham is critically important in showcasing our values, and the design and finish of the building, with its eyecatching ceramic granite and glass envelope, have been crucial in achieving this.’
The monochromatic aesthetic has been achieved through the installation of over 4300m² of ceramic granite façade panelling. Gleaming white façades in natural travertine effect finish provide a striking counterpoint to the highly polished black ceramic granite elevations and the darkened glazing of the hotel’s lofty three-storey height atrium.
The façade panels were supplied in a 1200 x 600mm format, Shackerley’s most cost effective module, and were prefabricated off site at the Lancashire manufacturer’s ISO 9001 accredited production facilities. Each ‘installation ready’ panel was fitted with metal straps secured by a stainless steel undercut anchorage system to facilitate rapid installation in conjunction with Shackerley’s patented SureClad Access System.