Project Spotlight: Once Central Square, Cardiff
Rio Architects, Cardiff
Shackerley helped Rio Architects to achieve a high impact, high quality aesthetic at One Central Square and to deliver contrast of colour and texture at ground floor level. The 135,000 sq ft Rightacre development is a Grade A, BREEAM ‘Excellent’ office building. Part of the one million sq ft regeneration masterplan created by world-renowned architects, Foster + Partners, it sits within a new business district centred around Cardiff Central Station, which also incorporates the new £102 million headquarters for the BBC in Wales. The building features a raised podium entrance and the SureClad® façade connects the public realm and the building, bringing the impact and texture of the ceramic granite finish into the public space.
As a key development within a wider scheme, One Central Square was designed to deliver impact. The building’s angular elevations were constructed as a heavily glazed concrete frame with a ‘transparent’ curtain walled section at first floor level. By specifying SureClad® ceramic granite cladding in a combination of highly polished and natural (unpolished) black finishes for the lower section of the building, Rio Architects was able to create striking contrast in colour and texture with the elevations above. The effect has created visual interest at a human scale as visitors approach the building on foot. It also provides an optical illusion when the building is viewed from further afield, with the black band below the glazed storey and the concrete structure above creating an impression of a ‘floating’ edifice.
The design requirements also called for a cladding material that will not discolour or fade over time, retaining its striking black appearance over the whole lifecycle of the building and all materials used on the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ building had to be A+ rated.
“Shackerley’s SureClad® system allowed us to create impact as you approach the building with a material that is both very physical and extremely visually appealing,” said Claire Broad at Rio Architects.
Specified in a combination of highly polished and natural (unpolished) black finishes, the project utilised a total of 640m2 of SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated cladding in large format 1198 x 598 mm panels. All panels were specified in ‘Basilicata’ black with a combination of highly polished and natural (unpolished) panels to achieve the desire aesthetic and textural contrast. All panels were pre-fabricated by Shackerley with all SureClad® Access system fixings securely anchored to the rear of each panel prior to delivery to site.