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Project Spotlight: Glendower House
John Wotton Architects, Cardiff
Named after the Welsh nobleman who led a rebellion against Henry IV, Glendower House brings a pioneering ‘study hotel’ concept to Cardiff from developer, TVE Ltd. Designed by John Wotton Architects, the student accommodation is conveniently located on St Andrew’s Lane in Cardiff, just a five-minute walk away from both the city centre and the University of Cardiff Campus. The development also sits on the edge of a conservation area close to the Portland Stone clad civic centre buildings.
John Wotton explains: “The original scheme had been designed with 17 different materials on the façades, which added unnecessary cost and complexity to the project.
“The planners were keen to reflect the colour and finish of the nearby civic buildings and to complement the lines of local Victorian buildings in the re-designed façades. Shackerley’s SureClad® engineered stone ventilated cladding system provided the ideal solution, incorporating large format panels with a natural finish and a slim and comparatively lightweight profile.”
The large buttermilk coloured façade panels also provide a clear visual contrast with the ochre tones of the terracotta cladding also specified for the project.
Shackerley’s SureClad® engineered stone cladding has been used extensively on the building, covering an area of 384m2 in total. The main frontage facing onto St Andrew’s Lane features a recessed, curtain walled ground level aligned to the profile of the pavement. From first floor level, the façade overhangs the ground floor façade to maximise useable internal floor space and has been clad using SureClad® engineered stone from first floor to fifth, with the large panels secured in a portrait orientation to deliver the required verticality. The sixth floor is also recessed with a smaller footprint, creating even greater impact for the engineered stone clad section that dominates the front of the building.
Shackerley’s engineered stone façade panels were specified in a creamy-white colourway with a subtle speckled fleck and a smooth honed surface, very close in appearance to traditional Portland Stone. The large format panels used were just 20mm thick, resulting in structural loadings much lower than the design team could have achieved with quarried stone panels.
John Wotton continues: “To use natural stone would have been cost-prohibitive not only because of the cost of installing the material itself, but because of the structure that would have been required to support the additional weight.
“Shackerley’s engineered stone and their SureClad façade system gave us the best of both worlds, delivering the appearance of natural stone cladding but with panels of a much slimmer profile, because the material, which is an ‘engineered’ product, has none of the inherent fissures and imperfections associated with quarried stones.”