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KAWNEER HELPS GIVE NOTORIOUS ESTATE A NEW LEASE OF LIFE

Curtain walling, windows and doors by architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer have helped to colour a building that has brought an unconventional end to the 14-year regeneration of the once-notorious Stonebridge estate in London.

Kawneer’s curtain walling, AA®600 fixed-light windows and AA®605 low/medium duty swing and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors feature on Stonebridge Hillside Hub – an 8,500m² mixed-use development that was originally conceived as separate units on different sites but was then re-designed as a single, multi-purpose building by Edward Cullinan Architects.

What was once a derelict multi-storey car park that attracted serious crime and anti-social behaviour, and blighted the whole area of north-west London, is now a striking, multi-coloured £18 million building that plays a pivotal role in the emerging masterplan for the estate.

Containing health and community centres, private and social housing, supermarket, community café and car parking over six storeys, the careful juxtaposition of uses means each function benefits from exposure to the others.

Two brick-clad “wings”, one accommodating the health centre and the other the supermarket, and both topped with three storeys of balconied apartments clad in larch timber, are fused together by a central community facility. This is mirrored on the south side by an open civic space between the wings which provides a generous public entrance to what is a significant and welcoming civic building.

The design and build by main contractor Rydon Construction for developer the Hyde Group comprised a concrete frame for the health centre for Brent Primary Care Trust and 34 private and 25 apartments for shared ownership with Hillside Housing Trust as well as a prefabricated glutam-beamed roof for the community centre (also Hillside Housing Trust). The Kawneer systems were installed by approved sub-contractor Leay.

Roddy Langmuir, project director at Edward Cullinan Architects, said: “Kawneer windows were specified for the PCT rooms and curtain walling for larger areas of glazing. The windows are designed to read as punched openings in the white brickwork which get bigger as they rise, floor-by-floor, up the building. Full-height louvres which bring fresh air to each medical room are integrated into all the glazing runs.

“Powder-coated aluminium panels add both colour and depth to the façade and give elegant glass-panel junctions. The project couldn’t justify the expense of curved glass but by using narrow windows and curving the aluminium panels we made the glazing look as if it followed the radius of the brickwork.”

He added: “Originally conceived as different buildings on different sites, we pushed for a mixed-up use approach to help bring the community together. The overlapping functions become a sort of community glue. For example, the café is shared by the community centre and health centre foyers and overlooks the civic space and the lobby to the west flats. Each benefits from the other and there is huge potential to bring the community together through the sort of chance meetings that occur. We want people to bump into each other!”

Email: kuk.kawneer@alcoa.com


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Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
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