Oct 17, 2019 Last Updated 10:52 AM, Aug 14, 2019

A Synergy of Past and Present

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Tracing its roots back to the Domesday Book, the leafy suburb of Edgbaston has long formed a meeting place between the traditional and modern, the urban and rural. These monologues provided Nicol Thomas Architects with the inspiration for the design of a new retirement village, absorbing and reinventing the local vernacular with a carefully chosen palette of colours and textures, including ROCKPANEL® Woods.

The principles of independence, communication and socialisation were central in The ExtraCare Charitable Trust’s Development brief for the scheme, requiring Galliford Try to complete all 240 apartments to a standard which exceeded the desires and aspirations of tenants, whilst the exceptional on-site facilities help to engender a sense of community.

“The arrangement of the frontage ‘villa’ blocks, their materials and urban grain all respect the local heritage and aim to preserve the ‘Hagley Road Spirit’” architects Nicol Thomas explained, “whilst the elevational treatment and building footprint of the central facilities hub represents a current and more contemporary vernacular providing contrast between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ in a careful and subtle way”.

ROCKPANEL Woods crown the walls of the modern facilities hub. Their non-repeating grain finish bring the building at harmony with the diversity of shapes and colours found in the trees which surround the site, whilst the carbon oak colour option affords the building an understated, modern twist. “Having worked with ROCKPANEL boards on previous projects, we knew they would provide the flexibility and visual impact we needed” Nicol Thomas added.

The blend of traditional and modern is right at the heart of the ROCKPANEL Woods range. Whilst barely distinguishable from real wood, the boards, which were supplied for the project by Taylor Maxwell, are manufactured from basalt using the same innovative manufacturing approach used on all ROCKPANEL products. Consequently, they provide the hub with a finish which is as durable as stone whilst also being lightweight and simple for operatives to install.

To encourage an open atmosphere whilst exhibiting the natural surroundings to residents, the central hub has been created using a circular footprint. The excellent mechanical properties of the ROCKPANEL Woods boards allowed them to be accurately curved to the building’s precise dimensions with nothing more than standard tools.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 March 2016 15:16
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