Whiteley - United Kingdom
Colourful façade brings glamour to the silver screen

Whiteley - United Kingdom


This year marks the 120th anniversary of the Lumière brothers’ first moving picture screening in the UK. Despite all the change the country has seen in that time, the cinema has remained a special place where people from all walks can go to be amused, amazed and astounded. In its design for the new Cineworld multiplex in Whiteley, Corstorphine + Wright Architects has articulated these emotions with a technicolour façade utilising Rockpanel products.

The £15.5 million project forms the second phase of development by the Whiteley Co-ownership, following the initial launch of Phase I in May 2013. Creating balance with the first phase buildings was a key requirement in the cinema’s design as project architect, Richard Wagenhauser, associate director at Corstorphine + Wright, explained:
“The cinema building has been designed to follow the contemporary theme established in the town centre. At the same time, it also seeks to differentiate the multiplex building, and the spaces associated with it, from the general thoroughfare.

Cinemas are internal spaces and so the presence of glazing is limited to the foyer spaces at most. This presented an opportunity to clad an expanse of solid wall in a way that avoids the ‘blank grey box’ that has been a common feature of many multiplex cinemas.”

The front and rear elevations are primarily clad with Rockpanel Rockclad in Dark and Light Bronze, Fawn and Grey White and were supplied by Taylor Maxwell. Inset Rockpanel Chameleon were intermixed within the façades and the iridescent boards were also installed on the eastern end of the cinema which faces the town. “The colour of the Rockpanel Chameleon changes depending on the angle of view and creates a very lively and interesting effect,” Richard went on to explain.

At the front of the building, Corstorphine + Wright Architects have created a wave form canopy. This playful feature adds contrast with the linear façade and brings to mind the Googie architectural style typically found in many American drive-in theatres of the 1950s and 60s.

“The entire effect helps to animate the building and add a sense of fun, in keeping with the uses within the scheme,” added Richard. “All the elements combine together to provide a treatment that works in harmony, yet is exciting.”

The multiplex has also achieved a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and the Rockpanel products helped to contribute towards this rating. All 16 certified construction elements with Rockpanel Durable and Durable ProtectPlus façade boards now hold best-in-class Green Guide Ratings of A+.

Photography: Daniel Shearing Photography

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