The Brierley Hill retail destination is one of the largest in the UK, hosting more than 250 stores and services including major high street brands. It has parking for ten thousand cars and is adjacent to the Waterfront, a canal-side development which accommodates a number of bars, restaurants and other businesses. The exterior renewal of the centre is part of an ambitious five year investment programme aimed at strengthening the location’s status as the retail and leisure destination of choice
for the region.
Research leads to Rockpanel
Simon Smith of architectural consultants and design lead, INC Design, spoke about the design process, “…we took inspiration from various sources that enriched our understanding of facade types, as well as providing an insight into the materials available, and the shape each could be formed into. Following preparation of numerous schemes, sketches and ideas, the general outline principles of geometric pyramids, diamonds and curves for the three distinct phases of the development started to morph into an interesting concept. We were keen to use differing forms across the various areas of the site, each with its own identity and unique layouts, which provided visual stimuli at any time of day.”
INC had seen examples of how Rockpanel had been used to create striking effects. They took inspiration from these and expanded on them, adding their own ideas and creativity. The design team then worked tirelessly to develop the concept proposals into a complete and consistent scheme.
INC Director Simon Smith, “The client was keen to ensure all the external facades demonstrated excellent fire safety properties. Following research we found that Rockpanel were one of very few manufacturers who could provide cladding panels with an A2 Euroclass rating. John Porter and the Rockpanel team were excellent during the early stages of the design development and throughout, assisting on product selection, sample procurement and technical input.”
Rockpanel’s John Porter, Area Sales Project, talked about the project, “Rockpanel was specified as a change to the product originally chosen for the project due to its superior fire safety characteristics. As planning permission had already been secured, Rockpanel Custom Metals were able to precisely match the finish of the original design, avoiding the need to reapply for planning whilst ensuring increased