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Case Study: Advanced Manufacturing Building, Nottingham

Exterior image of the AMB at the University of Nottingham

The striking design and powerful presence of the University of Nottingham’s new Advanced Manufacturing Building (AMB) has not only transformed the gateway to Nottingham city, but the manufacturing future of the UK.

Simplicity was at the heart of the design and construction philosophy, influencing every decision. From the colour palette to the window flashings, the AMB’s arresting design is unapologetic in its commitment to its vision. This confident approach has already made it a recognisable feature of Nottingham’s architectural landscape and won it acclaim; achieving the RIBA East Midlands Award 2018.

Architect, James Woodhouse, of Bond Bryan Architects recognised the importance of the building’s prominent position for the city as well as the university and the how the external façade was critical to the overall success of the project. “The collaborative attitude and wealth of expertise that Metclad brought to this crucial element of the project was invaluable and ultimately [made them] a pleasure for us to work with. To this end, we would have no hesitation in recommending Metclad and we hope to work with them again in the future.”

The building is wrapped in 2000 2mm x 250mm anodised aluminium secret-fix interlocking planks, in a delicately balanced palette of gold hues. Situated next to the historic Lenton Lodge, the existing warm stone is juxtaposed against the new building that varies in colour as light falls upon the changing directional surfaces. The architect was keen for the planks to vary subtly in shades of Regency Gold 1 and Regency Gold 2 to create a sense of depth and flow. This became a further consideration for Metclad when negotiating with our supply chain in order to deliver the client’s high aspirations.

Throughout the implementation of this project, Metclad responded to the architect’s clear and unwavering vision. Attention to detail was considered at every stage of construction in order to create a seamless aesthetic. The window flashings were designed and constructed using matching plank profiles upon a EOS structural framing system to create a crisp and clean line. Furthermore, the large picture window was tilted to create an element of drama where the same window flashings were used in addition to matching anodised fins as an opportunity to showcase the high quality materials used within this project.

The golden façade was a central part of the architect’s vision, designed to reflect the local landscape and bring to the building a striking beauty. To truly accentuate this, the anodised golden and glass façade were positioned above a dark masonry plinth, which in turn gives the impression that it is floating.

The building’s workshop area was once again used to draw the eye to the golden cladding; despite this the architect and Metclad applied the same level of detail to uphold the same high standards rooted in the building’s philosophy. To express the relationship between form and function, the workshop was clad in 410 black Kalzip 65/500 PVDF coated 0.9mm aluminium factory rolled sheets upon a composite panel substructure. To provide extremely crisp window detailing the vertical seams were married to the jambs, to achieve this Metclad had to individually cut, flatten and re-seam the sheets around all 38 windows.

Finally, the main contractor, G. F. Tomlinson appreciated Metclad’s expertise and attention to detail throughout the project; “The cladding on Advanced Manufacturing Building sets the building apart from the rest of Derby Road, enhancing the Jubilee Campus. The cladding was designed, fabricated and installed to an exceptional quality and the Metclad team worked closely with our project team to minimise the disruption to the campus users and surrounding building users.”

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