A dramatic addition to a listed building, forming part of an
impressive new youth facility in Widnes, is defined by pre-patinated
copper from Luvata with a unique Nordic Blue Living surface.
The new ‘Central Rmz’ complex is part of the government’s ‘myplace’ initiative, which aims to provide world-class youth facilities with the active participation of young people. The design, by architects Austin-Smith: Lord LLP, incorporates the former Kingsway Medical Centre - a ‘listed’ building reflecting its rarity as a 1930s comprehensive health centre outside London and its striking ‘Moderne’ design and Art Deco elements.
The new extension wraps around the rear of the building as an uncompromisingly contemporary intervention, ending with an offset copper rhomboid form which breaks through glazed walls and continues inside. Vertical and horizontal surfaces of the rhomboid – both inside and out – are clad in long trays of Nordic Blue Living 2 pre-patinated copper with a distinctive iridescent surface appearance. Particular care was taken in detailing and setting out to align the copper tray joints meeting at various angles, all expertly installed by Carlton Building Services.
Luvata’s innovative Nordic Blue and Green pre-patination offer architects unparalleled design freedom and the ability to control the type and intensity of patina. The factory process uses pre-oxidised copper, sprayed with specifically formulated copper compounds to create the desired patina colours and heat-treated to chemically bind them to the copper. The process can be accurately controlled so that, as well as the solid blue or green patina colour, other intensities of patina flecks can be created revealing some of the dark oxidised material behind. These ‘Living’ finishes can be adjusted to create exciting design opportunities. There are no limitations on the length of pre-patinated copper sheet or strip used on a project because whole coils are treated on the production line, not just limited size sheets.
In addition to this important development with pre-patination, other surfaces are available today including Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper with either light or dark brown oxidisation to both faces that otherwise takes time to develop in the environment and Nordic Decor a textured, rolled surface. Copper alloys are also popular for cladding including Nordic Brass and Nordic Royal an alloy of copper and aluminium with a long-lasting golden colour.
The Widnes project will be featured at Ecobuild on Luvata’s Stand N10, where an unrivalled diversity of copper surfaces, forms and systems for a wide range of architectural applications, illustrated with projects from around Europe, will be exhibited.