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LUVATA - Brass Chromosome

Nordic Brass cladding, from international copper specialist Luvata, helps to define the strong architectural character of a major new research centre in Midlothian, Scotland, housing 500 scientists and research staff.

The design of the Roslin Institute building by architects HDR, develops from a plan form based on the shape of a pair of chromosomes, with coloured panels representing the DNA 'fins' which link the office and research laboratory blocks together. Architect Marc Edmondson commented: “The choice of Nordic Brass was based upon how the patination would improve with age, adding to the statement of permanence that it would give this landmark building’s main façade. Over time it will continue to blend with the colour of the Midlothian Landscape. The monolithic nature of the brass facade will contrast with glass curtain walling to the adjacent office accommodation.

“By providing varying textures of materials and cladding modules, the building volumes have taken on an expressive independence. This theme was further developed by using Nordic Green pre-patinated copper to clad the curved walls of the auditorium. The boundary between internal and external spaces has been blurred by the continuation of copper and brass from outside to inside the building.”

Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the £58m ‘Chromosome’ building will be a centre of excellence in areas including genetics, developmental biology, immunology and infectious disease, neuroscience and behaviour and animal sciences - bringing together experts in these fields under one roof. The new building forms part of the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush redevelopment project and is opposite a new vet school teaching building and the Hospital for Small Animals. As well as laboratories and office space, the building incorporates breakout areas and meeting areas to encourage collaboration on scientific research.

Nordic Brass is part of Luvata’s growing range of copper architectural products, driven by designers. Luvata offers architects unrivalled freedom, supported by the expertise and personal service needed to realise their design concepts in copper, no matter how innovative. Other Nordic Surfaces include variable intensities of green or blue pre-patination, or brown pre-oxidisation in different shades, as well as standard copper and a golden alloy. In addition to standard copper sheet, Luvata explores new forms and styles of copper architecture with designers, including textured surfaces, press modelled shapes, pierced or expanded sheets and mesh for transparency.

Luvata’s copper surfaces and forms can be combined and applied with various systems and techniques. They can be used in traditional fully-supported sheet form or as profiled sheets, panels, cassettes and other factory-made systems. Applications include facades, roofs and other architectural elements of all shapes, as well as interiors. Although the copper industry is well-known for its recycling practices, Luvata is exceptional with 97% of copper produced for roofing and cladding applications over the last 2 years coming from recycled material.

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