Hunter Douglas Architectural demonstrated why it is one of the foremost architectural global architectural products companies when it supplied ceilings for a new £55m sports and science centre at one of the UK’s leading independent schools.
Brighton College, which was named as the highest-ranked co-educational school in England in The Sunday Times Parent Power 2020, commissioned world-renowned architects OMA to design the centre that has a cinema-style auditorium capable of linking to science departments across the globe, plus 18 university-standard laboratories. It also has break-out tutorial areas, a 25-meter pool, strength and conditioning suite, a rooftop running track and a double-height sports hall.
Hunter Douglas Architectural was specified by the team at OMA to supply ceilings for the pool, sports hall and gym, as well as for classrooms, laboratories and common areas after another supplier was unable to provide the types of ceilings required for part of the development.
Brighton College’s project management team had seen a Cell-type ceiling at a school in Paris and asked for similar for the Brighton College project. This prompted Kevin Taylor, specification sales manager at Hunter Douglas Architectural, to take the team and a group from McLaren Construction, the main contractors, to The Netherlands to look at previous projects and to visit the Hunter Douglas factory
For the common areas and classrooms, it supplied 4600m2 aluminium open cell ceilings, Cell 40, module 50, in panel size 600 x 1200mm. The lightweight tiles, which were supplied in black and white, are strong and are produced from 100% recyclable 0.4/0.5 mm aluminium.
Hunter Douglas Architectural also supplied 1200m2 of its steel Safety Loop ceiling system in the sports hall and gym areas and aluminium stretched metal mesh panels over the pool on the same system. The architect specified the Rotterdam open ‘Mesh’, which has an open area of 50% and thickness of 2.4mm. Aluminium was installed in the pool area as it more suited to damp environments and will not corrode, while steel was used in the sports gall, gym and multiuse areas due to its enhanced impact resistance.
Kevin said: “The beauty of the stretch metal ceiling is that it provides easy access to the plenum and installations above the ceiling and we have a huge choice in a number of different mesh types that enable interior architects to create interesting ceiling designs.
“I know the client was impressed with our Beta Safety Loop, too, which is much more secure when it comes to ball impact than that which our competitors offer. Our ceilings achieve a first-class, modern aesthetic and I’m delighted at just how good these ceilings look now that the building is completed.”
Terry Sherrin, director of operations at BPC Interiors Ltd, the company that installed the Hunter Douglas ceilings said: “This was a complex and challenging project with many design factors and working in conjunction with Hunter Douglas, we managed to achieve the successful installation of all ceilings in the new Sports and Science Building.
“BPC Interiors has worked with Hunter Douglas on previous projects, although on a personal level this was my first. The products were exceptional in quality and design, which resulted in meeting the client’s high expectations.”
All Hunter Douglas Stretch ceiling systems have earned a high reaction to fire classification according to EN 13501-1, in official fire tests at CSI, Bollate (Milan) – an independent Italian fire research institute.