World Architecture Day – Jonathan Lamb Explores The Coventry University Project
All this week in honour of World Architecture Day, we are celebrating our engineering team’s passion for creating beautiful architecture. Jonathan Lamb explains how the IG team used an existing product in a completely new way to meet the architects requirements, creating these impressive brick clad fins on the new Science and Health Building at Coventry University.
What challenges did this project present?
The main challenge that this project presented was using an existing product in a completely new way. The product used in this project is traditionally used on a smaller scale and applied to soffits. We needed to develop a solution that would allow us to use the product on a much larger scale. The elevation of the project also meant we couldn’t use traditional building methods due to the fins being projected from the building. Therefore the solution we developed had to be light but also provide the same aesthetics as traditionally built brickwork. We also encountered a further challenge of returning the MAG board brick slip units around the fin on to the back side; we had to consider how best to support the MAG boards around a corner, effectively making a U shape around the fin. This was something that had never been done before with MAG board and would normally require the use of steel.
What solutions were developed to overcome these challenges and why did you choose these options?
After extensive testing, we managed to come up with a solution to the challenges of this project and we were able to achieve the desired effect that the client and architect wanted for the project. We developed an innovative solution which allowed us to use MAG boards around a corner, which previously had never been done before. Luckily we always look to provide our customers with a solution that meets their needs and the team at IG always work hard to help the architect achieve their vision. After developing this solution we were able to offer this type of corner detail to other customers as a more effective solution and it has been very well received.
What is your favourite architectural feature on this project?
My favourite feature from this project has to be how the finished project looks, standing back and taking in all of the fins protruding from the building. For many people this detail may go unnoticed, however those with a keen eye for detail will wonder how the brick is supported and will wonder at how something like this can be achieved. It’s a great feeling to know this project could inspire future architects and show them that anything is possible.
Why did you enjoy working on this project?
I enjoyed working on this project because it gave me the opportunity to apply products in a completely different way which also allowed me to consider new applications for how we use our products. This project expanded the use of MAG board to a larger scale and provided me with a great feeling of accomplishment each time I saw it. I look forward to the next time we have a request to use a product in a different way as I know that anything is possible.
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