Vertical copper panels with various Nordic surfaces from Aurubis Architectural animate an otherwise typical large multi-storey car park, adding a sense of movement appropriate to its transport interchange setting.
Forming part of the ‘Hub’ development at Nottingham Railway Station, the 6-storey structure accommodates 950 car spaces. The 112m long building is sandwiched between the railway station to the north and the busy Queens Road to the south with older buildings beyond. Architects Leeds Studio developed an original design by BDP, following a successful bid by VINCI Construction UK, adding an array of horizontally banded vertical copper panels to transform this typical parking building. The panels create an architectural language and are continuous over curtain walling as well as conventional open car parking decks, only being broken by the concrete lift core on the West Elevation.
The palette of AURUBIS ARCHITECTURAL surfaces at Nottingham includes solid coloured Nordic Green Traditional pre-patinated copper and Nordic Green Living 1 with less intense patination, revealing some background material. Nordic Green has properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown Light pre-oxidised copper were also used. The innovative Nordic Royal - an alloy of copper and aluminium with a long-lasting golden colour – provides distinctive highlights around the building.
Although creating a random, abstract feel, arrangement of the panels is based on a limited modular language with three panel widths: 210mm, 420mm and 840mm, and spacing between of: 105mm, 210mm and 420mm. Panels are generally 2870mm high with some reduced to 1470mm crowning the top of the building and where the base of the cladding is raised up. The copper façade was installed by specialist CA Group.
The composition gives a mosaic of colour that sits in clearly defined horizontal bands along the length of the building, breaking up the subservient concrete frame - typical of multi-storey car park buildings - and curtain walling. The effect is particularly animated on the two long elevations, especially when viewed from moving trains or cars. In addition to the layering of materials, the colour choices are carried through in the design to represent differing aspects of the location.
Project architect Antony Hall said: “The copper panels to the North are predominantly in green shades and refer to the modern aspect of the adjacent railway. The panels on the South are predominantly in traditional brown copper shades to reference the brick heritage warehouses and other structures lining the conservation area opposite. Key viewpoints formed in locations around the building are highlighted with the golden coloured copper alloy. Vertical circulation elements are also highlighted in the same manner.
“There is a designed progression of copper colours running around the whole building, beginning and ending at the West Elevation lift shaft. We have also anticipated the natural changes to copper in the environment. The Nordic Standard and Nordic Brown will darken in colour while the Nordic Greens will hold their colour.”