Menai Science Park

1,300m2 of Corian® cladding in Glacier White, thermoformed into sculptural panels at Bangor University’s Menai Science Park
Location: Wales, United Kingdom
Architect/Designer: FaulknerBrowns Architects
Fabricator: Unique Fabrications Ltd
Products used: Corian® Glacier White

The 5000m2 Menai Science Park (M-SParc) required an innovative solution to achieve the architects’ vision – a unique, contemporary structure with an eye-catching façade: a flowing, continuous white ‘ribbon’ that creates an immediate visual impact. This sinuous design needed to be functional as well as beautiful as it would form the floor, wall and roof while also containing all the building’s services and waterproofing.

The ideal choice

FaulknerBrowns found that Corian® Solid Surface allowed for the desired seamless finish with minimal joints and was able to be shaped into curves – all while withstanding the elements of North Wales. The smooth, non-porous surface of Corian® cladding means that the pristine white finish will be easy to maintain for years to come.

Project Director Leighton Cooksey said, “We investigated a number of alternative cladding systems but very quickly chose Corian® as the preferred solution. Working with Unique Fabrications, we developed the principle of a Corian® rainscreen cladding system over a waterproofed steel frame. Corian® proved to be the perfect material to deal with the sinuous form of the ribbon, with the thermoformed curved panels, preformed corners and invisible fixings and thus to meet the architectural design intent.”

The wow factor

As well as the exterior, Corian® also makes an impressive appearance to the interior of the building, continuing the ribbon motif with cladding around varying levels of the lobby and forming the main reception desk. Both applications make the most of the material’s translucency and its compatibility with technology, by smoothly integrating backlit logos for added impact.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, Operational Director of M-SParc says, “The impact is exactly what we wanted from this flagship building. The public and businesses alike comment on the external and internal design when they enter, with the Corian® creating a clean, professional finish fitting to a building of this stature.”

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