AluK systems hits a sweet spot

Commercial aluminium systems specialist, AluK, says it has found the recipe for success in supplying customised window frames and curtain walling systems as part of the refurbishment of a former Cadbury’s factory in Bristol.

The Chocolate Quarter is a £60m scheme developed by Bristol charity, St Monica Trust.

It has seen the iconic factory redeveloped into a retirement village, with assisted living, care home, doctors’ surgery and leisure facilities including a gym and cinema.

As the original factory is a landmark building, the structural parameters of the existing building architecture and the systems had to meet specific planning requirements.

With that in mind, AluK collaborated with Andrew Wilson Partnership, Newport-based KWL Architects, and Bristol architect AWW, to provide commercial windows, doors and curtain walling fabricator, EYG Commercial, with a customised range of systems to meet design challenges on the site.

With more than 900 AluK 58BW commercial casement windows delivered and installed throughout the build programme, the first challenge was to redesign the originally specified window and curtain walling systems to achieve slimmer sightlines throughout the development.

The AluK team provided new calculations for more than 8,000m2 of window systems, meeting specific frame colour requirements as set by planners, and more than 1,000m of AluK SL52 curtain walling to enhance the development and bring the architect’s aesthetic vision to fruition.

To meet the larger window openings from the original factory layout, found across the site, AluK developed and engineered a customised 58BW ST 1500mm aluminium frame system solution, larger than the standard 1200mm frame, and an ideal replacement for existing steel frame windows.

Jordan Kingman, architectural project manager at AluK, said: “With a growing ageing population in the UK, the need for homes and developments suitable for later life care and living is a significant issue.

“The original chocolate factory is a recognisable landmark on the outskirts of Bristol, and this new lease of life as a luxury retirement village is going to benefit the local community of Keynsham, so it was essential to all involved that the specified windows and door frame systems would enhance the design and purpose of the site.

“AluK worked with all partners to design, develop and deliver a range of customised solutions that complemented the existing architecture and structure, and will be a key feature of The Chocolate Quarter for many years to come.”

Neil Ross, director of KWL Architects, added: “The successful redevelopment of the landmark buildings requires expertise and precision through all stages of the project, using building systems that complement the existing structure.

“Working with AluK meant we were working with a company that could adapt its products and systems to meet this challenging but rewarding brief, and the final result is an iconic site now fit for a new purpose.”