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Building Products March 2018

BRICKS, BLOCKS AND PAVERS PAST MEETS PRESENT Creating a statement building that fits seamlessly into its surroundings takes the right product selection to perfect. Here, Stephen Blagbrough, Furness Brick’s regional manager, explains how modern materials can create a sympathetic finish. Designing and constructing a new building within an area of historical interest is not without its challenges. Important considerations must be made in terms of conservation and meeting the necessary planning conditions and any new building in an established area will need to fit well into its surroundings. When it comes to brick fascias, the weather and time itself all add to an area’s aged look and unique feel. Achieving the perfect blend in such situations is as much down to the materials chosen as to the architectural thinking that goes into the project. While it is inevitable that a new building will look new to a certain extent, it may well be important to the architecture of the building to ensure that it acts as a statement piece. Putting it into the context of its surroundings often requires 18 BUILDING PRODUCTS | MARCH 2018 sourcing reclaimed materials, particularly if the structures surrounding it date back to a bygone era. However, modern materials can also often be a credible alternative to this, helping to keep costs down and ensure deadlines are met while producing an effective result aesthetically. Reclaimed Reclaimed materials may seem like the natural route to take when sourcing products for a build in an area of historical importance but, thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, it is seldom the only option available. Most buildings mellow with age and many modern bricks on the market used in the refurbishment of such buildings can spoil any extension or new addition by their new appearance. Weathering the bricks is a unique process that can be used for the creation of weathered blends for new build schemes, as well as matching into existing refurbishment projects. The process produces an 'aged' appearance resulting in brickwork that is almost indiscernible from the original and preserves the timeless character of the existing building. This can act as a viable, cost-effective alternative to sourcing reclaimed materials for projects that blend old with new. Architects working on the new Storyhouse building in Chester were faced with exactly this scenario, finding the solution in a bespoke brick that perfectly blends old with new. Housed in the formerly redundant shell of a 1930s Odeon cinema in the centre of Chester, the Storyhouse acts as an inspirational entertainment centre. Although a substantial addition to the area,


Building Products March 2018
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