TURNING AN UGLY DUCKLING INTO A SWAN
Renovating and transforming dated, unattractive buildings into things of striking beauty can be a lot quicker and easier than many people think, thanks to Refresh Systems from Euroclad. The 1960s and 1970s may have been halcyon days for popular culture in the UK, but the same cannot always be said for the architecture of the time. The legacy of back-to-basics aesthetics and an infatuation with cheap and easy construction methods, is a nation littered with buildings which at best are tolerable and at worst just plain ugly.
Of course, many of these buildings function perfectly well and the interiors may be ideal for use, but there is something fundamentally disheartening about arriving at work and feeling uninspired or even embarrassed. Fortunately, today’s commercial architecture is at the other end of the scale. It is exciting and dramatic, making towns and cities look and feel a lot better as a result of the new buildings and offices being erected using modern materials and methods of construction.
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The Boston Building in Glasgow’s Swan Street is an example of what can be done to transform a 1960s eyesore into an attractive modern building. The three-storey office building, half a mile from Glasgow’s city centre, has enjoyed internal and external refurbishment which includes striking black exterior panelling and a new glass and steel rooftop extension to create a ‘penthouse’ floor and feature balcony.
Formerly the Glasgow headquarters of the British Red Cross, the building sits just off the M8 and in a highly visible location in a rapidly improving area. As it stood, the building would have remained an eyesore and attracting good quality tenants would have proved difficult.
The exterior rainscreen over-cladding from Booth Muirie, which predominantly gives the building its modern character, comprises BML Systems in black ALPOLIC/fr aluminium composite material (ACM) attached to a carrier system, which is fixed to the original brickwork. This carrier system creates a cavity into which additional insulation has been fitted to improve the building’s thermal and acoustic performance.
Refresh Systems from Euroclad are a package of over-clad and over-roof refurbishment systems, encompassing a range of products and solutions, including BML Systems as the rainscreen over-clad option.
Metal composite materials (MCM), incorporating ACM, are proving to be an increasingly popular material for use in modern buildings and refurbishments as it is light, strong and durable, and provides less of a strain on the building structure than heavier options. But crucially it is very flat, a key consideration for ensuring a striking finish.
Black panels are proving increasingly popular and the colour is clearly in vogue. The way a building looks can have a noticeable effect on the people who use it. This has been long accepted within the education sector and is being increasingly recognised in commerce. The finished effect in Glasgow is remarkable and there can be few people who wouldn’t feel impressed visiting or working in the Boston Building.