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Zinc – all over style for education projects


With education projects still among the most prominent in construction, zinc’s continuing increase in popularity is achieving widespread attention. Recent education projects in which VMZINC standing seam and interlocking panel systems have been used include BDP’s £35m University of Wales Newport and Wilson Mason & Partners’ AV Hill building at Manchester University and University of Cumbria Student Gateway. School projects such as Tim Ronalds Architects’ £8.8 million Sevenoaks School Performing Arts Centre and Integrated Design Consultants’ Reading Girls’ School Vocational Skills Centre provide further illustration of the design scope and sustainability that zinc provides.

Zinc’s flexibility gives enormous scope for complex detailing and design diversity. The Sevenoaks School Performing Arts Centre contained a number of notable features including a complex, steeply pitched concert hall roof. VMZINC’s standing seam roofing system in QUARTZ-ZINC® featured throughout the project but the series of 18 metre span timber and steel trusses that support the 12-layer build-up on the concert hall is the most prominent. By contrast, the use of interlocking zinc panels on both the outer skin and as an element of interior design is a feature of The University of Cumbria Student Gateway. Zinc clearly plays a prominent role in a building which is intended to be the flagship for the Lancaster Campus as part of the University of Cumbria.

The Reading Girls’ School Vocational Skills Centre shows a further variation in zinc with diagonal installation of VMZINC’s standing seam cladding in ANTHRA-ZINC®. Pre-weathered colours include dark grey/black ANTHRA-Zinc, mid-grey QUARTZ-ZINC and the subtle PIGMENTO shades of red, green and blue.

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