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Piercy & Co Architects 'creates gem in central London with Equitone'

11 April 2014

London-based Piercy & Co Architects has specified a fibre cement EQUITONE facade on the 1 Baker’s Row development in Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area

Anthracite-coloured Equitone (natura) was specified because the architects felt that the matt surface appearance created a contemporary aesthetic that interfaced well with the adjoining historic buildings.

Equitone (natura) allows the textures of the fibre cement to show through, creating a tactile, smooth surface. It is a sustainable and low maintenance exterior rainscreen cladding material that combines excellent aesthetics with durability and impact resistance.

The architects achieved an engaging streetscape using Equitone material to create a jewel-like facade. The result is a striking contrast between a bold exterior of contextually sensitive fibre cement material and adjoining traditional buff and red brickwork buildings.

Sensitive design and careful choice of materials was important because 1 Baker’s Row, part of Great Marlborough Estates, is a small and constrained site that is located in an architecturally interesting part of central London.

“We conceived 1 Baker’s Row as a polished and refined gemstone to reflect the neighbourhood’s diamond trade heritage,” said Matti Lampila, Associate at Piercy & Co. “We were initially attracted to Equitone because we liked the appearance of the material. Once we understood its performance benefits it was a relatively easy decision to specify it for the whole facade.”

Matti added: “The fibre cement facade was able to create an engaging interface between the old and new architectural styles within this densely built up area of London. The dark, matt, fibre cement skin of the building makes an interesting play of light and colour that adds to its appeal.”

The Equitone panels were rivet fixed to the steel frame structure by Hatfield-based GDG Cladding using Marley Eternit's Helping Hand framing system. Framing brackets, incorporating thermal pads, were fixed to horizontal metal top-hat sections. The walls achieve a U-value of 0.2W/m²K. 1 Bakers Row is built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4.

An Equitone architectural fibre cement facade material can achieve an A+ rating as defined in the BRE’s Green Guide to Specification based on generic rating for autoclaved fibre cement single sheet.

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