Ceiling and wall systems by Armstrong Ceilings brighten a new flagship office building at Wirral Waters in Merseyside
Ceiling and wall systems by Armstrong have provided form and function to an award-winning Grade A office building at the heart of one of the largest regeneration projects in the UK at Wirral Waters in Merseyside.
Kingsgate, formerly the Tower Wharf project, is one of the first flagship schemes to be constructed within the 500-acre Wirral Waters regeneration scheme at Birkenhead and is part of the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone, one of the first four locations established by the government to attract investment and accelerate growth into regional areas.
Designed by Falconer Chester Hall Architects (FCH), the brief was to design an office building for The Contact Centre of almost 5,000m2 on a derelict plot that would set a standard for future development within the regeneration area as well as meet the aspirations of both the developer Longmeadow Estates and its prospective client.The architect's response references Liverpool’s past and the trading vessels that once negotiated the waters on its doorstep, while focusing on sustainability.
Built at an overall cost of £11.4 million, Armstrong products have been incorporated across the scheme, in the atrium and offices. Armstrong R-H 200 standard perforated metal hook-on planks with acoustic inlay within a concealed grid were specified by regular Armstrong user FCH for the feature ceiling of the atrium.
In the atrium, the ceiling is complemented by Armstrong’s W-H 1000 standard perforated metal wall system on the four-storey walls, hooked on in a vertical brickwork pattern to match the ceiling. Both of these systems were supplied in bespoke sizes in bright orange to aid installation.
In addition to the metal tiles in the atrium, Armstrong Ultima+ OP Tegular mineral tiles and Ultima+ SL2 planks have been specified in the open plan offices and circulation areas. This ceiling system, as well as the suspension grid, is Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified in line with Kingsgate’s BREEAM Excellent rating.
Manufactured with up to 64% recycled content, the Ultima+ range is available in three core densities that allow specifiers to engineer sound absorption and attenuation for optimum acoustic performance - standard Ultima+ giving medium density and Ultima+ OP giving low density, which were both used at Kingsgate, and Ultima+ dB giving high density up to 41dB.
'We have worked with Armstrong frequently on office developments,' explained Stephen Fieldsend of Falconer Chester Hall. 'On this one particularly the Armstrong materials interface fantastically well with the other materials on the project. We had constant help from Armstrong for the visual aesthetics to the main atrium space.'
A heavily glazed facade reduces the building’s reliance on artificial light and this element is further helped by Armstrong’s Ultima+ tiles which feature an even brighter whiter smoother surface that gives 87% light reflectance to help achieve 16% cost savings compared with indirect lighting in accordance with the Brinjac Engineering Study 2006.
Built on former dockland in less than a year by Eric Wright Construction of steel frame and concrete floors, the building’s ceiling and wall systems were installed over three months by a team of eight from specialist sub-contractor CLM Drylining.
FCH added: 'The building has transformed a plot of empty derelict land into a modern, environmentally friendly office development, designed to meet the BREEAM Excellent standard for sustainability. All specified materials have significant green credentials.'
'The building has been described as a 'strategic flagship development’, and is the new home of one of Wirral’s leading employers – helping to secure its future in the locality and providing a statement of confidence in a new enterprise zone. Another indication of its success is that it was finished on budget and two weeks early, demonstrating a rigorous approach to providing value for money and to construction timetables.'
The £10 billion development comprises two schemes led by the Combined Authorities and local authorities, Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters. Located on either side of the River Mersey at Liverpool’s famous docklands, the two projects are among the largest regeneration schemes in the UK.
Kingsgate won Best Commercial Building in the 2016 North West RICS awards which said: 'This high quality office development, built on a former derelict land site, has added much-needed Grade A office accommodation to the Wirral Enterprise Zone and brought around 400 jobs to the area. Judges praised the project team, Longmeadow Estates, Eric Wright Construction and Falconer Chester Hall, for kickstarting the Wirral Waters Regeneration Project with such an exemplary building whose design echoes the shipping heritage of the area.'
For more information and technical support visit: www.armstrongceilings.co.uk
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