Alex Blundell, project architect at Sanya Polescuk Architects, reveals three of the practice's favourite products to bring interest and texture to its projects
We love a bit of texture to act as a foil to the ubiquitous smooth plaster – to throw a few shadows over, to blur the notion of inside and out and create a healthy and joyous environment. Not only does lime naturally absorb and release moisture, helping balance living environments during cooking or the British weather, but its long-term aging process absorbs nearly as much carbon as its manufacture releases. A beautiful and active environmental moderator, combined with natural insulation it creates a vapour-open and flexible skin to warm your home naturally.
Woodfibre insulation boards from Steico
We expressed the texture of this insulation for all to see in our studio, with breathable paint on the fibrous surface showing the joints and thermal fixings. The natural buffering capacity of this material reduces the risk of condensation, essential here as it allowed the original tiled band of the Victorian stable to be displayed un-insulated. It comes tongue and grooved, avoiding fiddly cuts or taping to form the entirety of the wall treatment. It locks in carbon, showing our green aspirations to clients and builders alike who visit us.
FastClad brick slips
We’ve worked with FastClad on a number of projects with spectacular results. We often work in a conservation context, with brick a key requirement. To add gravity we made this project appear to be carved wholly out of brick. FastClad picks up bricks from the site and cuts them to obtain two faces from each, returning with panelised strips or corners to be screwfixed to the substrate. At a third of the weight and twice the yield of brick, they reduce environmental impact and lighten construction. This look-no-hands approach made the flat roof float above a glass clerestorey and gave the ceiling warmth, texture and drama.