Traditional to industrial

Armstrong Ceilings helps specifier and client move from traditional to industrial at Eagle House in east London with mesh metal ceilings

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Mesh metal ceiling systems from Armstrong have helped the UK’s second largest provider of office space and the designer of its first foray into London’s Tech City successfully move out of their respective comfort zones.

Some 850m2 of Armstrong’s grey and black mesh metal ceiling tiles in Axiom knife-edge canopies were specified for an Avanta Serviced Offices’ business centre in Eagle House on City Road in east London by Category A and B designer Amalgam Studios.

The brief to concept designers Create, together with the design and build team Amalgam and Paragon, part of Interserve Plc, the international support services and construction group, was to produce an 'industrial rustic vintage scheme' to reflect the building’s proximity to the iconic Old Street roundabout in Shoreditch. The team has risen to the challenge primarily by exposing all the M&E services and retaining the exposed structure of the existing internal fabric.

Previous users of Armstrong’s mineral tiles, the designer thought an open mesh ceiling would give an industrial feel that would complement the spacious 4.5m high ceilings in the offices and meeting rooms… but it was a departure from the norm for Avanta.

Amalgam director Carole Cobban said: 'This approach was totally new for my client. All the M&E services were exposed – metal trays, AC units and pipework – so a metal mesh ceiling fitted in well with this concept. It was a major shift in aesthetics away from their more traditional approach to serviced office environments but they were very pleased with the end result.

'The open mesh metal ceiling met the aesthetic requirement of the brief, and performance will be measured by the ease with which they are maintained in future.'

The Avanta business centre occupies the first and part-ground floors of the Art Deco themed commercial element of the redevelopment of the 1930s Eagle House by award-winning urban architects Terry Farrell & Partners. The building contains more than 200 high-end apartments over 26 floors.

On the challenges presented by the M&E on project, Cobban said: 'We needed to collaborate with the developer while the residential fit-outs were in progress, introduce fresh air into the building by way of VAM units, co-ordinate drainage runs at high level from the flats above, meet requirements for additional power and fix suspension rods for the mesh ceilings through the existing slab insulation.'

Specialist sub-contractor Ideal Installations had a team of eight men on site for almost a year installing the Armstrong Ceilings systems supplied by CCF in east London for main fit-out contractor Paragon.

The 600mm x 600mm mesh metal lay-in board tiles feature an elongated diamond pattern with 62% open area to aid air flow, finished with a durable polyester powder coating and set within the next-generation Axiom knife-edge canopies in matching RAL colours.

Eagle House is set to become one of the area’s most recognised landmarks, a 12,000ft2 beacon of Shoreditch’s entrepreneurial and small business life.

Within that, Avanta’s business centre was designed to reflect its vibrant and fast-moving creative, tech and media community, with exposed brickwork, neon signs, pendant lighting, copper tones and coloured doors… and now Armstrong’s mesh metal ceilings.

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