Santander UK capitalises on material performance

As part of a major project to create an open, inviting and distinctive retail banking branch within the new Santander UK London head office, DuPont Corian has been chosen to enhance both the visual impact and the functional interface with clients.



he six-storey atrium has been designed to establish a flowing and accessible use of its volume, with split levels and suspended elements framing the focus on a pair of living trees, planted at the heart of the space.

The interior scheme of the impressive glazed structure is aligned with various technical innovations intended to enrich the customer experience. These include improved digital banking access via tablets, a touchscreen booth and merchandising screens. The ‘shop front’ has been kept clear with only low level installations to maintain the visibility into the fully-glazed space.

Echoing the brand’s characteristic colour themes, Corian in Red Hot has been combined with Corian in Glacier White to form smooth, seamless and curving surfaces that are welcoming to the touch while offering an enduring elegance. The skill and ingenuity with which Corian can be fabricated has enabled design touches such as the engraving of the Santander logo into the vivid red fascia of the main service desk, which also offers sleek, seamless countertops in pristine white.

For added impact, Corian in Red Hot has been used to trim the curving sweep of cladding that frames this service booth and other key zonal elements, thus co-ordinating the overall colour scheme while adding a touch of bold personality.

The premium combination of sophistication, performance and proven reliability that sets Corian apart from the crowd comes beautifully into play in this project. What’s more, the material’s cutting-edge compatibility with the latest technology offers added benefits for user-friendly surface installations, especially those that can expect high levels of public engagement. Further applications that maximise the easy adaptability of Corian and its pleasing, hygienic tactility include the surrounds for the ATM units that are set into the Express Banking element.

The in-house architects for the project were Miguel Pérez Tallón and Rubén Sesmero Blanco. They explain: “Corian was chosen after a long research process into many different kinds of materials, and particularly because it was the best material for achieving the seamless appearance we were looking for. In addition, Corian allows us to match the curved shapes proposed in the design without incurring a more challenging manufacturing process. We are really pleased with the final result as we have been able to achieve a really smart and professional look that will enhance interaction with our clients.”

Naturally, the design of the space aims also for optimum energy-efficiency. Features such as underfloor heating and the apertures within the separation ‘planes’ of the various zones, which have been added to enhance ventilation, mean that no additional HVAC equipment was required, which together with the louvred ceiling that has been installed in the ‘back of house’ area will save approximately 40% of expected energy use otherwise.

Sustainable design

First created as a high performance material for kitchen and bathroom worktops, DuPont Corian is now – thanks to its unique combination of functionality, versatility and beauty – a leading global brand in surfacing materials for interior design and architecture. Over the years, DuPont has established DuPont Corian solid surface as an exceptional design tool for every application one can imagine. Kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, furnishing, facades, seating, radiators, home automation, touch control surfaces: today, DuPont Corian can be found almost everywhere in commercial, residential and public space applications.

The DuPont Building Innovations business shares and supports the DuPont corporate philosophy about environmental sustainability: to conduct its business with respect and care for the environment. As a global leader in pursuing the mission of sustainable growth, DuPont is committed to creating shareholder and societal value while reducing our environmental footprint throughout the value chain.

DuPont Corian solid surfaces have low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) content, and have proven to be extremely safe as surfacing materials for over 40 years, with minimal impact on indoor air quality.

In addition, these non-porous surfaces do not promote the growth of mould and mildew when properly cleaned, making them ideal choices for healthcare and food preparation facilities, schools, offices and homes for use in countertops, wall cladding, sinks and a wide variety of other applications. At DuPont, the company is always working with designers and architects to discover sustainable new building solutions for a greener tomorrow.

Durable and renewable

Thanks to its inherent stain resistance, Corian lasts a long time. It can easily be repaired and renewed, thus minimising the desire or need to replace and dispose of it. However, should you want to redesign, Corian can be removed, re-cut and either reinstalled or reworked into new products.

Sustainability, technically speaking

Corian solid surfaces – the whole range or specific types – have received important independent certification for their environmental performance (such as GreenGuard, NAHB North American Builders Association, Scientific Certification Systems). Their hygienic performance has also been certified by prestigious independent institutions (for example, by NSF International, The Royal Institute of Public Health and LGA QualiTest).

Corian is NSF/ANSI Standard 51 Certified for food contact, the highest level, for all food types in commercial food preparation.

Improvement in industrial processes

DuPont continues to improve the industrial processes of Corian by choosing raw materials, suppliers and packaging responsibly, using pigments free of heavy metals, toxic or carcinogenic ingredients, reducing waste generation in manufacturing, and recycling scrap and off-spec Corian in new product applications.

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