Staticus meets the spec

Established approximately 20 years ago, Staticus is one of the biggest building facade contractors in Northern Europe, with a factory in Lithuania, an R&D centre in Vienna and offices in Norway, Sweden and London. Staticus was appointed by HG Construction on behalf of Alumno Developments to deliver the building facade for the Aspire Point development – student accommodation for Queen Mary University of London.

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he Staticus team was responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the facade, working closely with MJP Architects on the design.

Managing Director of Staticus UK, Paulius Gurksnys, explained: “Staticus specialises in sustainable aluminium glass facades, which is what we used in this development. For this project, we used terracotta tiles as a rainscreen cladding on the unitised panels.

“All the materials were prefabricated at our factory in Lithuania and then installed on site by our team. One of the biggest challenges with this project was the transport of the heavy unitised panels with tiles from Lithuania to London by road – I’m very proud that we delivered all the tiles to the site undamaged.”

MJP Architects is an award-winning architectural practice, best known for the BBC building in Central London. Student housing is the firm’s forte, and the team has worked extensively in Oxford and Cambridge with the colleges and has recently completed several projects in Birmingham and Warwick. Aspire Point was the firm’s first tower design.

Russell Clayton, Associate at MJP Architects, commented: “Aspire Point was a long time in gestation. It took us three and a half years to get to site. It was a difficult site on Stratford High Street, keeping the planners happy and delivering something of high quality.

“The key thing with this particular building was trying to achieve something of solidity and gravitas. There’s a lot of rather lightweight-looking buildings on Stratford High Street, and for us, the plan was to raise the design bar and produce something that was heavyweight and looked like it was going to stand up for 100 years. The challenge was being able to deliver that with a factory-made lightweight system that could be put up in a reasonable timeframe.

Project team

Development:

Aspire Point

Type:

Student accommodation

Location:

Stratford, London

Developer:

Alumno Developments

Construction firm:

HG Construction

Architect:

MJP Architects

Facade contractor:

Staticus UK

Website:

www.residences.qmul.ac.uk/college/qmaccommodation/mileendpg/aspire

“We went through a number of different contractors to try and deliver the project and a number of different schemes for the construction logistics before HG Construction appointed Staticus and we were able to take the project forward.

“It was a very positive experience working with Staticus. It was a collaborative effort, exchanging ideas by email and proactively problem-solving as a team. Part of the process was a visit to Staticus’ factory in Vilnius, Lithuania, to see drawings and 3D models the team had designed and to investigate how they would fabricate and deliver the facade. That was a really important part of the process.

“Given the opportunity to work with Staticus again I think would be a fantastic experience. They delivered the project on time, the attitude was perfect, they were problem solvers and were always able to come up with solutions in a timely fashion, so I would welcome the opportunity to work with them again and would not hesitate to recommend them to other contractors, architects or developers.”

Ron Plunz, Development Manager at Alumno Developments, commented: “The main challenge with student accommodation developments is that the occupants arrive in September, so there is no room for the timescale to be extended. Therefore, what counts for us in terms of contractors and sub-contractors is their ability to deliver on time. What’s also important is, of course, cost and design integrity as well as compliance with regulations.

“Working with Staticus and HG Construction was a very refreshing experience because they worked diligently and proactively. I always felt in very safe hands with Staticus – whenever I attended their design workshops the team were very reassuring and were able to give answers to any questions I had, or that I had received from the university, students or parents.

“I have to say, the Staticus team were the friendliest consultants I’ve ever worked with. We have already recommended the company to colleagues for other projects and would happily work with them again.”

HG Construction Ltd is a growing construction company which works in the student accommodation, commercial and residential sectors. Having worked with Staticus before, Construction Director Conor Rice recommended the company for the Aspire Point project.

Conor explains: “We have worked with Staticus twice in the past and were impressed with their professionalism, design capabilities, in-house design and manufacturing. When tasked to construct our tallest building to date, we were confident that they were the right company for this project and we changed the facade design completely to make their unitised curtain wall system work.

“What sets Staticus apart from its competitors is its in-house capabilities which many other firms would have to sub-contract out, which can create communication difficulties. Their willingness to give access to the design process early on also makes them stand out and makes the whole process much smoother.

“Working with the Staticus team has been an absolute joy. They are consummate professionals, technically advanced and I would strongly recommend them to other construction companies.”

Staticus is growing its UK presence and is already responsible for the iconic look of buildings in Manchester and London, offering a comprehensive facade engineering service – from conception and design through to manufacture, installation and project management.

The firm recently won the contracts for three developments in the UK; Two New Bailey in Manchester, Royal Mint Gardens and Tottenham Hale Tower in London.

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