Formerly home to the Young’s brewery, the site’s regeneration encompassed restoration of historic buildings alongside construction of new-build apartments. The three phases of Ram Quarter will deliver 713 homes, nearly 100,000 sq ft of shops and community and leisure facilities over 8 acres. The development is located on the banks of the River Wandle, this section of which has now been opened to the public for the first time in centuries through the redevelopment.
Greenland Group UK, the developer of Ram Quarter, was keen that the site’s material specification should reflect its history and deliver high-quality design and long-term durability. EPR Architects, the appointed architectural practice for the scheme, ensured that the development design complemented both the industrial character of the site and its transformation into a residential neighbourhood.
EPR Director Pascal Wensink explained: ‘The Brewery had evolved in line with modernisation of beer production, resulting in a wide variety of building sizes, architectural styles and materials. The older, more interesting buildings used traditional brick and most were retained within the masterplan, including the prominent brick chimney – a constant on the Wandsworth skyline for over a century.
‘The oldest fermenting and brewing vessels within the old brewery were copper. It was this association that inspired us to predominantly clad the upper two floors of the tallest residential buildings in Nordic Green Living 1 copper. We also introduced a playful vertical expression to one of the new buildings – a nod to the industrial vats that once covered the site. This is raised from the ground with softer rounded corners and vertically-ribbed profiled Nordic Green copper cladding, with a GRC concrete soffit.’
The Nordic Green Living 1 copper used at Ram Quarter is part of an extensive range of pre-patinated surfaces from Aurubis, developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. Essentially, they bring forward changes that happen over time in the environment without taking away the integrity of copper as a natural material.
All these surfaces form an integral part of the copper and are not coatings or paint, and ongoing changes will continue over time depending on the local environment. As well as the solid patina colours, ‘living’ surfaces provide various intensities of patina flecks revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.
Other Nordic Copper ranges from Aurubis include Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper, offering lighter or darker shades of brown determined by the thickness of the oxide layer. Nordic Copper alloys include Nordic Brass – which can also be supplied pre-weathered – Nordic Bronze and the innovative Nordic Royal, an alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc that enjoys a rich golden through-colour which remains very stable. A wide choice of Nordic Decor mechanically applied surface treatments is also available.