For exterior surfaces the trend throughout 2022 has leant towards bold, bright and uplifting colours, inspiring confidence as an antidote to worries and fears. A colourful, striking façade exudes certainty and assurance. Bright and warm jewel-colours of amethyst, ruby and garnet are popular together with oranges and bronzes. Maybe this also taps into a recognised underlying nostalgia for times past – the 1970’s being a popular “Pause & Rewind” era according to powder manufacturer Sherwin Williams.
Cardiff University’s ‘Oculus’ staircase
Powdertech powder coated the stunning ‘Oculus’ staircase which forms the focal point of Cardiff University’s new sbarc | spark centre. The finish is polyester powder coating RAL 2002 ‘Vermillion’. The new building, designed by award winning architects Hawkins Brown is now a hub for innovation and creativity. Covering 12,000m2 the sbarc|spark building features collaborative working spaces, a visualisation centre, auditorium and a fabrication lab. It is designed to be a magnet for talented graduates, entrepreneurs, and academic spinouts across Wales.
As part of the interior, Hawkins Brown together with Taunton Fabrications designed the stunning, sculptural, open staircase known as ‘The Oculus’. Metal mesh specialists Amron Architectural supplied W-20/50 profiled wellTEC® for the balustrades. As the centre piece to the building, the combination of a spiral design, perforated mesh and vibrant glossy vermillion is outstanding.
Broadmarsh Centre Car Park - a shade made to order
The redeveloped Broadmarsh Shopping Centre in Nottingham has a new car park, the exterior of which is covered in extruded aluminium solar shading and screening systems. This screening, produced by Maple Sunscreening, makes the lines and aesthetics of a building interesting, contemporary and smart, and adds colour and texture.
The designers wanted an earthy shade for the panels to blend in with landscaped green spaces around the redeveloped shopping centre. Powdertech was sent a piece of terracotta and asked if it could be matched by a powder coating. The company developed three terracotta shades and the darkest shade was chosen, reflecting the red brick of some of the older buildings nearby. Powdertech coated the hollow rectangular box sections of 200mm by 50mm, making a total of 7,200sq metres of extruded aluminium. These terracotta shades are now part of the company’s portfolio.
Powder coatings are ever evolving
“Powder coatings are developing more rapidly than ever before,” said Richard Besant, Director, Powdertech. “The effects that can be created through gloss and metallic levels, texture and colour combinations are stunning, making outstanding design features of exterior and interior metal surfaces. Our finishes are all Qualicoat class 1 or class 2 approved with high performance corrosion protection and weather resistance. Over and above that, it is our wide selection of colourful and textured finishes, many unique to Powdertech, that make us stand out”.