Friday, 6 January 2012

Levolux takes the limelight in Cardiff

Following a £22.5 million redevelopment, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, in Cardiff, is proud of its new world-leading facilities, including a 450 capacity Concert Hall, wrapped in attractive Timber Fins, courtesy of Levolux.

Designed by BFLS architects, the BREEAM ‘excellent’ rated development is set in the grounds of Cardiff Castle, on the banks of the River Taff, overlooking parkland to the south-west. The development comprises three linked buildings, brought together under a floating roof.

Each building is distinctive in its appearance, including the curvaceous Concert Hall, which lies at the northern end of the development. The development also includes a 160 seat, state-of-the-art Theatre, along with rehearsal studios and circulation areas.

The Concert Hall is particularly impressive, with its imposing conical shaped structure appearing to rise from the ground, clad with rows of vertical Timber Fins. The Fins measure 185mm wide by 44mm thick and are 2.3 metres in length. The complete Solar Shading solution comprises 2306 Timber Fins, machined in Western Red Cedar.

Concentric rows of Fins are fixed at alternating angles, creating a contrasting aesthetic which appears to change as you pass around and enter the building. Three rows of Fins are fixed at 45 degrees, which effectively screens the building’s inner structure.

Another two rows of Fins are positioned in front of east and west-facing windows at first and second floor levels. These are fixed at 90 degrees, which is the optimum angle to absorb and reflect a proportion of the sun’s rays, while allowing natural daylight to filter through into internal walkways. As a result, the application of the Fins significantly reduces solar heat gain within the building, which virtually eliminates the need for air conditioning.

The Timber Fins complement the college’s parkland setting, providing the building with a protective, organic facade which screens the inner structure, controls solar heat gain and encourages natural ventilation.

Following the architect’s vision for an inherently eco-friendly building, all timber used by Levolux was sustainably sourced, with a full chain of custody. Engineered from Western Red Cedar, the Timber Fins are lightweight, durable and require no application of a finish. Over time the Fins will adopt an attractive, silver-grey patina providing long-lasting good looks.

Now known as the Dora Stoutzker Hall, the iconic new Concert Hall with its striking Timber Fins from Levolux, is designed to impress and will strike a chord with musicians, visitors and building professionals alike.

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