Luxury living with GRC
Royal Arsenal Riverside, an exclusive waterfront development in
London’s docklands area, shows that lightweight glass reinforced concrete (GRC) can be used on a wide variety of buildings, not just landmark civic projects.
Commencing construction in January 2016, the third and final phase of Royal Arsenal Riverside was completed by the end of 2018, creating 500 homes ranging in price from £320,000 up to £1.7m penthouses. Developed by Berkeley Homes and designed by architects Allies & Morrison, Royal Arsenal Riverside employs GRC to provide a distinctive framed aesthetic to the façade, employing a lighter colour palette to reflect the open, light environment on the banks of the Thames.
Given the location of the development, overlooking the river and just metres away from the much heralded Crossrail station at Woolwich and the nearby Dockland Light Railway, the architects wanted to create a premium feel to both the landscaping and structure of the three phases, which sit within a grid of historic naval buildings.
James Butler, director of Pura Facades, was responsible for the provision of the £2.5m worth of GRC and associated fixing systems that now frames the three eye catching towers of Royal Arsenal. He said: “Having discussed the project at some length with both the architects and contractors, we recommended the use of polar white concrete skin from Rieder, the renowned Austrian GRC manufacturer.
“While the crisp lines and naturally textured finish of the product matched the modern aesthetic demanded by the developers, it also complimented the existing listed building status of the established infrastructure. Many of the remaining naval buildings were used as hospitals, arsenals and storage for the Royal Navy – so any new development needed to enhance, not detract from this unique environment.”
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