Norwich University of the Arts has undergone a huge £42million development which incorporates teaching spaces and accommodation for 100 students.

The antiquated, rundown-looking flats, which were first built in the 70s, have been demolished to make way for the expansion. In keeping with the industrial heritage, the new design features the old-style red bricks, which pay homage to its heritage.

Alongside the teaching studios, the new Duke Street development provides a new production theatre, performance spaces and a public area on the river Wensum. The building’s design focuses on the environment and follows a strict sustainability strategy, with natural ventilation and solar shading systems incorporated into the design.

We were approached by Hudson Architects, who asked us to specify internal metal panels for the cladding in the foyer. They wanted the panels to recreate the feeling of the ironworks that stood on the site in the 19th century and celebrate the importance of artistry and craftsmanship at the university.

Based on the design intent, we supplied our Zircon 114 expanded mesh for the cladding surrounding the foyer, windows, and gates, as well as our top hat rail system and brackets to face fix the mesh to. We worked alongside Olympic Welding on the design of the foyer and gates and with Drayton Windows for the mesh surrounding the windows. Our Zircon had a raw finish in keeping with the ironworks industrial look.

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