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How the Circle Reading hospital now sparkles with etalbond®

The alternating geometry of the panels allows light to be reflected in multiple directions, creating a stunning visual effect and the sense of elegance and sophistication that Circle demanded.

The customer

Circle is a UK healthcare partnership that has embarked on a social mission to “make healthcare better for NHS and private patients.” Co-founded, co-run and co-owned by its clinicians, Circle aims to put patients first and believes that a pleasing architectural environment can impact medical recovery in the most positive ways. The partnership already has a new-build hospital in Bath, plus treatment centres in Hinchinbrook, Bedfordshire and Nottingham and it is looking to expand by building additional hospitals in other metropolitan areas, including Plymouth, Manchester and Birmingham.
 

The challenges

Designed and built between 2006 and 2009, the Circle Bath hospital set the architectural tone for the Circle Reading project. According to Circle, the new building needed to “combine clinical excellence with five star hospitality” and look more like a luxury hotel rather than a traditional hospital.
Like Circle Bath, the £50 million Circle Reading development used pre-fabricated components to reduce costs and the design called for a similar rectangular upper level that appeared to float above the glass-panelled ground floor. The design team envisioned a unique ‘basket weave’-style design for the hospital, a bold and defining exterior feature that needed to be durable, energy efficient and as eye-catching as Circle Bath’s reflective aluminium lattice.
 
 

Our solution

etalbond®  proved to be the perfect cladding solution for the Circle Reading project. It is designed to fit curved or flat surfaces and is ideally suited for easy cutting, curving and routing. In essence, this means that panels can be worked to create shapes and finishes that are simply not possible when using traditional building materials. Not only is the etalbond® ACM rigid and durable, the panels are also lightweight, easy to install and available in a range of colours. They also have excellent UV characteristics, retaining their vivid colour even after extended all-weather exposure.
 

The results

Completed at the end of 2013, Circle Reading’s faceted façade was installed by Astec Projects and manages to blend harmoniously with the glass and wood elements around the 10.000 m2 building. The upper level incorporates 2.000 m2 of angled  etalbond® panels, coated in a impressive sparkling black finish. The coating was developed in the Coating Mixing Lab of Elval Colour, and coated according to European (ECCA) and British Standards (BBA) on one of Elval Colour’s four coating lines.
The finished panels were formed into cassettes and subsequently mounted onto a custom-made support frame to create a three dimensional ‘basket weave’ pattern that gives the hospital a unique identity. The alternating geometry of the panels allows light to be reflected on multiple directions, creating a stunning visual effect and the sense of elegance and sophistication that Circle demanded.
Material: etalbond®
Application: Facade
Country: Norway
Colour: White

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How the Circle Reading hospital now sparkles with etalbond<sup>®</sup> How the Circle Reading hospital now sparkles with etalbond<sup>®</sup>