Equitone [natura] facade lifts Hinguar Primary School to new heights

A striking EQUITONE [natura] fibre cement facade from Marley Eternit has given a distinctive identity to a new primary school building in Shoeburyness, Southend-on-Sea.

Pupils and staff have now moved into the new £5.2m Hinguar Primary School and are benefitting from the tough yet practical fibre cement facade.

EQUITONE [natura] is a through coloured material that allows the texture of the fibres to show through, offering a unique visual appearance. Its crisp, clean lines, combined with a wide choice of colours allow building designers to create dynamic and attractive elevations.

Space Craft Architects specified EQUITONE [natura] for the two storey, steel frame building, which is raised onto a podium deck to overcome flooding issues due to the school being located within the Thames Estuary tidal zone.  Its lightweight yet strong properties helped to reduce overall weight loadings on the podium, along with the fact the wide range of colours enabled the designers to realise their aesthetic vision for the school. 

Cream White EQUITONE [natura] was chosen to create a subtle aesthetic for the front of the building, which is visible to the public. The more eye-catching pupil’s side of the building was created by adding intermittent bands of Beach Stone coloured material to create ‘ribbons’ within the Cream White, along with brightly coloured window surrounds and balustrading.

Sophie Ungerer of Space Craft Architects explained: “Our brief was to give the school a modern and confident appearance that emphasised its position as a quality teaching environment, whilst being sympathetic to the natural surroundings.  We achieved this by using Marley Eternit’s EQUITONE [natura] in Cream White to create a relatively neutral facade on the north elevation which is the ‘public face’ of the school.

She added: “The ‘pupil’s face’ is a much more colourful and playful elevation, opening up over the playground and out towards the sea. Colours Beach Stone and Cream White were used to contrast the colourful elements such as the window surrounds and balustrading.”

The facade panels were fixed to the steel framed structure, incorporating a rear ventilated cavity and 120mm of rainscreen insulation to provide the building with enhanced weather performance benefits.  The panels were ‘secret fixed’ to the frame using structural adhesive.  The walls achieve a U value of 0.22W/m2K.

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