Aurubis - Nordic Brown / Nordic Brown Light / Nordic Standard / Nordic Brass / Nordic Green
Forming part of the ‘Hub’ development at Nottingham Railway Station, this 6-storey structure accommodates 950 car spaces. The 112 m long building is sandwiched between the railway to the north and the busy Queens Road to the south with older buildings beyond. Architects Leeds Studio developed an original design by another practice, BDP, (following a successful bid by VINCI Construction UK) adding an array of horizontally banded vertical copper panels to transform this typical parking building. The panels create an architectural language and are continuous over curtain walling as well as conventional open car parking decks, only being broken by the concrete lift core on the West Elevation.
The palette of copper surfaces at Nottingham includes solid green pre-patinated copper and a variant with less intense patination, revealing some background material. Standard ‘mill finish’ and light brown pre-oxidised copper were also used, together with an alloy of copper and aluminium with a long-lasting golden colour which provides distinctive highlights around the building.
Although creating a random, abstract feel, arrangement of the panels is based on a limited modular language with three panel widths: 210 mm, 420 mm and 840 mm, and spacing between of: 105 mm, 210 mm and 420 mm. Panels are generally 2870 mm high with some reduced to 1470 mm crowning the top of the building and where the base of the cladding is raised up.
A Mosaic of Colour
The composition gives a mosaic of colour that sits in clearly defined horizontal bands along the length of the building, breaking up the subservient concrete frame - typical of multi-storey car park buildings - and curtain walling. The effect is particularly animated on the two long elevations, especially when viewed from moving trains or cars. In addition to the layering of materials, the colour choices are carried through in the design to represent differing aspects of the location.
Project architect Antony Hall explained: “The copper panels to the North are predominantly in green shades and refer to the modern aspect of the adjacent railway. The panels on the South are predominantly in traditional brown copper shades to reference the brick heritage warehouses and other structures lining the conservation area opposite across the busy road. Key viewpoints formed in locations around the building are highlighted with the golden coloured copper alloy. Vertical circulation elements are also highlighted in the same manner. There is a designed progression of copper colours running around the whole building, beginning and ending at the West Elevation lift shaft. We have also anticipated the natural changes to copper in the environment.”