Maple’s latest project at Manchester Airport is further evidence of a growing trend towards imaginative façade design, says Maple Managing Director, Sean McGrath.
“Here at Maple, we’re seeing the growing use of architectural façades as a design feature. Of course, it’s not entirely new. Elsewhere on this website, you’ll see the varied use of fins, laser-cut panels and 3D modelling for façades on hotels, car parks, offices and shopping centres.
“But steel mesh? Could anyone have imagined it even 10 years ago?
“At Manchester Airport, we’re supplying and installing a façade system for a new five-storey car park to serve T1 and T3. However, instead of a safety feature, the galvanised steel mesh panels, which span between the concrete floor slabs, are purely aesthetic.
“Edge protection is being achieved separately by internal vehicle impact barriers... giving us even more scope to create visual stand-out with a façade of glass reinforced plastic panels.
“The mixture of safety and aesthetic components has required close collaboration with construction company Galliford Try, while discussions about fixing details and brackets took place with the steel and concrete contractors at an early stage.
“The way we all worked together showed how an aesthetic façade can be an integral part of construction, rather than a design afterthought. I’m sure we will see many more examples of seemingly humble materials being used in imaginative ways in the future.”