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MAPLE IN THE SPOTLIGHT AT MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY’S NEW SCHOOL OF DIGITAL ARTS

  • soda-building

Maple have installed rainscreen cladding and an innovative LED-lit perforated panel system to MMU’s new School of Digital Arts (SODA).


“It’s a project that stands out not just for its scale, but also for the level of collaboration that has been necessary between Maple, lighting designers, architect and all contractors to make it a success,” said Maple’s Operations Manager, Peter Mattimore.
 
More than 3,000 sq m of profiled aluminium panels clad the exterior of the five-storey building. But the brightest feature is a series of perforated panels that accommodate LED lighting.
 
The system was designed in our Stockport factory, and required close collaboration with specialist lighting designers. Together, we produced 3D renders and prototypes for approval by architects Fairhurst Design and main contractors Keir.
 
The solid panels were also challenging. Folded to create a concertina façade, they required specialist fittings and millimetre-perfect joints. On site, Maple installed a ‘compartmentalised’ fire barrier system in line with current regulations, which will prevent fire spreading through the voids created by the pleated panels.
 
Meanwhile, a bespoke gutter system and hidden drainage takes rainwater off the roof. The roof itself is clad in Kalzip panels, which were also supplied and installed by Maple.
 
SODA will provide modern lab spaces, workshops and teaching facilities for the next generation of filmmakers, animators, game designers and artists.