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Project Details - Davison Building, Royal Holloway, University of London


PROJECT SPOTLIGHT: Davison Building, Royal Holloway, University of London


Associated Architects, Birmingham

Project Overview

Since the construction of the Bedford Library at Royal Holloway, University of London’s Egham campus in 1994, the student population has almost quadrupled from 2,400 to 9,000. The new £42 million Emily Wilding Davison Building, named after the prominent suffragette and Royal Holloway alumna, was developed to provide a much needed 10,000m2 expansion of the library services, along with a student services centre, employability services and exhibition spaces.

Design Requirements

Shackerley’s large format ceramic granite panels were specified as part of a Kingspan BENCHMARK Karrier Panel system for this contemporary building which was designed to achieve Passivhaus levels of air tightness and high thermal insulation. The completed building secured a predicted EPC rating of A and BREEAM Excellent.

The charcoal grey ceramic granite cladding, used at ground floor level, provides a stark contrast with the lighter, striking colouring of the cladding on the upper floors. The objective was to create the optical illusion of an ‘elevated’ building: the darker, recessed ground floor creates the impression that the upper cantilevered storeys have been ‘lifted’ off the ground.

Ceramic granite was not only specified for its aesthetics, but also for its robust and durable characteristics and longevity of performance and appearance retention in an area of high pedestrian traffic.

Materials Used

Shackerley supplied its SureClad® ‘Rio Strutt’ ceramic granite panels, fully prefabricated in 1196 x 596mm format, working closely with facade engineering specialist, Fassaden + Architektur + Technik (FAT) to meet the requirements of the complex detailing and interface requirements.

The flexibility of the SureClad® Access installation system also enabled discrete integration of the fixing interfaces within the facade, creating a seamless base.

Martin Severa from FAT commented: “The Emily Wilding Davison Building was an extremely complex technical design and assembly due to the intricacies of the detailing, and delivery of the scheme relied on the full engagement of the facade suppliers and precision fabrication of every element.

“Shackerley was very responsive to these requirements and, thanks to the company’s in-house specialised production plant and technical expertise, we were able to install all the SureClad® bespoke detailing without a hitch.”