London Bridge Station

NES has recently completed the Corten Column Cladding at London Bridge Station. This is the link between the underground and the network rail station. The original quadripartite vaulted ceiling was also exposed during these works. The initial design was for perforated stone column cladding. The cost and risk of damage involved with this moved the concept on to steel cladding. Different surface finishes were explored in bronze, blackened steel and Corten.

There was a number of features the finish needed to achieve:
• It needed to contrast with the colour pallet of the floor and ceiling finishes.
• It needed to have an inconsistent organic texture and colour patina. This is to reference the caustic, neo-industrial style of the stations Victorian manufacturing heritage.
• Finally, it had to be robust enough for the environment. This includes minimising the rust brush off, Class O fire safety, bomb blast requirements and in situ maintenance.

The chosen finish was the chemically rusted Corten Steel from NES Architectural. This has a number of layers of rusting to build up the texture of the rust layer in a controlled environment. On top of the Corten’s rust patina, a clear matt lacquer is wet sprayed to the face. This is built up in four to six layers to get the lacquer thick enough to accommodate the high texture of the face and rigours of the station environment.

The Corten Cladding was specified as 10mm. Initially thinner steel was discussed however, the thick metal and the sold M20 bolts reinforce the industrial Victorian feel of the column cladding. This can be seen in some of the other classic architecture in the London Rail and Underground Station columns. Practically the columns are backed with 100mm acoustic mineral wool to absorb and refract the sound in this area. NES has 15 sq. meters of the cladding panels achieved an absorption coefficient as high as 0.9 at 500 hertz Frequency.

The site installation has some challenges installing the half columns in close proximity to the retail shop front glazing to both sides of the columns. The flooring had already been pre laid and featured a slant. This means each line of 2 full and 2 half columns is a different height. The cladding panels had to be fitted on an invisible fix hook on system with the ability to be moved for site tolerances and in relation to the other sheets as they are bolted together for aesthetic reasons. The top cap of the columns features a removable section allowing for bother the LED wall washer uplighters and the M&E services behind the cladding to be accessible.

Project details:
Scope:Design, manufacture and installation
Quantity: 18 full columns and 18 half columns
Client: Network Rail
Lead Contractor: Costain Group
Lead Architect: London Bridge Station
Consultant Architect: Grimshaw Architects
Completion date: Dec 2017


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