Beak Street

40 Beak Street is a prestigious new build project in the heart of Soho, London.

NES were given the opportunity of providing the Section 106 Public Art works for the facade.
This was on a design, manufacture and installation basis.

This encompassed an angled coping to the top line of the building and a large 'goal post' window reveal in the pitch of the corner.
The cladding material is 40mm thick cast aluminium. To the top a powder coated flashing has been included to seamlessly frame the angled casting.

There was an extensive design team on the project. This included the initial visual design from leading London architecture practice Stiff & Trevillion Architects.
NES have previously enjoyed working with S&T on 20 Eastbourne Terrace and 201 Borough High Street.

In conjunction with the client the public art specialist Lee Simmons was awarded the commission. Lee has previously worked in a number of Standout Commissions in central London. Lee bought a wealth of expertise with cast metals and three dimensional sculptural objects. The 3D CAD file for the "pattern" tooling was provided by Lee. This allowed for an exact reproduction in aluminium of the digital file as it was directly transposed. Throughout the process Lee was central to the process. This ensured that the assorted joint gaps, finishes and lacquers were in line with the visual intent. One of the key elements of the castings was for the nosing’s of the grooves to be grount back with a linear brushing. The grooves were left in their glass bead blasted rough state. This creates a surface contrast between the nosing’s and the grooves on the casting.

Veretec were responsible for the detailed design on the project. For such a small building the level of design detailing was incredible. Veretec's attention to detail and insistence not only the right way but the best way was a rewarding challenge.
During the design process the question of how to protect the aluminium came up. Cast aluminium if left in free air will create a white oxide deposit on the surface. While this is not terminal to the performance of the aluminium it does look patchy and unappealing. The original intent had been for a clear 2 part wet spray epoxy lacquer to be used to create a seal on the surface of the aluminium. Unfortunately the lifetime of this product only holds a warranty for pre-etched and undercoated aluminium. This is partly due to the face cast aluminium has air pockets and is porous. The lifetime and aesthetic limitations were found with 3 other alternatives in the wet spay PVDF and powder coating clear lacquer space. The best finish from a warranty perspective was to accept you were going to lose the actual aluminium colour and powder coat an anthracite or metallic silver onto the casting. This would enable a 25 year external warranty. In the end a cutting edge new technology using clear matt nano lacquer was used. This is a ceramic based lacquer that forms a covalent bond with the surface of the aluminium. The lacquer has an organic element allowing it to expand with the thermal movement of the castings. Also following a maintenance regime it can be maintained in situ.

On the mechanics side NES manufactured a grade 316 stainless steel bracket system. This allows for any of the panels on the building to be individually removed for maintenance or replacement.

Project details:
Lead Contractor: Henry Construction
FaçadeContractor: Datum
Concept architect: Stiff + Trevillion Architects
Project Architect: Veretec Architects
Public Artist: Lee Simmons


Beak Street Related Products

Follow links below to review related products