Leading rainscreen cladding manufacturer, Proteus Facades,continue their success with award-winning architect Broadway Malyan, this time using perforated cladding to create a striking and eye-catching aesthetic for the West Yorkshire History Centre, based in Wakefield.

Broadway Malyan, based in Manchester city centre, have won more than 240 awards since their inception in 1967, which recently included being shortlisted for the International Practice of the Year honour at The Architects’ Journal AJ100 Awards.

The architectural team specified the Proteus SC Tray Panel system to create single-skin perforated panels, which form bold and sweeping diagonal patterns across the facade.

This perforated skin wraps around the entire building, and it delivers an extremely unique aesthetic. It is executed in polyester powder-coated aluminium and the perforations deliver several degrees of opaqueness.

During the day, the cladding uses natural light to create a feeling of weightlessness, which avoids points where the solid facade dominates the surroundings, and during the evening, it includes back-lighting to accentuate the effects and to forge a dramatic and ever-changing facade.

The end result is a facade which “floats” over the underlying structure, as the diagonally-swept perforations create a 20-metre high building to deliver a modern and innovative new outlook for the West Yorkshire History Centre.

To match the vision of designers, all perforated panels were manufactured to a specific drawing reference and to millimeter tolerances by Proteus Facades. These included changing the location, number and layout of all perforations on every panel, whilst hole pitches needed variation to ensure that the centre’s would pass seamlessly over panel joints.

Joanna Cebrat, project architect at Broadway Malyan, commented: “Our initial design concept for this project was one that had a perforated facade to create a striking visual effect during that day and at night. We choose to work with Proteus because they demonstrated an ability to manufacture the panels to exacting tolerances and that was critical to creating this stunning, geometric form.”

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system, available in solid, perforated and expanded mesh formats, with a wide variety of metals, colours, textures and forms available.

These particular single-skin perforated panels were manufactured from 4-millimetre sheet metal with an Alesta February 4 powder coated-paint for the finish.

Every perforated panel was supported by the Proteus aluminium carrier system, whilst the ancillary components were anchored to the underlying masonry structure.

All of this allowed panels to be fixed, which accentuated the sheer, smooth facade that is interrupted only by the perforated design.

The rail system supplied by Proteus Facades, comprises a 125mmx 50mmmullion, specifically designed to span floor to floor with large cantilevers fixed from the first-floor slab, connecting to the bespoke designed steel work at the roof level in order to allow the building to form the required profile.

The hanging system which supports the panels at the arrow head of the building also required a bespoke design from Proteus Facades in order to achieve the desired visual requirements set by the designers, along with creating a robust roofline in this elevated, exposed position.

Meanwhile, the cladding contractors in the project were Longworth Building Envelope Services, with Bardsley Construction acting as the main contractors.

Proteus Facades engineered the panels around the project’s specific budget requirements in order to achieve the best possible outcome for both the client and the architects.

The £6.4 million development was jointly funded by five West Yorkshire Councils, along with West Yorkshire Joint Services and with a £3.9 million grant provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The West Yorkshire History Centre currently houses more than 10 million historical records in an environment which has strict controls over the levels of natural light and temperature allowed inside the building.