Located on the Stanford Hall Estate near Loughborough in Leicestershire, the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) is a £300m centre of excellence for clinical rehabilitation. Designed in the classical style by Purcell Architects, Steffian Bradley Architects and John Simpson Architects, the 47,000-square-metre comprises series of two-storey structures organised around a series of interlocking courtyards and external gardens. Intended to complement the existing architecture, which includes grade II* listed Stanford Hall, each elevation features complex brickwork elements. IG design engineers, in collaboration with Lee Marley Brickwork, employed modern building techniques to create the brick facade and achieve the architect’s vision. More than 1000 Brick Slip Feature Arches and just under 3km of offsite cornice were manufactured and designed by IG Masonry Support.
IG’s Brick Slip Feature Arches are one-piece prefabricated units that are bespoke manufactured to order. The patented perforated stainless steel in an IG Brick Slip Feature Lintel allows the BBA approved adhesive to squeeze through the perforations and form a ‘mushroom’ on the inside. This provides a mechanical and chemical bond between the steel lintel and bricks. IG collects a consignment of bricks from site, they are then cut into 25mm brick slips and bonded to the lintel. This eliminates the need for a site-based specialist brickwork contractor. The finished Brick Slip Feature Arch blends seamlessly with the surrounding brickwork.
Consistency and quality were essential when replicating the complex brickwork elements used throughout this state-of-the-art landmark project. Creating the arches using traditional methods would have been time consuming, requiring a great deal of skilled labour and onsite brick cutting. IG Masonry Support’s offsite solutions provided greater certainty for project delivery within the ambitious construction schedule.
IG’s Brick Slip Feature Arches and offsite cornice provides the perfect solution for achieving the key architectural features on the facades. A clock tower retained from the demolished stable block on the historic estate forms the cornerstone of the main courtyard, and includes a series of impressive arches on ground floor elevations. The design of the arches vary, showcasing a collection of different classical architectural styles.
The largest freestanding arch installed on the development spans an impressive 8.6 metres, with its base sited 9.5 metres above the ground. This bespoke Brick Slip solution comprises a 0.3m deep brick soffit and a 0.8m brick face. The arch was fully installed in under an hour, demonstrating how effectively modern building methods can deliver large-scale brick features.
Crowning the brick facade of each building is a cornice demonstrating varying degrees of complexity. IG designed and manufactured a lightweight system of cornice units to achieve this architectural element. The speed at which the corbelled units were installed significantly reduced the amount of time that Lee Marley Brickwork’s team were working at heights.
IG Masonry Support’s products provide quality and consistency, which proved a major advantage for Lee Marley Brickwork. Each bespoke brick feature component was produced in a factory environment in optimum controlled conditions, free from wet weather, extreme temperature and excessive dust.
Neil King of Purcell Architects commented, “IG Masonry was instrumental in achieving more than 1000 brick arches and cornices of classical and traditional architectural styles. The IG systems were chosen for their efficiency as pre-fabricated units and to achieve the desired aesthetic. The quality and craftsmanship is apparent throughout and IG has delivered on the façade envisioned at the beginning of the project, giving the impression that the buildings vary in age and have grown over time.”
For more information on IG Masonry Support, its free design service or design partnership meetings please call 01283 200157, email or visit the website.