Pendock brings high-quality architectural linings to an award-winning motorway service station near Leeds.
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Designed by Architecture 519 (now Corstorphine & Wright Architects), Leeds Skelton Lake Services is an award-winning motorway service area (MSA) located at Junction 45 on the M1. Sited within a 40,000-square-metre country park, the environmentally sensitive project employs a series of large undulating green roofs supported by exposed glulam beams. Inside, generous double-height spaces and clerestory glazing provide high levels of daylighting and a welcoming atmosphere. Forming a key component of the interior fit-out are a series of bespoke architectural linings from Pendock’s Linea range. In discussion with Gavin Byram, Pendock’s Technical Project Manager, Architecture Today’s Technical Editor, John Ramshaw, explores the design and specification process, how the principal technical challenges were overcome, and what was done to ensure onsite accuracy and quality.
The GRP bulkhead lining is derived from Pendock’s Linea range
What was the brief and how was the design developed?
The brief, which came from main contractor Morgan Sindall, was to supply bulkhead linings at first floor level and pilaster linings on the ground floor. The former is designed to conceal the steel floor structure, while the latter provide an attractive finish to the open shop fronts.
For the bulkhead linings, the concept was to mimic the shape of the steel floor beams, which follow a gentle curving radius. This was favoured for both aesthetic and practical reasons, as it provided a convenient and clearly defined space for shop signage within the vertical ‘web’. It was decided to manufacture the bulkheads in moulded GRP, so that the lightweight linings could accurately and smoothly follow the changing line of the steel floor structure. Added to this, the material’s pliability meant that it would be more forgiving when it came to fixing on site and adapting to reasonably constructional tolerances. A GRG-based lining, by contrast, would be prone to cracking if used on this type of application. The bulkhead itself comes from Pendock’s Linea range, and is part of the company’s standard GRP offering. However, the design and finish are bespoke to the project, which is typical of the way the company works. It is worth pointing out that linings from the Linea range can also be manufactured in plywood, MDF, compact laminate, HPL, stainless steel and aluminium, as well as textured metals.
The bespoke pilaster linings are made from GRG and are part of the Linea range
The bespoke pilaster linings are also derived from the Linea range. Here, GRG was specified for reasons of fire safety, material compatibility (with the drylined walls above), and ease of finishing and painting. The material also lends itself to moulding, which enabled 30mm radiused corners to be incorporated into the design, ensuring that there are no sharp edges around the shop fronts. A recessed, 1mm thick stainless steel kickplate is bonded to the base of each pilaster for added protection and durability. While it was not a requirement on this project, Linea pilaster casings can be designed to accommodate additional services, such as mains sockets, fire alarms and CCTV.
The moulded bulkhead lining follows a curving radius on site
What were the main technical challenges and how were these resolved?
The bulkheads were perhaps more challenging than usual due to the radiused design of the shop fronts. The only way that we could accurately manufacture the linings was to template the bulkhead on site. This involved taking thin sheets of hardboard and overlaying them on the steelwork. The timber was then cut to the line of steel beams, before being taken back to the factory and used to form the curved moulds for GRP linings.
The pilasters incorporate stainless steel kickplates for added durability
In the case of the pilaster linings, we carefully measured each shop front on site before commencing manufacture. The demise line that runs across the retail frontage usually ensures greater consistency, but we still had to check for construction anomalies on the sides of the columns and changes in floor-to-ceiling heights caused by multiple shopfitters working across different stores. One of Pendock’s USPs is that it relies on its own detailed surveys as a means of producing bespoke solutions that accurately line or conceal whatever is actually present on site – rather than what is shown on the drawings. For example, we often find rainwater pipes and other services packed around columns, as a means of solving unforeseen problems.
Following the survey, all the Pendock items were drawn up and scheduled. Every pilaster and bulkhead casing was numbered and marked up on plan drawing, making onsite installation clear and straight forward. Due to the level of detailed fitting required, Pendock was contracted as supplier and installer.
What fixing methods were used onsite and how did Pendock ensure accuracy and quality
The decorative nature of the linings meant that the client wanted to see neat, clean lines with no visible fixings. As a result, the bulkhead linings are largely bonded to the timber subframe. Mechanical fixings are also used, but these are located beneath and concealed by the store signage panels. The pilaster linings are mechanically fixed into a timber subframe, with the counter-sunk screwheads filled, sanded, refilled then given three coats of paint along with the rest of the items.
In one area of the plan, we found that a corner angle had been changed following our survey. This necessitated remoulding a new section of GRP lining to suit the as found site condition. Post-installation, the bulkhead linings and pilasters were wrapped with thick corrugated plastic sheets to protect them from accidental damage during final site clear up.
For more information on Pendock’s products and services please call 01952 580590, email, or visit the website.