The new entrance building at Loughborough College, UK features a highly visible public façade created using the CORIUM brick cladding system in 15 different colours. The £15 million entrance building for the performing and visual arts centre at Loughborough College has transformed the public gateway to the college.

Ben Harris from lead contractor Willmott Dixon said the ambitious campus makeover quite literally turned Loughborough College around with the façade making a clear statement about the institution being “modern, forward looking and confident”.

Known as the Hub, the new building is home to a visual and performance academy equipped with professional facilities such as industry standard music studios, a 250-seat theatre, textile rooms, photography studios and dark rooms. The Hub also houses a restaurant.

The curved brick cladding façade uses 15 different colours of the CORIUM brick cladding system, selected by the architect at IBI Group UK to replicate the spines of books within the first floor library. The CORIUM system was specifically chosen to instil a level of confidence that the delivered elevation would be crisp and precise with a high quality finish. The CORIUM system was specified in stack bond, with the whole brick façade changing in colour as the sun passes each day.

Ben Harris explained that one of the project’s biggest challenges was finding a brick finish with a colour scheme that was acceptable to both the architect and the planners. To get the bricks approved by the planners, they had to provide several brick samples in different colours before they were ultimately satisfied.

Discussions about the colour scheme that began during the design stages lasted well into the building phase, putting pressure on the delivery schedules of the time-bound project. Beyond the colour scheme, project partners working on the Hub also had to address concerns over structural loading issues arising out of the use of a brick cladding system. However, the entire project was completed within 58 weeks.

Despite these challenges, the final outcomes met the expectations of all the stakeholders. Ben Harris adds that the CORIUM system goes up at a real speed and achieves a significant visual impact. Additionally, the backing rails provide a waterproof shell for the external envelope of the building.

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