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'Hydro' building wins renovation award

A building façade project for the University of Sunderland has been honored as overall winner of the inaugural UK Aluminium in Renovation Awards. The project - Hydro contributed to its success - will now be entered in the European competition.

The judges credited project architects for "creating something joyful with a degree of playfulness, without being frivolous. It is a completely different approach from the standard."

The façade project - the very first application in the UK of Technal's structurally glazed curtain walling system - helped revitalize a 1960s campus building, turning it into a colorful gateway to the University of Sunderland.

Bob Welsh, who heads Hydro Building Systems UK, says the project "demonstrates how buildings which until recently would have been demolished, can be revitalized in an intelligent way and become an asset to their surroundings. It also proves that standard façade systems can be used to create elegant and highly innovative architectural solutions."

The European Aluminium Renovation Awards will be announced in November in Paris. In addition to the UK's renovation award, the Sunderland project won a special prize for Cladding and Roofing.

Stripped and replaced

As part of the project, the university building was stripped to its original concrete frame, and steel windows and spandrel panels were replaced with curtain walling from Technal.

The projecting bays formed as part of the Technal system have bright panels in the university's colors, and are among the most striking elements of the "new" campus building.

The building revamp was designed by FaulknerBrowns, while AC Yule served as fabricators and installers for the façade.

Hydro Building Systems develops and sells aluminium-based building systems destined for more than 100 countries around the globe.

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