Firstsite Visual Arts Centre, Colchester

Tecu gold standing seam, roof and façade


World renowned Architect Rafael Viñoly and the manufacturers Pittsburgh Corning UK Ltd have given Colchester’s Visual Arts Centre a resilient FOAMGLAS® Cellular Glass Insulation solution with a wonderful 'Golden Glow'. The crescent-shaped building literally treads lightly on the earth. At the same time it shouts, "Look at me!" The envelope of the building is a quite intricate layered system build up. Once the portal frames were erected, the tops of which are packed with softwood to cater for any deflection, the structure is clad in steel liner trays. FOAMGLAS® READY BOARD insulation, 200 mm, was laid onto beads of a cold PC® 11 adhesive on to the metal profile deck, with no through fixings necessary. Square fixing plates PC® SP 150 / 150mm are pushed into the insulation, a torch on membrane is then applied. A fully waterproof roof is now provided by the FOAMGLAS® Cellular Glass Insulation on which the locations of the envelope’s seams and gutters are precisely mapped out in chalk. A further series of metal grips are screwed through the bitumen membrane into the fixing plates below, at 300 mm centres, providing the structure on to which the standing seams of the Tecu Gold Sheets can be folded and fixed 500 mm wide.

The façade had a FOAMGLAS® W+F slab of 100 mm applied, this was adhered using PC® 56 to the plywood substrate, with the Tecu gold sheets seamed and fixed into position.

A distinctive feature of the building is that the angles of the standing seams alternate from bay to bay, so the seams zigzag their way across the face of the building. What’s more, these seams wrap around the parapet and flow across the roof.


Client Colchester Borough Council, Colchester
Architects Raphael Viňoly Architects; Structural Engineer Adams Kara Taylor
Cladding contractor Richardson Roofing; Contractor Banner Holdings
Construction 2008
FOAMGLAS® application Roof FOAMGLAS® READY BOARD, 200 mm thick Façade FOAMGLAS® W+F slab, 100 mm thick
Cladding Tecu gold standing seam (a copper aluminium alloy) by KME





1 Metal profile deck
bonded with PC® 11
3 Serrated fixing plate
PC® SP 150 / 150
4 Torch-on waterproofing
5 Separating layer (optional)
6 Tecu gold standing seam
(copper aluminium alloy)






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