Zenith House


Collindale, London


Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects


Argeton Terracotta Cladding

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Zenith House - a £47 million regeneration in Colindale, North West London - comprises mansion blocks, mews houses and a six-pronged 18-storey tower designed to look like a sheaf of arrows. It also has commercial space, and parking for more than 500 cars and bikes.

Not your average design, but one that breathes new life into the corner of Colindeep Lane and Edgware Road.

It looks amazing now - yet at one stage the project was in danger of stalling when architects, developers and planners could not agree how to replicate the terracotta finish specified in the design. Then Taylor Maxwell got involved….

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Initially Taylor Maxwell were not appointed as a supplier at Zenith House, with various product options being proposed by each project partner.

However this became an obstacle, as Laura Marr of architects Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE) explained: “It became apparent that certain options would not get certification because they were not tried and tested solutions.”

The planning officer agreed with the architects, and soon afterwards Taylor Maxwell’s ArGeTon terracotta rainscreen facade was proposed as a solution to all the project partners.

The ArGeTon system helped solve the planning headaches and make costsavings: “The tiles were similar to the original design, and Taylor Maxwell were very helpful in working out the details.” reported Laura Marr. “The price was competitive so we worked together on a detailed design, and ensured it would achieve the certification required to get HBF approval.”

Taylor Maxwell tested some complex corner features in the design for the towers onsite with a 1:1 scale control panel which, according to Laura Marr, really persuaded the partners that ArGeTon was the way forward: “It was extremely helpful in convincing everyone that this was the right solution.”

Laura and PTE were able to choose from a wide range of ArGeTon tile colours to achieve their design vision: “Each of the six tower elements has different colours: we kept the tones quite earthy: browns and greens. The inspiration was looking at glazed terracotta tiles from train stations that have stood the test of time and are not colours that tire.”

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After the planners had been satisfied, Taylor Maxwell continued to work with the scheme’s partners to ensure the best and most cost effective results with ArGeTon.

“We worked through several options.” continued Laura Marr. “We tried variations of slim and thicker panels, and a few elevations before deciding the final setting out.”

“Taylor Maxwell also helped us make sure no tiles were wasted and make savings on the railings behind the tiles: we were working hard on achieving cost savings for the contractor while achieving the aesthetic goal and Taylor Maxwell were very helpful with that.”

At Zenith House, Taylor Maxwell used their expertise to ensure that the bold design would become reality - including the challenging corners on the towers.

“The changing faces of the elevation have obtuse and acute angles. Early on we were nervous about the cut edges of the tiles being visible. A solution was proposed to use a polyester powder coated blade in a similar tone to hide the edge of the tile: this works very effectively.” explained Laura Marr.

“Now when you’re on the balconies of the tower you’re very close to material and you can really see the corners and how it’s been detailed really well and looks excellent.”

This kind of attention-to-detail meant that both architects and developers were highly impressed with the service and support they received from Taylor Maxwell.
“The service was excellent; as good as it could possibly be.” Laura Marr reported.
“They get that value-engineering isn’t about reducing the quality of the building but about understanding where savings can be made which don’t actually affect what the building looks like.”

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01 /06

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