Levolux dresses up Primark

The newly refurbished Primark store in Newcastle’s city centre now boasts around 114,600 sq feet of reconfigured retail space, and a remodelled exterior featuring a radical external Screening Solution by Levolux.

Thanks to a re-design by 3DReid architects, the building has undergone a dramatic transformation, shedding its concrete façade in exchange for one that is ultra-modern, ornate and energy efficient.

As the UK’s leading solar shading specialist, Levolux was invited to develop an integrated screening solution that wraps around two elevations. The solution comprises both solid and perforated aluminium Fins and panels, with additional roof screening Louvres.

In contrast with conventional high street refurbishment projects, which are dominated by large expanses of glass, the Primark scheme stands apart by incorporating an outer layer of aluminium louvres and panels. These combine effectively to create a functional, yet highly decorative envelope.

The screening solution is designed to give the Primark store a new, ultra-modern identity with integrated branding and signage. At the same time, perforated panels provide shade to glazed openings, which improves comfort levels for occupants, while reducing the need for air-conditioning.

In total, Levolux installed 301 vertical Fabricated Fins at high level across the store’s two main frontages. An unusual ‘wine glass’ shaped profile was chosen, which tapers in width from 300mm at the rear, to just 50mm across its front edge.

The Fins, which have a maximum length of 4.5 metres and a depth of 300mm, create an attractive screen that enhances the building’s external appearance. They also provide a supportive grid, into which a series of perforated frames and branding panels could be integrated.

The vertical Fins are fixed at 700mm centres at high level, but this increases to 1.4 metres at first and second floor levels, to accommodate a series of perforated frames.

Each frame is formed from four perforated and folded aluminium panels, fixed back to the surrounding vertical Fins. The frames have bevelled edges and are truncated from top to bottom, creating a series of full height openings.

Elsewhere, the ‘Primark’ name has been indelibly etched into the fabric of the building, thanks to the incorporation of specially designed perforated panels fixed at high level on two elevations. The branding panels are perforated with 5mm wide slots, but larger 10mm wide slots have been engineered to form letters. At almost 3 metres in height and 15 metres in length, the Primark name becomes clearly visible from street level.

In addition, to complement the horizontal branding panels, Levolux installed a series of folded aluminium panels, arranged vertically, with the Primark name laser cut into the surface. Each vertical branding panel measures 4 metres in height and 750mm in width, and is fixed back to the vertical Fins.

To create a contrasting aesthetic, the screening fins, perforated frames and branding panels are illuminated from above and below at night, thanks to integrated light fittings.

To complete the installation, Levolux applied its Contour screening louvres on the fifth floor to screen the building’s main plant room. Two louvred facades have been formed, using extruded aluminium ‘S’ profile blades, arranged horizontally, set at a 75mm pitch.

The louvred facades have a combined length of more than 14 metres, with a maximum height of 2.5 metres and are fitted with a birdmesh backing. Double louvred doors are incorporated to allow easy access to plant and equipment for servicing and maintenance.

The Contour Louvres on the fifth floor and all supporting aluminium components are finished in a light grey powder coating. In contrast, all facing aluminium components, such as the vertical Fins and perforated panels, have been given an attractive bronze Analok anodised finish, in one of three colours.

The refurbishment of Primark’s flagship store in Newcastle will provide a welcome boost to the local economy, not least by creating hundreds of jobs. By utilising highly sustainable and attractive features, such as the screening solution by Levolux, leading retailers can help fuel a high street revival.

For more information please visit www.levolux.com.