Innovation in metal Building Envelope construction/materials
Cor-ten: It’s not only the leaves that are turning brown in the New Forest in harmony at the Culham Science Centre

This is part of the Mottisfont Abbey development in the New Forest, and a recent winner of the RIBA South award. What is unusual about this particular building is that its colour matures across the first few months and years of its life, changing from a silver-grey to a warm rustic brown that blends in perfectly with the New Forest surroundings.

Both the roof and walls are produced in Cor-ten faced steel which oxidises with the weather at a rate that will depend on the environment and the surroundings so, in effect, maturing to blend in with its situation…. and the final deep brown colour then lasts forever.

The AP45HR-R roof profile was rollformed by Architectural Profiles Limited, well known for their creative thinking when faced with a challenging specification, The Cor-ten steel was produced by Lotus Steels and the Architect on the project was Burd Haward.

Cor-ten has a long history starting on the railways in America back in the 1930s where controlled corrosion was a feature of a particularly tough steel capable of withstanding the rigours of the railway coal marshalling yards. Since then it has found it way slowly into building construction where this unique, and very attractive, feature does what only it can do.

The AP45HR-R roof profile was rollformed by Architectural Profiles Limited, well known for their creative thinking when faced with a challenging specification, The Cor-ten steel was produced by Lotus Steels and the Architect on the project was Burd Haward.

An Abbey in the New Forest may be a long way from the early US railways but it nevertheless may never have got its sensitive planning permission without that early creative thinking.