Whale Island, Portsmouth

Architects: Percy Thomas, Cardiff 1,350m² of rainscreen panels 1,000m² of sinusoidal cladding profile

This building was specifically designed as the new headquarters for a Naval Division at Whale Island. It is very close to the sea so all the cladding is in aluminium. The rotunda has been cleverly designed to give the impression of being on a ship's bridge, with fantastic views over the Solent. One of the most important requirements of the rainscreen system was that it had to follow the horizontal curtain walling modules around the elevations. This required a specialist design for the steel curved support system which was carried out, to great effect, by PDA. This also applied to the rotunda, which was made using the same fixing system as the main rainscreen panels. To meet the 15 years warranty of the coating, the panels were manufactured from marine grade aluminium and post-coated in PVF2. The semi-deep sinusoidal profile was formed from pre-coated aluminium coil with a special four coat system in PVF2. All the louvres were manufactured using the same material.