Searching for a perfect material to cover the roof and walls of two new grandstands at Aintree racecourse in England, a British design firm put its money Kalzip XT aluminum standing seam.
Designed by the Building Design Partnership (BDP), the structure features 165'-long panels that reach from the bottom of the Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton grandstand walls all the way to the peak of the overhanging roofs, curving around the eaves as they near the home straight.
Kalzip XT aluminum standing seam is a versatile product capable of being tapered, curved and twisted in 3D shapes. But on this project, the panels are punctuated with vertical slots on either side, facilitating the addition of balconies to overlook the new parade ring, which allows race goers to view events both on the starting and finishing straights, and the pre-race parade.
Richard Elsdon of BDP, England, said they specified the stucco-embossed Kalzip XT because: “It offered good value for money and a sound technical solution based on previous experience. It also complies with the life-cycle maintenance and costing requirements for the cladding systems. The stucco provides a suitable, low maintenance finish which will patina naturally over time.
“Our design also required some specialist, non-standard applications which we knew Kalzip would be able to develop with us. It was one of very few cladding materials capable of being used on the complex geometric forms of the roof and envelope design.”
The grandstands at Aintree were one of the most technically challenging projects to date for Kalzip-approved Teamkal contractor Lakesmere. To prepare its workforce for the challenge of installing the sheets at roof level, it brought in an instructor to teach them rappelling techniques.
Each individual sheet for the 4,900 sq. ft. area was designed using 3D CAD technology. This was a huge benefit because the panels at the soffits had to be twisted at different angles to follow the curves of the gutters and fascia. To complement the aluminum cladding and flashings, timber trellises were installed to the rear grandstand walls. The plan is that the trellis will eventually be covered by some sort of creeping vegitation.
In addition to providing a pleasing counterpoint to the metal, the trellis complements the larch boarding of the drum-shaped stairs and toilet towers at either side of each grandstand. The middle sets of stairs flank a central link block--a bow-fronted, glazed bridge that crosses the gateway to the racetrack. It is capped by three circular peaks of white tensile fabric.
Graham Cleland of Lakesmere said: “We had very limited space to complete the installation works and there was literally no room for error as the customized Kalzip XT panels had been specially designed for this project. Accuracy therefore was vital.”
Through the development of a new generation of roll formers, Kalzip has pioneered the manufacture of XT profiled aluminum panels. Malleable, pliable, foldable and flexible, the material is capable of being fabricated to a variety of roof shapes including ellipses, cones, spherical caps, arches, prisms, pyramids and all classical geometries.
In addition to Aintree’s two new grandstands, the $70 million project included the construction of new two-story saddling boxes, jockey changing rooms, a glass-fronted weighing room, a media center and the new parade ring.