Completing the Square with Nordic Royal

Brushed Nordic Royal copper alloy fins help define a major redevelopment to complete one of Edinburgh’s historic squares.

Comprising 9,300m2 of ‘Grade A’ office space, 6,500m2 of leisure/retail and a suite of luxury apartments, the redevelopment occupies most of the southern edge of St Andrew Square in the heart of Edinburgh’s ‘New Town’ World Heritage Site. Designed by Hoskins Architects and CDA, the scheme involves a massing strategy of projections and recesses, reflecting the scale of historic plots on this side of the square.

A series of metal and stone fins enables the complex to be very ‘open’ when viewed directly, taking advantage of the extraordinary long views and maximising daylight, whilst appearing solid in oblique pedestrian views. Various metals were appraised for the fins and a group of copper alloys from Aurubis identified for long-term quality and handsome weathering.

Finally, Nordic Royal was selected – a golden alloy of copper with aluminium

and zinc, giving a rich golden through-colour that is very stable. It retains its golden colour and gradually loses some of its sheen as the oxide layer thickens with exposure to the atmosphere, resulting in a protective matt finish. In order to accelerate the process for this project, Aurubis treated the Nordic Royal to give a non-reflective, brushed surface that will then change in subtle ways over time.

Other Nordic Products from Aurubis include Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper, offering lighter or darker shades of brown determined by the thickness of the oxide layer. The extensive Nordic Blue, Nordic Green and new Nordic Turquoise ranges have been developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. As well as the solid patina colours, ‘Living’ surfaces are available for each with other intensities of patina flecks revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.

Other alloys include Nordic Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, initially with a similar colour to Nordic Standard, gradually changing to a stable, dark chocolate brown. Nordic Brass – which can also be supplied pre-weathered – is an alloy of copper and zinc with a distinctive golden yellow colour. When exposed to the atmosphere, the surface begins to darken within weeks and can change to a dark brown in around a year.

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