Winning Ways with Nordic Brass

Gluckman Smith Architects’ Font House project – recently announced as an RIBA Regional Awards winner – is defined by its palette of high quality materials, including pre-weathered Nordic Brass roofing.

Font House is located within a historic walled garden in the grounds of Grade I listed Nevill Holt Hall in Leicestershire. The new house and landscaped garden provide discreet entertainment space, supporting Nevill Holt’s Opera festival, and is at the heart of the owner’s vision of breathing new life into a historic country estate.

The design takes on a symmetrical form with the composed presence of a pavilion.  A large central reception space is framed by two simple bedrooms that project beyond the central mass of the building and overlook two ponds.  In turn, these ponds wrap around a south facing terrace that is accessed from the reception space.

The material palette draws inspiration from the surroundings and from local materials. The series of hand-crafted pre-weathered Nordic Brass roofs, encapsulating a central rooflight and set on ironstone facades, are inspired by the Hall itself.

Gluckman Smith Architects’ won the RIBA 2018 East Midlands Award for Font House, along with the Conservation award and Project architect award. The RIBA judges reported that: ‘Sitting at just the perfect height the beautifully executed roof can be glimpsed from the main hall, tempting the visitor on…the roof is a triumph’.

Nordic Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc manufactured by Aurubis. Other Nordic Copper ranges 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 Nordic Copper alloys include Nordic Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, initially with a similar colour to Nordic Standard, which gradually changes to a stable, dark chocolate brown. The innovative Nordic Royal, an alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc, enjoys a rich golden through-colour which remains very stable.

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