Rooms with a view

A new student accommodation scheme in Chester is making the most of its picturesque canalside location thanks to an attractive glazing package from Senior Architectural Systems.

Taking inspiration from its location next to Chester’s famous Shropshire Union Canal, The Towpath development offers modern student accommodation facilities across two four-storey and one three-storey blocks.

Installed by Kingfisher Windows Ltd for main contractor Watkins Jones, Senior’s aluminium curtain walling, windows and doors were specified for use on all three buildings of the new development. Senior’s thermally-efficient SPW600e windows and SPW600 doors were chosen for the use within the individual apartments, many of which feature attractive balconies that overlook the canal.  The communal areas of the scheme feature Senior’s robust SPW501 aluminium doors, with the slim sightlines offered by Senior’s popular SF52 curtain walling enhancing the sense of light and space across the lower ground floors.

The facades of the individual buildings have been created using different materials, with a striking mix of traditional brickwork, pre-coated zinc cladding and cedar timber cladding.  Working with different interfaces meant that the installation of the fenestration package required careful planning and this was skilfully executed by the Kingfisher team.  Close coordination with the other trades on site was also vital to ensuring that the construction programme remained on schedule, particularly as the windows had to be installed before work on the brickwork façade was completed.

Owing to the close proximity of the new student accommodation development to existing properties on the canalside, including a large number of residential properties, the acoustic performance of the fenestration package was also a key consideration.

Something old, something new…

The architectural grandeur of a former Masonic Hall has provided the inspiration for a new sixth form campus for d’Overbroeck’s College in Oxford which features glazing solutions from Senior Architectural Systems’ Hybrid range.


Designed by TSH Architects, the new sixth form college is located at the site of the city’s former Masonic Hall which dates back to 1823 and which has been sympathetically restored and extended to provide a number of new facilities.  The construction materials for the new build elements, which comprise a new sixth form college and separate hall, have been carefully specified to both complement and enhance the existing Italianate Villa style of the older building. Doors, windows and curtain walling from Senior’s innovative Hybrid range, which features aluminium on the exterior to provide a durable and low maintenance solution and engineered timber on the interior for a natural look and feel, provided the perfect solution.

Fabricated and installed by Soundcraft Doors and Windows for main contractor Kingerlee Ltd, Senior’s Hybrid series 3 curtain walling system and Hybrid series 1 windows were installed to give a light and spacious feel to the two-storey teaching building and to provide exceptional views of the surrounding parklands. As well as complementing the existing architecture of the site, Senior’s high-performance Hybrid system also ensured that the required U-values and thermal efficiency requirements were successfully met.


Senior’s Hybrid curtain wall and windows were also installed to the college’s new hall that is adjacent to the main building and which provides dining facilities and a 180-seat auditorium for performance and events.  A key challenge, and one which illustrates both Soundcraft’s skill as an installer and the design flexibility of Senior’s Hybrid range, was the creation of the hall’s curved elevation that features a complex faceted curtain wall screen.

To complete the fenestration package, Soundcraft also installed Senior’s robust SPW501 aluminium doors, with an attractive feature of the college’s main building being an attractive 300mm deep entrance door system.


Senior’s glazing gives luxury car showroom a sleek design

Aluminium curtain walling, windows and doors from Senior Architectural Systems are helping to drive sales at the new Mercedes Benz Inchcape car showroom in Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port,  by providing a highly visible and attractive glazed façade.

Installed and fabricated by Crystal Architectural Aluminium for main contractor Hantall Developments, the new car showroom has been designed by Fletcher Smith Architects.  The main facade benefits from Senior’s popular SF52 aluminium curtain walling which is ideally suited for use in the retail sector thanks to its attractive slim sightlines that maximise the scale of Ellesmere Port, the building and perfectly showcase both the company’s brand and the cars on display.

As well as offering enhanced thermal efficiency to contribute to a more comfortable internal environment for customers, the low U-values that the SF52 aluminium curtain wall system offers can also help to reduce the overall carbon calculations of car showroom schemes that are traditionally heavily dependent on the use of artificial lighting and air conditioning.

Senior’s SF52 curtain walling has been further complemented by the use of its SPW600 aluminium windows and commercial SD doors, which together help to provide a light and welcoming space for customers.

Local MP visits powder-coater

Leading aluminium powder-coater Powdertech Corby was visited recently by local MP, Tom Pursglove.

Tom, one of the youngest MPs in the Commons, won the Corby and East Northamptonshire seat in the 2015 General Election, and retained it in 2017.

During his visit, Tom met with Powdertech Corby’s Richard Besant and Giles Ashmead, who is also Aluminium Federation President, and with Ian Oliver from the Aluminium Federation. He was also given a guided tour of the Powdertech Corby plant, including its new ‘chrome-free’ pretreatment facility.


Senior sporting a new look

Working up a sweat in York St. John University’s new state of the art sports centre is set to be a more comfortable experience thanks to a range of thermally-efficient fenestration from Senior Architectural Systems.

Designed to provide exceptional energy efficiency, Senior’s SF52 aluminium curtain walling system was the ideal choice for architects Watson Batty and main contractor Triton Construction.  To further ensure a pleasant interior environment that reduces the reliance on mechanical heating and cooling systems,  fabricator Aire Valley Architectural Systems also installed Senior’s thermally broken SPW600e aluminium windows and SPW501 aluminium doors.



The attractive slim sightlines of Senior’s SF52 curtain walling has also helped to maximise the sense of light and space and has been used to create a welcoming entrance to the new two-storey building.

The new sports centre, which is part of York St John University’s School of Sport, comprises an indoor sports court, gym facilities, changing room and also creative learning spaces for students.

New 6000 alloy from Constillium

Constellium has introduced a new high-strength 6000-series aluminium alloy. Christened Constellium HSA6, the alloy is aimed at serving the growing market for lightweight aluminium alloys within the automotive manufacturing sector.

Constellium HSA6 is designed for extrusion-based crash management systems, body-in-white structural components, and battery enclosures. The alloy is more malleable while retaining tensile strength, making shaping the alloy into desired configurations easier than with previous alloys. Additionally, this new alloy is between 15 and 30 percent lighter than its predecessors, translating into even greater weight savings than with other already light aluminium alloys.

“With Constellium HSA6, we are able to offer automakers a family of the highest strength 6000-series aluminium alloys available on the market for extruded automotive components,” explained Constellium’s Martin Jarrett.
Although the alloy has only just been released, it has already been slated to be used in the next model year of the MINI Countryman.

BCAST joins Aluminium Federation

The Aluminium Federation has welcomed its latest member, BCAST.

BCAST is an academic research centre on the campus of Brunel University, focusing on the solidification of metallic materials. Established in 2002, it is one of the world’s strongest solidification research groups, now comprising over 70 academics, research fellows, postgraduate researchers, technicians and administrative staff.

“We have had contact with BCAST since its launch, and joining ALFED guarantees an even closer working relationship in future,” said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “Casting in aluminium is a rapidly developing area, and ALFED members such as Innoval Technology, Constellium and JLR are already working with BCAST.”


BCAST’s Professor Geoff Scamans said: “The Aluminium Federation is interested in novel technology that has the potential to make a step change in the casting of aluminium alloys, and their ability to be processed into high-performance castings and wrought products – particularly if this can be achieved with recycled metal.

“The melt conditioning technology developed by BCAST has major potential for exploitation by the UK aluminium industry to provide closed-loop recycled, high-performance, low-cost castings, extrusions and sheet for applications such as lightweight automotive bodies. There is a natural synergy between the interests of ALFED and the technological advances made by BCAST, making it highly appropriate that BCAST should become members of ALFED.”

Windows that make the grade

Senior Architectural Systems’ innovative PURe range of aluminium windows has been specified for use on several new projects in the student accommodation sector.

One of the largest contracts to feature Senior’s windows is The Courtyard scheme at the University of Hull (left).  Comprising five separate blocks based around two central courtyards, the development has been designed by GSS Architecture and offers a range of facilities in addition to high-specification student accommodation. The extensive fenestration package also features Senior’s thermally efficient SF52 aluminium curtain walling.


Further projects in this sector include two new student residences in Sheffield. The new Sharman Court scheme offers students high-specification accommodation, featuring Senior’s PURe aluminium windows for architects Kelsey Design Associates.

Also in Sheffield, The Printworks (left) is another great example of purpose-built modern student living. Designed by Axis Architecture, PURe windows and SCW curtain walling have been installed throughout the six-storey building for developers Noble Design & Build.

As well as offering slim sightlines to create bright and airy interiors, aluminium significantly outperforms other types of framing material in terms of its durability to provide a low-maintenance solution that is both safe and secure.

Lotus bought by Geely

Chinese vehicle maker Geely has announced its purchase of Proton Cars – including a 51% stake in Lotus Cars.

This underpins the development of future Lotus models – including the planned ‘new Elise’ (concept impression below), due in 2010.

All current Lotus models use a varient of Lotus’ aluminium ‘tub’ chassis, made mainly from extrusions. The new 2020 model is believed  to use similar construction.



Senior brings light and space to new Cambridge school the first new secondary school to be built in Cambridge for 40 years, the recently completed Trumpington Community College has been given a bright and modern design that features aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling systems from Senior Architectural Systems.

Designed by Avanti Architects, the new school has been based on the Danish school models, which encourages large open plan and unstructured teaching areas and as such, boasts a light and spacious interior that has been accentuated by the extensive use of aluminium fenestration systems across all elevations.

Positioned around a central atrium that maximises the flow of natural light, the L shaped building features Senior’s thermally efficient SCW+ and SF52 curtain walling, SPW 300 aluminium tilt and turn windows and SPW501 aluminium commercial doors that are ideally suited for high traffic environments such as schools.  In keeping with the school’s sustainable design criteria, Senior’s thermally efficient SF52 structural silicone glazed curtain walling system has been installed to the entrances to the school and sports centre building and along the elevation that houses the kitchen and dining areas.

All Senior’s products have been fabricated and installed by Soundcraft Doors & Windows for main contractor Morgan Sindall.