A former primary school has been given a new lease of life and a contemporary look with the help of fibre cement cladding panels from Eternit.
What was the redundant, dark green Rookwood primary school in Eastleigh, Hampshire, is now the bright headquarters of Hampshire County Council’s Music Service... but it took fire and floods to get them there.
Although Eternit’s 7.5mm Glasal cladding now plays a major part in the way the building looks, the original project - to convert the school that was built in the 1980s and closed in the mid 1900s to offices for the music service - did not propose re-cladding. However, before work could start on the steel-framed building with timber-frame cladding and traditional brick and block walls, a significant fire occurred, necessitating the need for substantial repair works as well as the alterations.
What little cladding had not been damaged in the fire was defective anyway so the decision was made to replace it in its entirety. Work on the whole project took place over the winter with the modern cladding panels screw fixed by LSC Ltd onto timber battens.
The Music Service was originally housed on a site in St Bedes, south of Winchester, which was flooded out a few years before. It was then based in temporary accommodation at another site before moving into Rookwood in the spring.
Geoff Curran, a property services manager for Hampshire County Council, said: “Eternit cladding provided a durable external cladding and was certainly an improvement on the original stained plywood.
“The colour was selected by our design unit and replaced the original dark green with an off-white which made the building look more 21st Century and gave it a much brighter and crisper appearance.”