Specialist Contractor Award
Winner of the Specialist Contractor Award
Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, Sunderland City Hall is the new home of Sunderland City Council, and forms part of the wider £500m Sunderland Riverside regeneration scheme. Located on the old Vaux Brewery site, the six-storey structure brings together several municipal services that were previously housed on disparate sites across the city.
The building envelope is intended to evoke Sunderland’s rich marine and industrial heritage. At ground level, reconstituted stone-clad columns and beams complement the nearby Edwardian magistrates court, while generous double-height glazing forms a strong connection to the surrounding public realm. On the upper floors, slim 400mm deep aluminium profiles inset with floor-to-ceiling glazing sets up a strong rhythm across the façade. Using Schüco FW 60+ SG curtain walling, specialist contractor Dane Architectural Systems engineered bracketry to accommodate the 400mm deep fins, which span both vertically and horizontally. The fins are transformed into composite, insulated non-vision panels beside the near full-height glass vision areas, with floor spandrel panels above. Formed from Schüco profiles, the exoskeleton feature is secured back to the main curtain wall grid via a reinforced and concealed fixing arrangement.
The main entrance is constructed from Schüco FW 60+ SG curtain walling, maximising daylight and views into the central atrium. Natural lighting is further boosted in the atrium using Schüco FW 60+ rooflights with circular voids in the ceiling beneath the double-glazed units.
Solar gain is controlled using the deep aluminium sections on the façade and solar control glass in the window units. Renewable electricity comes from roof-mounted PV panels.
The judges complimented the way in which Dane Architectural Systems took on every aspect of this complex façade, expertly integrating curtain walling, aluminium fins and stone cladding to create a satisfying and convincing piece of civic architecture.