A new railway station, opened as part of a £50 million rail infrastructure investment programme for Worcestershire, combines functionality and aesthetic appeal, thanks to a Hunter Douglas Architectural wood ceiling.
Worcestershire Parkway is the county’s first new station for more than 100 years and provides improved connectivity between Birmingham, London, East Midlands and South Wales.
Designed by Pattern Architects in London for Worcestershire County Council, which delivered the project, the interchange is a winged bridge that enables access from several entrances. Sustainability and environmental features were key features, with part of the station building including a green roof.
Hunter Douglas Architectural was specified to supply 1000m2 of Solid Wood Siberian Larch for the bridge walkways and for the station entrance and external canopy.
Kevin Taylor, of Hunter Douglas Architectural, said the natural warmth of the wood complements the brickwork and is a good contrast to the industrial metal and wide expanse of glass within the building and walkways.
The use of a natural material also helped the architect’s aim to build with sustainability in mind, as it is the only building material that is 100% CO2 neutral and fully recyclable, he said.
“Siberian Larch is extremely durable, making it a great choice for a project like this because it copes very well with changes of humidity and temperature,” he explained. “What particularly stands out in the Worcestershire Parkway scheme is the layout, because the planks change direction, which provides an interesting visual effect.
“The installation was well executed by the installers from Miles Partitioning, under the direction of Paul Smith, and we provided technical support throughout to ensure that installers could fit it perfectly, first time.”
Hunter Douglas’s Architectural Solid Wood Linear Open system comprises wooden planks that fix to a special carrier rail by a hidden fixing clip. The planks have a smooth machined finish with a transparent lacquer on all sides, while the longitudinal gaps between planks are covered by a factory-applied black, non-woven membrane for acoustic purposes and to prevent insect ingress.
Siberian Larch, like the majority of Hunter Douglas Architectural Solid Wood ceiling and wall systems, can be supplied with FSC/PEFC certification and is Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver. Solid Wood ceilings also have a reaction to fire classification B-s2,d0 according to EN 13501-1 due to impregnation of the timber.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “The Hunter Douglas ceiling is a defining feature of our new landmark station – the first new station to be built in the county for over 100 years.
“It’s a great contrast to the building materials used in construction and lends itself perfectly to the greenery of the surrounding area. We couldn’t be more pleased with the end result and the positive impact the ceiling design has had on the overall aesthetics of the station.”