Dramatic ceilings for Royal College’s new London HQ

The Royal College of Pathologists’ new £15 m headquarters in London features one of Hunter Douglas Architectural’s dramatic Luxalon ceilings, ‘adding a sense of drama’ to the both the exterior and interior of the ‘spectacular new space’. The ‘purpose-built, environmentally friendly’ new facility in Alie Street is an eight-storey, 4,500 m2 building designed by award-winning architects, Bennetts Associates. It marks the final step in the College’s move from a Grade I-listed building in St James’s to contemporary, purpose-built premises. The headquarters, shortlisted for the 2019 RIBA London Award, is described as ‘a flexible and environmentally efficient building’ that will enable the College to represent its growing membership, advance its research, and provide public education services and programming.

Hunter Douglas Architectural was asked to supply its Luxalon V100 screen ceilings in RAL 7080 for the office floor and exterior canopy, ‘to create a seamless visual screen from the inside to the exterior’. Hunter Douglas said: “The V series is an increasingly popular choice for architects and interior designers seeking to maximise rooms’ original volume, while visually reducing ceiling height. The ceiling screens are engineered to define the ceiling plane, and consist of vertically hung, ‘floating’ panels.”

For this project, Hunter Douglas Architectural manufactured 250 m2 of panels in different lengths, each designed to ensure easy access to lighting, air-conditioning, and sprinkler systems. The fixing clips on the external panels are fitted on the carriers between the panels, while the internal ‘V system’ clips directly into the carrier, for secure locking. The installation contractor, Delmond Construction, worked with Hunter Douglas Architectural to ensure the angled layout was completed as specified.

Juliette Halliday, national sales manager, Hunter Douglas Architectural, said: “The versatility of the V100/200 screen ceilings range means multiple options for architects and designers to create striking patterns and visual lines that add interest and drama to any room or space.

“There are over 40 design options within the metal linear ceilings range.”

Rob Bearyman, associate director, Bennetts Associates, said: “We chose this product as we wanted a lightweight aesthetic that contrasted with the heavy in situ concrete of the lower levels. The system allowed us to continue the soffit treatment from inside to out. This helped accentuate the pavilion’s lightness, and for it to read as a floating element over

the two terraces.”