Located in the heart of Cardiff, the landmark Brutalist office building Brunel House, has undergone a stunning renovation and reception extension, creating an inviting and generous space on the inside, and an iconic focal point from the outside.

Led by award winning architectural practice, gpad london ltd., for Castleforge Partners, the renovation saw the construction of a lightweight glass and steel extension, housing a bright and light lobby area, mezzanine floors and a scenic café.

The curtain wall glazing provides almost endless natural light, while the well-lit double height atrium space offers improved building access through well considered design elements such as the prominent reception desk and new entrance gates.

Taking inspiration from the heavy mass concrete construction of the building, the design team chose materials to empathise with the Brutalist style, particularly focusing on robust materials such as concrete, terrazzo, glass and steel.

Solus worked with the team to supply approximately 700m2 of material from their urban, concrete inspired Format range. The tiles, which were fitted to the floor areas of the reception and the mezzanine balconies, were specified in a variety of large format sizes such as 600x1200mm and 750x1500mm. In addition, Solus also worked closely with the architects to fabricate matching step pieces featuring high quality treads.

The use of lighter colour material on the floor provides a striking contrast to the feature elements such as bronzed flat bar steel handrails and balustrades, whilst the overall colour choice provides a contemporary continuity throughout the building.

Simon Fancourt ARB RIBA, Architect at gpad london ltd, commented: “Our brief was to provide tenants with a large accessible grand reception that would impress clients visiting the building. We chose a dramatic pendant lighting installation suspended above the double height atrium to create a magical experience as you pass through the large revolving entrance doors. The 5.3m wide entrance stairs, floor to ceiling terrazzo wall panels, polished plaster columns and large format concrete floor tiles express our design intent to create a feeling of grandeur for employees and visitors alike.”

Photos by Peter Savage

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