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Cutting edge cladding for G20 venue

Façade specialists James & Taylor have won a major contract to clad the new extension to ExCel London, the venue of the recent G20 summit, with a cutting-edge material that is winning international architectural acclaim.

James & Taylor are working with Grimshaw Architects to supply 2400m2 natural anodised Eyetech mesh cladding for the £160m extension, which will provide more conference facilities at the site in London’s Dockland.

James & Taylor have engineered the ExCel façade to appear increasingly transparent as the eye travels upwards, using a decreasing strand width for the mesh, from 40mm at the bottom to 20mm at the top. The company is supplying five different panels each 1200mm X 2400mm for the 12m high façade, which is due to complete by the end of the year.

Andrew Tetlow of Grimshaw Architects said: "We chose Eyetech because it is a marvellous unifying material for two elements of the building that are so different. The conference centre sits above the building’s service zone, which is visually unattractive. So the solid-looking mesh at the bottom will screen duct-work and grilles, while the more transparent aspect towards the top will allow light in as it soars off, disappearing into the sky above."

The new ExCel extension will increase the venue’s event space by 50%, and includes a 15,000-seat convention centre. ExCel London will play a central role in 2012, hosting seven Olympic and five Paralympic events.

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