The award winning Copper Building, designed by Ferguson Mann Architects, adds 136 new apartments to Bristol’s Lakeshore scheme, an ambitious regeneration project by Urban Splash.

COPPER BUILDING, BRISTOLPhotos: Ferguson Mann Architects / Urban Splash

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The distinctive, copper-clad four-storey building is a thoughtful solution to higher-density living, underpinned by sustainable building performance. Generous glazing is a key feature of the project, with VELFAC triple glazed slim-framed composite windows bringing extra light into apartments and communal spaces.

'Ideal for a high-profile project'

‘Having specified the VELFAC system on other projects we were confident that it would be ideal for a high-profile project such as the Copper Building,’ says project architect Nick Brown, Associate at Ferguson Mann Architects. Low energy performance (and acoustic comfort) was one reason for specifying VELFAC, but also functionality: ‘We had to install a fully reversible window system for cleaning, given the steep bank along the north boundary of the building,’ Nick explains. ‘VELFAC reversible windows were the perfect solution, as they allow residents to safely clean their windows from within their apartments without external scaffolding. In addition, AOV smoke ventilation units – a key component of the building’s fire strategy - could be seamlessly integrated within the coupled VELFAC units used to illuminate stairwells and other communal areas.’


Core to façade design

Windows are also core to façade design. The dark-framed VELFAC units are inset within bright yellow detailing to provide a dramatic contrast with the multi-hued copper cladding. While the white-painted internal timber frames disappear into white walls, the external aluminium frames feature a dark bronze anodised finished chosen to add specific impact: ‘This was an important decision,’ says Nick, ‘as the colour both complements the adjacent copper cladding, and relates sympathetically to the neighbouring Grade II-listed Lakeshore building with its distinctive exposed Cor-Ten steel frame. The ‘metallic’ effect of the anodised finish was also a deliberate move to bring some ‘life’ to the north-facing façade and was in keeping with the desired industrial aesthetic.’

VELFAC approved installation

An Approved VELFAC Installer fitted the VELFAC system as ‘a high level of design and installation coordination was required between the different cladding and window subcontractors to suit the various interfaces,’ says Nick, adding: ‘All were executed really well, and this is evident in the finished façade.’ The Copper Building was completed in late 2019, and launched to great acclaim, winning the Michelmores Property Awards: 2020 Residential Project of the Year (for 36+ units), and named ‘Residential Building of the Year’ at the 2020 Bristol Property Awards. ‘The VELFAC window installation throughout the Copper Building has been a success,’ Nick says, ‘and the entire client team at Urban Splash has been very pleased with the finished result.’



Sector: Residential development / regeneration

Client: Urban Splash

Architect: Ferguson Mann Architects

Specified for:

  • Low energy performance
  • Practical functionality
  • Uniform sightlines
  • Approved Installers

Awards: 2020 Michelmores Property Awards: Residential Project of the Year (36+ units)