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The manufacturer's curtain walling, windows and doors have been used on a new visitor centre.

Architectural aluminium glazing systems by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer have been used on a ground-breaking development for a famous UK institution.

Kawneer's AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling, AA®540 top-hung casement window vents and series 190 heavy duty commercial entrance doors feature externally and internally on The Royal Mint Experience which showcases The Royal Mint's coin minting operations within a purpose-built visitor attraction for the first time in its 1,000-year history.

The AA®540 window vents were specially fabricated by approved specialist sub-contractor AB Glass to match the oxidised stainless steel cladding panels used on the façade of tessellating hexagons which mimic the shape of coins. The colours within these subtly change with the movement of the sun.

Designed by Rio Architects to a BREEAM “Very good” rating, the £9 million building was constructed over a year by main contractor ISG of steel frame with concrete floors and precast concrete plinths with insulated composite metal cladding to the roof and walls, and the walls then overclad in the hexagonal panelling.

Comprising a visitor foyer, exhibition hall, café/catering kitchen, education facilities, staff offices and ancillary spaces over 1,700m2, the world-class centre also allows visitors to access a factory tour overlooking circulating coin production areas of the Royal Mint site. Located in Llantrisant, South Wales, an adjoining car park was built to accommodate visitor parking.

Rio senior associate Eldon Lewis said: “We worked closely with The Royal Mint to create a building whose concept draws on elements of the process of minting coins such as the use of quality materials and craftsmanship. The Royal Mint's artistic endeavour is something to be celebrated and, as such, reflected in the design of The Royal Mint Experience attraction.

“We also worked closely with the client, contractor and design team to incorporate the requirements of The Royal Mint's security department.”

Kawneer's systems help to provide light into and out of the building, access and natural ventilation, with their aluminium composition providing longevity.

“They met the aesthetic and performance requirements as anticipated. The cap system enabled the framed system to be incorporated seamlessly using perimeter insulated aluminium composite closure sections, with EPDM seals fitted internally between the frame and abutting composite cladding panels,” said Richard Roberts.

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint's director of commemorative coin, said: "As Britain's oldest manufacturer and the world's largest export mint, our vision was to create an exciting new visitor attraction that reflected the quality of the centuries of craftsmanship and contemporary innovation for which The Royal Mint is known. The enthusiasm and flare that has gone into designing The Royal Mint Experience has given us a building that we can be very proud of - and it is certainly worthy of our aim to be recognised as the world's best mint.”

Jon James, ISG's western regional director, commented: “The Royal Mint is the UK's oldest manufacturer and currently produces currency for around 60 countries. The Royal Mint Experience provides an opportunity for visitors to see a coin minting operation of world renown.

“The project is not only prestigious, it is also a complex scheme spread across two sites with both environmental and aesthetic considerations.”


Image: The Royal Mint retains copyright ownership of all images. These may only be used for editorial purposes and cannot be sold or used for other marketing purposes without the permission of The Royal Mint.

For further information: www.royalmint.com/experience  

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