- D5 Architects
Reynaers Knowledge Centre
Reynaers Knowledge Centre is a space for clients to immerse themselves in products, meetings and learning opportunities. Designed around the concept of flexibility for different visitor types, the Centre offers a state-of-the-art showroom as well as meeting spaces for clients, training sessions for fabricators and installers as well as CPD for architects.
Drama and prominence
In essence Reynaers Knowledge Centre is a modern refurbished industrial unit, but in actuality it’s a subtle yet dramatic exploration of light, space and freedom of movement made possible by Reynaers’ impressive range of window, door and curtain walling products.
Originally inhabited by international automotive supplier DRÄXLMAIER, the site in Birmingham’s Northfield parish provides a well-connected and spacious platform for the new Centre. The neighbouring parish, Longbridge, has a rich automotive heritage and is home to the Austin Mini. Whilst the famous MG Rover plant collapsed in 2005, a regeneration of the area is in progress with business still very much booming in Birmingham’s southern fringe.
Whilst Reynaers had a solid brief of what Reynaers Knowledge Centre needed, the design and spatial route was designed by locally-based D5 Architects. Martin Rennie, Partner at D5 Architects, has been working with Reynaers for many years. When Reynaers began planning its new premises, D5 won a competitive three-way pitch for the project, which was completed alongside contractors A&H Construction.
Martin said "For us the challenge was to design a flexible space for Reynaers’ myriad visitors and to showcase the product range, all the while creating something much more unique than a standard warehouse unit. By using 3D models in Revit we were able to better visualise the project and test out different materials, fascia colours and office layouts. It was a collaborative effort with Reynaers to realise our design ambitions and fulfil their brief, and the result is something we’re all very proud of".
It was a collaborative effort with Reynaers to realise our design ambitions and fulfil their brief, and the result is something we’re all very proud of
D5 Architects are an award winning practice with extensive experience and expertise in design led, client focused, bespoke buildings for end users.
A design led practice, with clear commercial understanding and a strong team focused on producing quality both in terms of appearance and functionality.
Visitors are greeted into Reynaers Knowledge Centre through an automatic door beneath a sleek cantilever running the length of the building. They enter into a double-height showroom and reception area and can travel up the stairs on to a viewing platform overlooking the showroom. This allows guests to experience a true representation of the scale and quality of the products on display, including multi-level curtain walling, bifolding doors and accessible windows.
Infinite views with Hi-Finity corner
The staircase is followed externally with diagonal lines lifting Reynaers’ CW 50 Structurally Clamped curtain walling up into the cantilever, where visitors are then welcomed into a first-storey meeting room that boasts floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass. The Hi-Finity open-corner sliding door system means a complete removal of barriers between indoors and outdoors and a feeling of weightlessness.
Charcoal façades create a rhythmic feel, offset with panels of glazing to add verticality. The building is north-facing with no solar gain in the summer, meaning that office staff sit behind the first-storey run of glass, an open-plan working environment flooded with natural light and fresh air. A mixture of mechanical and natural ventilation is integrated, including Reynaers CS 77 Parallel Opening Windows and hidden-vent CS 86 High Insulation tilt/turn windows.
The high quality of materials and adventure into the design reflects the prominence of the building and of the aluminium systems company in the glazing industry. Reynaers made a £6 million investment in the facility due to its ongoing success in the UK commercial and residential markets, as well as its new avenue of trade suppliers.
For John McComb, Technical Director at Reynaers, the Centre represents years of growth and provides a perfect platform for the future of the aluminium systems company. He said: "I’ve been with Reynaers for more than 20 years and our old premises was tired, we’d long outgrown it. Our new UK headquarters needed to showcase where we are, at the cutting edge of glazing systems technology, as well as giving us room to further grow in years to come. The old building was less than five miles away so the transition was completed smoothly, and visitors are responding to it really well – it’s very different to our industrial neighbours".
Our new UK headquarters needed to showcase where we are, at the cutting edge of glazing systems technology
“Not only does the building make efficient use of space and light, it’s also incredibly energy efficient. It’s 2.5 times the size of our old premises with running costs at a third of what they were. All lighting is equipped with motion sensors to save energy, and the high-insulation glazing means we benefit from the sun’s warmth without feeling the cold in winter.”
The existing unit was stripped back to its core and extended by almost 3,000m2, giving 7,800m2 of space for the warehouse, training centre and testing rig, offices, showroom and conferencing facilities. The new warehouse facility has increased stock-holding by 200%, allowing Reynaers to offer a more comprehensive range with shorter lead times to trade customers.
Interested in visiting the Reynaers Knowledge Centre? The showroom is open to Trade Professionals - Fabricators, Installers, Architects and Project Developers. If you are interested in visiting the showroom, please get in touch by either submitting your details online, email email@example.com or call the office on +44 (0)121 421 1999.
- D5 Architects
- Bonam & Berry
- A & H Construction (General contractor)