Hotels, restaurants, gyms and sports facilities would probably be less attractive and welcoming leisure environments without decorative column casings from Peterborough-based specialist, Encasement. But the beauty of column casings goes more than skin deep and beyond the purely aesthetic.
While it’s widely acknowledged that a key benefit of column casings is their ability to provide a decorative finishing solution, that can blend in or contrast with a building’s design scheme and décor, they also perform an important practical function, as their primary role is usually to conceal structural steelwork and building services.
As hotel, sports and leisure (HSL) facilities typically deal with large numbers of visitors and guests, often with high-traffic areas in reception foyers, dining areas, fitness suites and other public spaces, these have an important influence on casing specifications, as durability is an essential requirement for most projects.
Meeting these requirements from architects, specifiers, contractors, and specialist leisure sector design teams, has been a key factor that has guided the growth and development of Encasement’s product range, which is widely used on hotel, leisure, and recreational projects.
The company’s extensive column casings range includes pre-formed MDF/ply and glass-reinforced gypsum (GRG) products for interior use only, together with aluminium, stainless steel and glass-reinforced polymer (GRP) casings, which are suitable for both interior and exterior applications, due to their inherent weather resistance and durability.
These characteristics, coupled with their design versatility, have made the metal Forma and Polyma GRP range the most commonly specified and used in HSL and recreational projects, where their toughness, durability and wide choice of finishes make them an ideal solution.
Both Forma and Polyma provide specifiers with an exceptional scope of specification options and although standard sizes are available in each range, they are both regularly specified on projects where casings with bespoke shapes and dimensions are required.
As Forma is manufactured and fabricated from aluminium or stainless steel, and the Polyma range is produced from moulds, both provide a high level of design freedom that enables them to meet individual project requirements.
In addition to installations at Premier Inn’s flagship hotel in Cardiff Bay and The National Memorial Arboretum’s events & banqueting facility, further high-profile projects for Holiday Inn, Mondrian London Hotel, Glyndebourne Opera House and the Gateshead International Stadium have all exploited the practical and decorative properties of Forma and Polyma GRP.
For interior applications, Encasement’s Circa and Quadra ranges are also regularly specified within a range of hotel, leisure and fitness projects. While both ranges are manufactured from UKTR-compliant MDF/ply, the main difference between the two types is their shape.
Circa is used where round and extended circular forms are specified, while Quadra provides designers with the option to use square and rectangular profiles. The unrivalled palette of finishes available includes plain, textured and patterned high-pressure laminates (HPL), from specialists such as Formica, ABET and Polyrey, as well as real wood veneers. Due to their ability to resist scuffs, scratches and impacts, coupled with the extensive colour choice, HPL finishes are the most popular solution by a significant margin.
The Jubilee Fitness Centre in Stoke, The Dame Kelly Holmes Sports Centre and Scotland’s Turnberry Hotel, are typical examples of how Circa and Quadra casings effectively conceal structural steelwork while their colourful and durable finishes enhance the interior design.
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