Encasement’s innovative finish for Biggleswade’s A1 Shopping Park
‘Forma’ aluminium column casings from Encasement, which incorporate an innovative wood-grain powder-coated finish effect, have helped create a distinctive and fresh look for a number of key retail brands at Biggleswade’s recently opened A1 Shopping Park.
The £110 million transformations of the London Road Retail Park site began in 2013 and the site is now home to a wide range of well known retail names including M & S, TK Maxx and Boots, while also creating around 500 jobs in the area.
Within The White Way Retail Centre, which is part of the 300,000 sq.ft shopping complex, a separate self-contained building has been constructed, now occupied by Halfords, Bensons Beds and Pets at Home, which incorporates a gradually sloping canopy roof supported by 11 structural columns ranging in height from 8 metres to 12.8 metres.
To improve the appearance of the extensive shop front area, Encasement manufactured a series of ‘Forma’ column casings from 3mm thick aluminium, which could be stacked and joined with virtually invisible infill strips, which made them simple to install, as well as being durable and weatherproof.
However, to meet the specification and avoid standard plain metal or painted finish solutions, Encasement chose to use an innovative word-grain powder-coated finish from Powdertech Group which replicates a grained wood finish without the additional cost of using real wood posts or the ongoing maintenance.
This approach not only improved the overall aesthetics of the retail project but also provided a much more cost-effective solution when compared to manufacturing and installing wood-alternative standing up to 12.8 metres high.
Encasement’s Managing Director, Martin Taylor, explained: “Part of our service has always been to provide the most effective solutions for our client’s projects, which often involves the exploration of new technologies or techniques in manufacturing, finishing and installation to ensure we deliver best and most appropriate casing products for each individual project. In this instance, the Powdertech wood finish enabled us to create a fresh approach that was creative, practical and cost-effective.”