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11/24/2014 | 1 MINUTE READ

Acell architectural project completed

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Work to transform a tennis pavilion into a special event space has been completed in the U.K. Acell's composite panel products duplicated the look of Devon architecture at much lower cost.


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A recent architectural cladding project in the U.K., produced for the High Bullen Hotel, is now complete. The new "Palazzo" event space, a former tennis pavilion, was officially opened when the hotel hosted the “Devon Tourism Awards 2014” on November 19.

CW wrote about the project earlier in 2014 (here's the link to the original story: http://www.compositesworld.com/news/acell-composite-panels-match-existing-architecture). The High Bullen golf and spa hotel, located on a former country estate in Devonshire in the southwest of England, was looking to expand its scope of activities, and wanted to convert a little-used tennis facility into flexible space for weddings and meetings. Local authorities insisted that the renovation be consistent with traditional architectural materials and styles. The hotel’s owner contacted Acell Industries Ltd. (Dublin, Ireland) for help with a cost-effective building solution that avoided having to use 19th-century traditional “Devon stone” to match the existing stately main building.

Acell’s patented molding technology, which combines sheet molding compound (SMC) skins and a core of frangible yet fire-resistant mineral foam in a low-pressure compression molding press, uses custom aluminum molds that are cast from a fiberglass master model. The model can be layed up directly on any selected natural material, such as brick, wood or stone. This makes it possible for Acell to replicate virtually any planar architectural design or surface in the mold surface, for classical finishes such as stone, brick, or very contemporary designs, says Michal Frieh, Acell's executive director. Color was duplicated through the use of powdered iron oxide and sand grains in developing the composite textured wall panels, made to exactly like original Devon stone. Acell also replicated the look of slate for the building's roof.

In addition to the exterior, Acell also fabricated the event space's interior walls, made with glass-reinforced gypsum (GRG, foam-cored gypsum board). Acell also produced all of the decorative elements including columns, statuary, and details of the domed ceilings. Frieh says the entire tennis pavilion rehabilitation was completed in six months. To cap the gala event, the High Bullen Hotel won the Golden Award that night for “Large Hotel of the Year,” sponsored by the U.K.'s Hotel Perfect, a hotel management software company.