Bespoke building Cladding by Cadisch MDA

Cadisch MDA; Clever cladding and innovative facades

From metal cladding, unique architectural facades and mesh building envelopes, contemporary Architecture has become obsessed with designing buildings which capture imagination through their adoption of innovative building materials. 

Cadisch MDA have a passion for metals, exterior and interior finishes within the built environment.  Their projects reflect their desire to keep pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with metal.  Cadisch MDA is now one of the UK’s most respected and well known suppliers of architectural metals and meshes worldwide.

Unboxxed caught up with Simon Longstaff FCIOB, Specification Manager at Cadisch MDA to find out what products and textures are leading the way in internal and building cladding options.

How did you get into your area of work?

My area of expertise is the building envelope, focusing on roofing and cladding projects, since this is where my experience lies. I started in the Construction industry with RM Douglas (now Interserve), before I became an Estimator at Briggs Amasco, where I specialised in industrial and commercial projects. This also included works to the raised section of the M5 in the west Midlands, effectively a very large and challenging roof.

After covering a significant variety of envelope projects throughout the UK, both from an estimating and a contracting perspective, I then relocated down to the south, which is when I came to work for Cadisch MDA. The company was expanding at the time, as architects were becoming more and more aware of the Cadisch range and seeing what they could do with metal and finishes.

It was an unmissable opportunity for me to bring my specific engineering knowledge to the architectural side of the business, helping clients realise what they could achieve with their projects.

What's your favourite part of the job?

My favourite part of the job is seeing a project through to the end.  It’s the most rewarding feeling when a client comes to you with a design idea and you help them make it possible.  It can be challenging at times, but when you walk past a building and you know that it’s a project that you helped build, it gives you a great sense of pride, satisfaction and achievement.

I also love the variety of the role. Everything we supply is completely bespoke so there are no two projects that are the same; one minute we could be working on a project that requires a single sheet, the next it could be a large-scale cladding job. We’ve supplied everything from ceiling panels in Harrods to cladding for the whole of Anglia Ruskin University.

What's hot this year?

At the moment, we’re seeing more architects pay attention to finishes and this has also become evident at recent trade shows and design fairs, where it’s a key focus.

We’re constantly pushing what can be done with our finishes and we’re always looking for new and unique ways to make projects stand out!  It’s something that we’ve always been good at and an area that we’ve put a lot of time and investment in to.  As a result, we recently introduced our Xerotec range. It is the most extensive range of speciality finishes on the market and includes an array of patinas (that can now be brought into the internal environment) as well as wet look and rust textures and many other unique finishes that add real depth and texture to our products.

Our expanded meshes are also becoming increasingly popular.  They’ve been specified on many of our projects recently, including one of our recent jobs at the London School of Economics, where our Meshtec Gate range was used on the exterior entrance of the school. It provides a strong visual as you enter the building and the client is now looking to develop this project further, using our expanded metals.

Another range that’s taking off is Vitramesh. It offers a variety of meshes that can be laminated in glass to provide a stunning architectural feature, taking form in cladding projects, internal feature screens and surfaces.

What's the top top you give to clients?

The top tip I give my clients is to keep a handle on your specification. We do occasionally come across projects where there are many different parties involved and all have different directions or aims.  My advice is make sure that you stay true to what you originally set out to achieve and do not get swayed by offers to cut corners or costs along the way, since it very often does not work out for the best.

What's the favourite project you've been involved in so far this year?

My favourite project is the recent development at Sutherland Road in Walthamstow.  The main contractor, Higgins, were commissioned to develop seven luxury feature houses as part of a larger residential development, which were designed by architects MEPK and Levitt Bernstein.

The houses have been clad in our Welltec range and finished in a warm red powdercoat, which provides a real stand-out statement in the area. The materials were also installed to a very high standard by MBM, which is important to us as the quality and attention to detail paid by the installer can make or break a project.

But as much as the houses stand out, they also blend nicely with the industrial landscape, mimicking the steep-set gable roofs and rich brickwork of the surrounding buildings. The project has already been tipped for a RIBA award, so it’s definitely one to watch.

What country do you think is topping the trend in terms of innovative ideas and design?

For me, the UK leads the way in terms of quality, innovation and design.

I see many trends coming out of the UK, which get picked up by other countries and I think our strengths lie in achieving multifunctional design; creating great architecture that has form as well as function.

One of the most recent innovations to come out of the UK is carbon fibre structural reinforcement systems that offer a highly strong and light-weight building support solution.

Denmark is another country that stands out in terms of architectural design and there’s some interesting developments coming from China surrounding 3D printed buildings.

To keep up to date with all the latest projects at Cadisch MDA follow them on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz.  If you have a project in mind and would like advice from the team contact Cadisch MDA on mda@cadisch.com