The new home of the West Yorkshire Archive Service has been designed by architects Broadway Malyan and built by Bardsey Construction Ltd, with leading fabricator Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium Ltd undertaking the manufacture and installation of the fenestration package.
The upper part of the building features dramatic perforated metal cladding which appears to ‘float’ above the fully glazed lower levels beneath. The light and airy design of the ground floor office and exhibition space benefits from the slim sightlines of Senior’s popular SF52 aluminium curtain wall system and SPW600 tilt and turn thermally broken aluminium windows. To create the seamless glazed façade of the lower part of the building, Senior’s SPW500 aluminium commercial doors have also been incorporated.
The building will store over 10 million archive records across three floors and as such, it was essential to create the ideal internal environment that would preserve and protect the historical documents. With the need to comply to the required air tightness targets a key challenge, the specification of Senior’s thermally-enhanced SF52 aluminium curtain walling alongside the low U-values offered by Senior’s aluminium doors and windows helped to provide the perfect solution.
As an important part of the wider regeneration of the Kirkgate area of Wakefield, the new West Yorkshire History Centre has been jointly funded by the five West Yorkshire Councils, West Yorkshire Joint Services and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The striking structure, which will be back-lit in the evening to accentuate the perforated metal cladding, is set to become an iconic part of the city’s landscape.