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Dear Architect, Designer, reader,
For the fourth issue of our webzine, Pyrolave invites you to discover the world of wall coverings. Three projects take you behind the scenes for colourful inspiration.

Commonwealth House
Commonwealth House Commonwealth House
Commonwealth House Commonwealth House Commonwealth House Commonwealth House Commonwealth House Commonwealth House Commonwealth House

In its new skin, the office building also got a complete interior makeover with omnipresent, ultra-modern open floor plans, oversized skylights, and glass façades that bathe the spaces in natural light.

The building at No. 1 New Oxford Street has won multiple awards, including Best Workplace for 2018, awarded by RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects. It’s a source of pride at every level, both in England and for the Pyrolave brand!

Quintessential British facade
for a renovation that was anything but ordinary

Commonwealth House, located on the juncture of New Oxford Street and High Holborn, is an emblem of the London cityscape with its 1930s style combining art deco and modern art. Orms were appointed with renovating and expanding the building. The architects literally dug deep into the origins of the edifice to give it the second life it deserved.

By examining the original plans for the building and sifting through the letters and photographs produced by Henri Philip Cart De Lafontaine, the original architect, Orms discovered the concept of a glazed hexagonal cladding covering the façade. At the time, Giles Gilbert Scott, counsellor to the crown and a member of a famous family of English architects, shot the idea down, deeming it too innovative. But Orms chose to revive the basic elements designed by Cart De Lafontaine and made them the focus of the project.

Pyrolave glazed lava was selected for this emblematic project. For over two years, the Pyrolave team in France & Pyrolave Architecture in the UK offered tours of the workshops and the Volvic quarry and supplied various studies, drawings, and bespoke tests to bring this unprecedented assignment to fruition.

The nine-storey building is distinguished by its clocktower featuring bow windows, a cherished element of traditional English architecture, and façades covered with glazed Pyrolave veneer of varying geometric shapes. The glazed lavastone covering the rounded walls of the rooftop terrace were particularly difficult to manufacture due to their curved shape. The specifications for the project required all the glazed curved & ashlar cladding to be of the same colour. And what better colour than a deep, mineral, elegant, and incredibly stylish English green! Through testing, Pyrolave were able to achieve the desired shade. The process was lengthy and the team admitted to having spent days on end examining the samples from every angle, in daylight, and in the dark to make sure Orms was getting the perfect colour. In all, the artisanal workshop in southwestern France crafted more than 2,000 glazed veneer slabs, or about 250 m², produced in curved, hexagonal, and straight shapes in a record time of less than nine months.


Wonderland residence in Sydney:
foyers filled with colour!

Wonderland is the final residential phase of the flagship urban development project carried out by Frasers Property in Central Park in downtown Sydney. The project comprises residential buildings, parks, community facilities, and optimised municipal infrastructure.

The key feature of this urban development project, worth about $2 million, is environmental viability. A perfect example is the award-winning heliostat at One Central Park, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. The cantilevered device, suspended from the 28th floor, captures and reflects sunlight downwards towards the streets and shaded areas.

Wonderland is a medium-sized residential building designed by the Francis-Jones Morehen-Thorp (FJMT) architectural firm. It was finished in early 2019 and is located on the southeastern tip of the area, overlooking the park.

Pyrolave glazed lava bricks were selected to cover the walls of the building’s three foyers. The curved walls show off the chosen materials and colours.

The FJMT firm opted to use sustainable, cost-effective materials for their lasting power.

Wonderland Wonderland Wonderland Wonderland
Wonderland Wonderland Wonderland
Wonderland Wonderland Wonderland

Several brick formats were included in the design. Most of the elements measured 230 x 76 mm, but Pyrolave also created L-shaped bricks in varying sizes by request of the architect to give the walls their curved appearance.

Each foyer has its own colour: red, green, or yellow. A palette of nine different colours was carefully selected by FJMT and applied in the Pyrolave workshop.

Interspersed randomly among the glazed lava tiles was a small number of tiles of other materials including timber, aluminium, and glass.

Open-jointed installation was used in place of traditional grout. The high degree of precision needed for this type of finish was able to be achieved as a result of Pyrolave’s attention to detail in the production of the tiles.

In all, nearly 130 m² of Pyrolave glazed lava tiles were produced.

Pyrolave bricks and tiles
in every nook and cranny!

At the end of a cobblestone cul-de-sac, as the locals call it, No. 7 Browning Mews immerses you in the atmosphere of an authentic London neighbourhood. This mews has been given a second life by Urban Mesh, a residential expert, and is designed to look like a typical brick row house. It houses two duplexes on the ground floor and two small one-bedroom apartments upstairs.

The façade creatively combines traditional bricks entering and protruding from the vertical wall with glazed lava tiles for a beautiful overall result that enhances the openings and gives the building a true rhythm.

Browning Mews Browning Mews
Browning Mews
Browning MewsBrowning Mews
Browning Mews

The architect let his imagination guide him for the glazed lava parts, choosing to go with colour. For the façade and window and door frames, a varied collection of listel and brick models such as brick slips, stretcher bricks or stretcher + headers were produced in strict keeping with the designers’ drawings.

The jigsaw slowly came together as the elements were assembled, giving this traditional construction a modern twist.






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