‘vertical, scalloped panel facades of Nordic Brown Light pre-oxidised copper – a thoroughly contemporary design but sharing materiality with the buildings’ classical copper dome’
A striking contemporary rooftop extension clad in Nordic Brown Light copper scalloped panels announces the rejuvenated Aberdeen Art Gallery and reinforces copper’s historic presence on the city’s civic roofscape.

Hoskins Architects’ award-winning scheme incorporated a complete overhaul of the entire listed, late 19th/early 20th century complex. The Nordic Brown Light copper rooftop extension contains a suite of environmentally controlled temporary galleries, as well as much-needed learning and event spaces, providing bold new interiors. These new spaces enable the Gallery to hold large international touring exhibitions with their associated events. The extension also facilitates use of two newly created, outdoor rooftop terraces with spectacular views across Aberdeen.

Sculptural Element

The extension was designed as a sculptural element, responding to the proportions and colours of the existing granite frontages. It is defined by vertical, scalloped panel facades of Nordic Brown Light pre-oxidised copper – a thoroughly contemporary design but sharing materiality with the buildings’ classical copper dome. Repairs to the dome itself were carried out using Nordic Green pre-patinated copper, complementing the existing historic patination. The Nordic Brown Light copper will also develop naturally over time, responding to the local environment.

The copper panels, including some perforated for transparency, were manufactured by CGL Facades. Nordic Brown Light copper was pressed and rolled to take the scalloped shape, before delivery to site and installation on secret-fix support rails with rose-golden coloured stainless steel cappings. The system forms part of a lightweight construction, minimising extra deadloads onto the existing granite walls below, with steel framing and highly insulated infill.

Main facades of rejuvenated Aberdeen Art Gallery located in Scotland. The copper facades are clad form Nordic Brown copper by Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland.

Photo: dapple photography

Main facades of rejuvenated Aberdeen Art Gallery located in Scotland. The copper facades are clad form Nordic Brown copper by Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland.

Photo: dapple photography

Photo: dapple photography

Photo: dapple photography

Photo: dapple photography

Extensive Architectural Portfolio

Nordic Brown Light is part of an extensive portfolio of architectural copper surfaces and alloys from Aurubis, with an unrivalled lifespan, no maintenance and full recyclability. With an ‘A1 (non-combustible material)’ fire classification to EN 13501-1, copper is suitable for cladding tall buildings, using appropriate constructions.

The range includes Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper, with lighter or darker shades of brown. The extensive Nordic Blue, Nordic Green and Nordic Turquoise ranges have been developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world, and offer various ‘Living’ surfaces. Copper alloys include Nordic Bronze, Nordic Brass and the innovative Nordic Royal with a rich golden through-colour.

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