September 2015

Merrion Centre Car Park1 200 x 200Following a £9 million refurbishment project, the 50 year old Merrion Centre multi-storey car park in the centre of Leeds, has been dramatically revamped, including a custom Screening Solution from Levolux.

Following the completion of the refurbishment in January 2015, the Merrion Centre car park, which is operated by CitiPark, is now one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the UK. It features the latest industry technology, including automated number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, contactless pay stations and LED lighting with integrated PIR sensors. The external façade has also been transformed, and the 6-storey structure is unrecognisable to its previous form.

Merrion Centre Car Park2 200 x 200Car park design has changed significantly since the 1950’s, particularly with respect to the external appearance of multi-storey structures and their impact on the environment. As a result, the refurbished Merrion Centre car park, designed by the Harris Partnership, now benefits from a comprehensive external screening solution, to satisfy challenging design criteria.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading and Screening specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom Screening Solution for the multi-storey car park. The solution incorporates rectangular-section Fins, arranged in a ‘diagrid’ pattern and horizontal aerofoil-shaped Fins.

Merrion Centre Car Park3 200 x 200The unusual ‘diagrid’ arrangement of rectangular-shaped aluminium Fins, each measuring 200mm wide by 100mm deep, extends to screen an area with a combined length of almost 160 metres and a height of up to 11.5 metres.

The latticework assembly of Fins is fixed between vertical steel supports at 5 metre centres, creating a series of bays that continue along north, east and south elevations. The Fins are illuminated at night, thanks to the incorporation of colourful LED lights that are fixed where the Fins interconnect.

Merrion Centre Car Park4 200 x 200While the ‘diagrid’ screen is relatively open to maximise daylight levels on each floor and allow good outward visibility for occupants, an alternative screening arrangement was required to obscure unsightly entrance and exit rampways and service areas.

In these areas, Levolux utilised its innovative Infiniti Fin system to incorporate 200mm wide aerofoil-shaped Fins, arranged horizontally to form a series of vertical stacks. The Fins, which are angled at 60 degrees and fixed at a vertical pitch of 350mm, combine to screen an area measuring 32 metres in length, with a height of up to 11.6 metres.

Merrion Centre Car Park5 200 x 200All rectangular and aerofoil-shaped Fins are engineered from extruded aluminium components that have been given an attractive, natural anodised finish.

This iconic development marks the latest in a new wave of multi-storey car park projects that are confounding critics of such structures, by making them visually striking, cost effective and environmentally considerate.

The application of interesting screening solutions like the ‘diagrid’ arrangement of Fins at the Merrion Centre car park and other solutions delivered by Levolux in Crawley, Swindon and the Athlete’s Village in London, demonstrate a positive shift in car park design.