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Lancaster Circus

11,500/m2 3mm Aluminium 1050 Grade H14 in Optima FC & Optima TFC Systems has been used in the completion of the striking Onyx building, Lancaster Circus in Birmingham.

Optima FC was selected as the client required a hook-on cladding system with secret fixings for the main extent of the face. Optima TFC was then used in a mechanical fix for the slatted window cover panels due to barrier loading requirements.

Lancaster Circus

The building, which has been designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, comprises of two bold, angular towers with sharply defined ‘razor’ edges and a smooth, highly detailed, gloss black finish, rising 13 and 24 storeys respectively. The towers are anchored by a middle section rising to 10 storeys and finished with a traditional, matt brick with defined window reveals and texture.

Lancaster Circus

The Optima FC & Optima TFC systems were used with bespoke detailing where the main façade (Optima FC Hook On) met with a slatted window cover panel (Optima TFC).

Lancaster Circus

Sotech and Axalta Coatings created colour matches to Alucobond 887 & Alucobond 888 Metallics to allow this project to proceed via a powder coating route.

Now available for students, the 1025 building occupies one of the most prominent sites in the heart of Birmingham City, positioned between Vesey Street, Lench Street and New Town Row.


Jamie Smith, Estimator:

“It’s an eye catching building in a busy area of Birmingham. The mixture of Axalta 887 & Axalta 888 Metallic is almost alien against the traditional brick and terracotta buildings within its proximity.

Phil Fisk, Axalta:

“The striking, dark colours chosen for this project were bespoke metallic products bonded to gain the highest application stability. Manufactured using Axalta’s Super-durable Polyester resins incorporating higher grade pigments and stabilisers, the enhanced coating provides outstanding exterior durability as well as looking aesthetically impressive”.

Project Details:

Project name: Lancaster Circus

Location: Birmingham

Sector: Residential

Installer: Walsin Ltd

Main Contractor: McAleer & Rushe

Architect: Urban Innovations

New and improved Optima FC+

In 2020, Sotech unveiled a new and improved version of its secret fix rainscreen cladding system, Optima FC+.

Featuring an innovative slide and lock adjustment mechanism, Sotech’s enhanced secret fix hook on rainscreen system now features carrier rail hooks. These hooks can be locked in position on site by installers, rather than in the factory, leading to significantly reduced lead times for all parties.

Click here to read the full system details.


If you require advice with design detail, assistance with a specification or to discuss your project in detail contact our technical department who have 40 years’ experience in the construction industry. The team is on hand to provide knowledge and support at every stage of your project.


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