Parson’s Tower, Newcastle College, UK

Altro total solution helps transform Newcastle landmark

Altro Wood Safety, Altro Walkway 20, Altro Reliance 25, Altro Walkway SD

An extensive package of Altro flooring and wall cladding products has been used top to bottom in the £18 million refurbishment of one of Newcastle’s most striking landmarks – the 11-storey Parson’s Tower, which is part of Newcastle College.

The former sixth form block has been transformed into a multi-faceted, state-of-the-art teaching facility that incorporates exciting and stimulating learning environments to reflect 21st century needs.

The refurbishment project was the brainchild of Redbox Design Group in Gateshead. Associate Sean Gallagher explains how specifying the right flooring and walling products for the new-look Parson’s Tower was a vital part of the project.

Sean says: “We chose Altro for the building for a number of reasons; we know Altro products very well, they are reliable, durable, superb quality and very cost effective against their competitors.

“More specifically, Altro have products that tick all the boxes in terms of health and safety, hygiene and colour choice. In addition, their infrastructure is excellent, which means they offer a complete package of guidance and support throughout the duration of the project.”

Sean continues: “We also chose Altro Wood Safety flooring as an inlay into Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring for the refectory,” adds Sean. “This created a wayfinding effect that was key to the ‘circulation’ theme we integrated into the entire building.

Altro Whiterock Premier Installer, Commercial Coverings, installed the wall sheets. Commercial Manager Kirk Hooker says: “Altro Whiterock is very easy to work with and it can be moulded to any shape. We have been working with Altro Whiterock for 20 years, and we have standardised on this product because we believe it’s the best on the market.”

Northern Floorcraft installed the Altro flooring within Parson’s Tower. The company has been working with Altro for 45 years, installing their flooring in a wide variety of applications such as education, healthcare and retail.

Director Warren Pearson says: “The stairs in Parson’s Tower are old and irregular, with complicated details, profiles and curves – no nice rectangles like modern stairs – and each set of stairs was different for each storey. So this part of the project involved a lot of time-consuming and intricate cutting, and very precise fitting skills. For this reason were very glad we were fitting Altro Suprema on the stairs. This product is very pliable and great to work with, which made the whole task a great deal easier and quicker.

Steve Johnson, General Estates Manager at Newcastle College’s parent company NCG comments: “In terms of cleaning and maintenance, we have had nothing but positive feedback from our team about the Altro products throughout the building, so in terms of practicality it’s proving to be the right choice.

“Since it opened a few months ago, the students have told us that they love the look and feel of Parson’s Tower, so it has been a total success.”

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