Petrarch enrobed Filmworks wins Best Refurbishment project at this year’s Facade Awards

We’re extremely proud to share that The Filmworks has won the Best Refurbishment project at this year’s Facade Awards. This is the first year that Architectural Panel Solutions has personally entered the awards and we’re thrilled to have debuted as award-winners. We cannot, of course, take all the credit for this project; it is the result of a highly successful collaboration with Richardson Roofing, and talented architect tp bennett for our client Berkeley Group, St George.

The Ealing Filmworks by Berkeley Group, St. George

For a building with such status and heritage, both Berkeley Group, St. George and tp bennett turned to a rainscreen and framing solution which would not only project exactly the right image and retain the splendour of a bygone age, yet also stand up to the most demanding requirements. Blending elegant aesthetics and exacting technical standards; our Petrarch reconstituted stone rainscreen facade offered the perfect balance.

As a £100m mixed-use regeneration scheme comprising: 209 new homes, a central square, lined with bars, restaurants, and featuring a double-height eight-screen Picture-house Cinema (the biggest outside London’s West End) the demands and rigour demanded of the chosen building materials were to be immense.

Petrarch reconstituted stone rainscreen panels are composed of more than 80% natural material, (predominantly marble – a crushed stone by-product – something we’re extremely proud of) and have a life-span in excess of 50 years. Additionally Petrarch boasts an A2 fire rating, and high impact/ graffiti resistant qualities – all of which made it an ideal choice. The fact that it blends in perfectly with heritage stone was a key contributing factor to the contractor choosing it as a preferred material.

As a lightweight and cost-effective alternative to pre-cast concrete facades, Petrarch is extremely easy to manoeuvre and install on-site. Additionally it can be pre-cut, avoiding waste and aiding installation even more.

About The Filmworks, in the words of the architect tp bennett

Given the delicate restoration and the fact that this was a conservation area, it was important that the chosen facade retained an elegant and natural aesthetic.

’A careful infill within an existing urban block, the scheme has been designed by tp bennett as a contextual response to the surrounding buildings in the conservation areas. Each perimeter facade is designed in a subtly different language, depending on the character of the particular street it is facing. The architectural language changes towards the interior, where the contextual red brick and stone have been complemented with a more contemporary materials palette, including dark blue brick with contrasting green-glazed brick inserts and bronze-coloured cladding laser cut with a distinctive, three-dimensional geometric pattern.‘
tp bennett are dedicated to ’creative reuse‘ as a practice – ’our ethos is to re-animate and adapt redundant historic buildings to reinforce a unique sense of place within each project. With our in-house skills and experience to draw from – as well as access to a strong network of conservation specialists – the practice is in a prime position to animate the past and inform the future.‘

See more from the architect:

Here’s what our esteemed installer, Richardson Roofing had to say about Petrarch panels and our level of customer service

‘APS were very easy to deal with during the purchase and logistics process, of getting the Petrarch reconstituted stone to site. They are very responsive to queries, helpful and went out of their way to assist in any way they could. The team really do know their products well and were very helpful. Despite this being a somewhat difficult site with delivery booking requirements, APS worked with us to optimise logistics for just-in-time deliveries.’

Krissy Dawson (Contracts Coordinator)


Petrarch & Downer an award-winning facade system

In addition to winning the prize for Best Refurbishment project, our Petrarch System, comprising Downer rainscreen framing also featured on other award-winning projects:

St Sidwell’s Point – RCI Project of the Year and Most Sustainable Building, Kier & A. Proctor Group
We‘re proud to have been involved in this landmark project, supplying both our Petrarch reconstituted stone panels and Downer framing. St Sidwell‘s Point is the UK‘s first Passivhaus* Leisure Centre, designed to save up to 70% on annual energy costs.

The building has been future-proofed and modelled to withstand predicted changes in climate conditions up to 2080 – a great achievement and a model that could easily be replicated throughout the UK.
You can find out more about the project in the award pdf below, and on the Facade Awards website:

St Sidwells – facade materials implemented
Petrarch A2 003 Graphite Smooth Matt, 012 Limestone Smooth Matt & Downer rainscreen framing – DCS004 MSF

Shortlisted for Best New Build Project – Blakes Hotel – Build-Therm Services with Ash & Lacy

This is the perfect example of how Petrarch reconstituted stone panels can be used as an accent facade material. ’This project features eye-catching Victorian aesthetics, whilst encompassing a modern twist.‘

Learn more about the project here:

Blakes Hotel – facade materials implemented
Petrarch A2 012 Limestone Smooth Matt, Downer DCS031 HELPING HAND & DCS004 MSF

What makes Petrarch reconstituted stone panels the natural choice for refurbishment projects?

Highly durable and impact resistant, Petrarch panels are considerably lighter than natural stone systems or pre cast concrete facades. Engineered for perfection, this reconstituted stone rainscreen is extremely weather resistant – designed to withstand the most severe environmental conditions, and just like natural stone, Petrarch matures over time, giving character and depth to any architectural scheme.

As a modern facade material, the beauty of Petrarch is more than skin deep; boasting dependable technical qualities which stand the test of time.

The selection criteria and process / About the selection process

There were numerous stages leading to the overall award-win with the initial pre-selection consisting of an extensive pitch document detailing why we as the manufacturer, felt the project was worthy of winning Best Refurbishment project. Following hundreds of entries Filmworks, featuring Petrarch reconstituted stone rainscreen and Downer rainscreen framing, made the shortlist. One of the overarching reasons for The Filmworks secured the award, judges cited, was the fact that the blend of the original natural stone, and Architectural Panel Solutions’ reconstituted stone facade, was so remarkably achieved

“Congratulations to all our winners,” said Gabriel Day, editor of RCI. “Your hard work and dedication have shown that, despite challenging circumstances, excellence can be attained.

“The quality of this year’s entries from across the UK was exceptional and included an increasingly outstanding quality of projects. Congratulations to every finalist and winner – you and your teams have demonstrated excellence to reach this stage, and while not everyone was able to win a trophy, you should all be proud of your achievements. Thank you for sharing your projects with us.”

Tom Walker, Sales Director had this to say about the award win

‘To say that we’re pleased to have won Best Refurbishment project with Ealing Filmworks is somewhat of an understatement, especially as this is the first year we have personally entered the awards. I was extremely impressed with the organisation of the event and naturally we were delighted to be taking home an award. It was also refreshing to see that our Petrarch System featured on RCI Project of the Year and Most Sustainable Project – St Sidwell Passivhous Leisure Centre. Though our Petrarch system, comprising our reconstituted stone rainscreen and Downer rainscreen framing has been the choice of leading architects and developers for 50 years it still remains a kind of hidden secret and this award we feel will go some way to reinforcing our presence. Thank you to everyone involved.’

What makes Petrarch an award-winning facade material?

The natural choice for 50 years
Desirable aesthetics

•   A natural aesthetic emulating the appearance of natural stone and a cost effective alternative to pre-cast concrete facades
•   Over 1500 shades with custom colours available
•   5 distinctive finishes: smooth, smooth matt, riven smooth, riven matt, honed

Dependable performance

•   Highly durable with an industry-leading 50-year warranty when combined with our Downer rainscreen framing
•   Proven performance in excess of 30 years
•   Easy to clean and maintain
•   Best-in-class low moisture absorption (0.15% 24 hours submersion)
•   Best-in-class impact and flexural strength
•   High resistance to weather, graffiti, impact and scratches
•   Perfect for high traffic areas
•   BBA approved
•   Reaction to fire: Petrarch A2 – A2-s1, d0 in accordance with BS EN 13501
•   Installation by mechanical secret fix, site adhesive and face fixing
•   ISO 9001 & 14001 accredited
•   Fully CWCT windload and impact tested

Highly sustainable

  • Environmentally friendly and supports a low carbon footprint
  • Created from more than 80% natural material, (predominantly marble – a by-product material that would otherwise go to landfill.)
  • Made in Britain in our Hastings factory for 50 years
  • Extremely long life-span

An award-winning collaboration:

Barrets of Aspley: Balcony installers – Barretts of Aspley – Structural Steelwork, Architectural Metalwork and Balconies
The Goldsmith Group: Attentive restoration of the natural stone and installation of select areas of Petrarch:

If anyone would like to know more our Petrarch system, or would like to organise a CPD, please get in touch –

*Passivhous – Future-focused construction methods
’Buildings are a significant culprit of carbon emissions – accountable for 35% of total global energy consumption. Backed with over 30 years of international evidence, Passivhaus is a tried & tested solution that gives us a range of proven approaches to deliver net-zero-ready new and existing buildings optimised for a decarbonised grid and augmented for occupant health and wellbeing. Passivhaus buildings provide a high level of occupant comfort using very little energy for heating and cooling.‘

View the Facade Awards souvenir brochure

View the Filmworks project…