The centre piece of one of the recent Chelsea Flower Show’s top exhibits – a dramatic pavilion modelled upon the circular trullo houses found in Puglia, Italy – was made possible using innovative products from two market-leading companies, Knauf Drywall and Monocouche Render Systems.
The Royal Bank of Canada’s exhibit was one of the highlights of the show, winning a Silver-Gilt Medal this year, and this year the same team – The Landscape Agency and architect Nigel Dunnett – produced a garden demonstrating how sustainable concepts and support for biodiversity can form the basis for the design of even the most formal of gardens.
The trulli itself consists of a steel-framed structure capped with a stacked drystone roof, with a rendered external wall but the radius of the pavilion was extremely tight – just 1.5m internally and 2.0m externally – and only Knauf Drywall’s Aquapanel Exterior was sufficiently pliable to cope.
“We have been very impressed with how malleable the board proved to be because we were worried that there would be cracks because of the extreme curvature imposed by the tight radius,” commented Mark Gregory, Managing Director of Landform Consultants, the contractors constructing the garden.
Mark, a twenty-time Gold medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show, said: “The client wanted a traditional building but with a contemporary twist and these materials have worked fantastically. The render is white, bright and sharp and works perfectly with the Aquapanel so we’re very happy.”
Offering all the benefits of a dry panel system with the strength of brick and block, Knauf Aquapanel Exterior is a robust, non-combustible building panel made of aggregated Portland cement with coated glass fibre mesh embedded in back and front surfaces to provide a trouble-free surface that is the ideal key for render. It resists water with no swelling or loss of stability, is weatherproof and is unaffected by the freeze-thaw cycle. The board requires no special tools or processes for installation – simply score and snap – and can be curved to a tight radius.
The MonoFLex TXF Flexible system recommended by Monocouche Render Systems was developed to be applied directly to render specific boards such as Knauf Aquapanel Exterior. When applied in insulated, timber and metal framed scenarios the system brings with it great flexibility and improved thermal insulation throughout the life cycle of any building.