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Carea cladding chosen for new John Lewis store

At the £8.5 million refurbishment of an ageing multi-storey building into a new John Lewis department store, Carea Ardal cladding has been specified to create the building’s new eye catching, decorative façade.


Refurbished by Midas Interiors and with Glenn Howell Architects undertaking the role of shell and core architects, the project has seen the transformation of a 1960s retail store into one fit for the 21st century. At less than half the size of an average full line John Lewis department store, the 65,000 sq ft branch in Exeter is the first of a new range of ‘flexible format’ branches the company plans to open across the UK.

Originally concrete clad and comprising two eight storey towers, Glenn Howells Architects was appointed to create a stylish and contemporary exterior. A connecting four storey extension was created which was clad in glass and a permanent ceramic artwork. To complement the modern aesthetic, high quality cladding was required for the existing towers – with Carea’s Ardal range offering the perfect solution.

For the building’s larger tower, Ardal rain screen cladding was specified in a speckled Névé finish to create an attractive appearance of stone and curtain walling. This was complemented by silver anodised aluminium vertical feature caps. The smaller tower was also transformed by Ardal cladding, specified in a ‘Basalte’ finish and framed by a stack bonded brickwork surround.

Carea panels are available in over 30 different shades and a range of textures, in a variety of panel sizes, and matched by a selection of comprehensive joints and fittings. Providing excellent thermal efficiency and eliminating cold bridging – as well as comprising around 95% natural minerals – they are a highly sustainable choice.

Installation is quick and simple with the Carea facade system, as each panel is supplied with specialised horizontal rails that fit onto vertical cladding supports. With precisely routed grooves on the top and bottom, the simple fix provides a totally seamless finish to maintain the stunning appearance of the project.

Once installed, Carea’s panels will provide the client, staff and customers with a wide range of benefits including excellent thermal efficiency and the elimination of cold bridging. As well as outstanding thermal performance, the system offers exceptional acoustic and aesthetic performance, can be easily cleaned and requires minimal maintenance – offering an economical cladding solution that will look good for years.

For more than 30 years, Carea has been providing industry leading know-how and product expertise to cladding projects all over Europe. Now open to the public and welcoming thousands of customers through its doors every week, the stylish and carefully designed department store offers the highest standards of aesthetics on the outside too – thanks to the Ardal cladding system from Carea.