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Axis J9, Bicester

Lying just three miles from Junction 9 of the busy M40 artery between London and Birmingham, Axis J9 is the new distribution and manufacturing park in Bicester, Oxfordshire, totalling around 500,000 ft2 split between fourteen units housed in seven buildings. YSIS won the contract from Parkway Construction to clad the first phase of the development in 2019, hitting site in late autumn.

The architects sought to reflect the modernist style in the design of the units, adopting clean minimal lines, broad overhanging soffits and bullnosed fascia, large glazing areas, a mix of modern and traditional cladding materials and a relationship to their environment with their celestial palette of sliver and grey.

Sustainability is at the heart of everything that Parkway do, and this passion was shared by the developers who sought to minimise the scheme’s energy usage by employing CA’s innovative glazing system, Therma-Light, which provides additional natural lighting in the vertical plain alongside superior thermal and UV protection. In the course of the contract, YSIS became the first cladder to install CA’s click-fix product bent through ninety degrees without employing any supporting bracketry and, coupled with CA’s futuristic combination of HPX Rainscreen and bold fin detail, it stands out as the striking feature design note of the whole project, a marriage of cutting-edge cladding design and climate-conscious cladding product, brought together with ingenuity and precision.

Delivering such a bold melange of materials demanded a level of accuracy and attention to detail that YSIS are famous for, and upon successful delivery of that phase they were rewarded with the contract to complete the second phase a year later, leaving the park in autumn 2021 having fitted 40,000 m2 of CA’s Twin Therm to the roofs and 30,000m2 of a diverse range of cladding to the walls.