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First Direct Arena - Leeds

Various products from the Johnstone’s Trade portfolio provide a stunning finish for a magnificent venue.

ARCHITECT:
Populous

MAIN CONTRACTOR:
BAM Construction

PAINTER & DECORATOR:
Wharfedale Decorations

SURFACE:
Floors, Interior & Exterior Walls

SUBSTRATE:
Plaster walls, Exposed brick walls, Concrete floors

PRODUCTS:
Smooth Masonry
Flortred
Acrylic Durable Eggshell
Covaplus Vinyl Matt
Microbarr Anti Bacterial Acrylic Eggshell

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A wide variety of products from Johnstone’s comprehensive and market-leading range have been used to provide the first direct arena in Leeds with a stunning finish.
 
Through contemporary and innovative design, Populous Architects created the new first direct arena for client and developer Leeds Council, which features a changeable colour light display as part of its striking façade, and is set to become an iconic landmark on the Leeds landscape. The venue, operated by SMG Europe, is the UK’s first purpose-built ‘fan-shape arena’ with all seats facing the stage and is destined to be one of the top entertainment venues in the world.
 
The new venue, construction of which began in 2011 was overseen by main contractor BAM Construction. It is designed to accommodate over 13,000 spectators and with a packed schedule of music, entertainment and sports events, the building needs to withstand high levels of foot traffic. Johnstone’s, with its extensive range of highly durable coatings, was the obvious choice.
 
Gordon Alexander, Construction Manager at BAM Construction, commented: “We’re really pleased with the finish as not only does the arena look fantastic inside, but it’s also great to know that the building will remain looking fresh for years to come, and that the coatings applied will play a part in helping to protect the building and its users too.”
 
Johnstone’s Acrylic Eggshell, which provides a tough, washable surface resistant to condensation, and Johnstone’s Covaplus, which results in a durable, wipeable surface, were used on the plastered walls and stair soffits respectively. Both Acrylic Eggshell and Covaplus, which benefit from being low VOC and low odour, are also non-yellowing and the quick drying properties of Acrylic Eggshell helped to keep the project on track. To protect the exposed internal blockwork, the team applied Johnstone’s Stormshield Smooth Masonry paint, which is specially formulated to resist dirt accumulation and has an expected life to first major maintenance of 15 years.
 
To ensure the safety of the venue’s staff and visitors, Johnstone’s Flortred was applied on the concrete floors, which combined with an anti-slip coating, provides a durable finish which is resistant to water, oil and grease. Similarly, Johnstone’s Microbarr Anti Bacterial Acrylic Eggshell, with its advanced Silver Ion technology formulated to actively inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria such as MRSA and E. Coli, was specified for the washrooms.
 
Peter Wilson of Leeds-based Wharfedale Decorations, which undertook the painting of the arena’s interior, said: “We were delighted to have been able to play a part in such an exciting development, especially in our home city. It was a challenging project with access issues due to the high ceilings in the arena itself, an array of different substrates to paint and all on a tight deadline. Johnstone’s was the obvious choice as we knew we could rely on its range of specialist coatings to provide the ultimate finish throughout the arena, which not only looks great now, but will easily stand the test of time.”

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