Mint condition

Kawneer’s AA100 zone-drained curtain walling, AA540 top-hung casement window vents and series 190 heavy duty commercial entrance doors feature externally and internally on The Royal Mint Experience, which showcases The Royal Mint’s coin minting operations within a purpose-built visitor attraction for the first time in its 1,000-year history.

The AA540 window vents were specially fabricated by approved specialist sub-contractor AB Glass to match the oxidised stainless steel cladding panels used on the facade of tessellating hexagons which mimic the shape of coins. The colours within these subtly change with the movement of the sun.

Designed by Rio Architects to a BREEAM “Very Good” rating, the £9 million building was constructed over a year by main contractor ISG of steel frame with concrete floors and precast concrete plinths with insulated composite metal cladding to the roof and walls, and the walls then overclad in the hexagonal panelling.

Comprising a visitor foyer, exhibition hall, café/catering kitchen, education facilities, staff offices and ancillary spaces over 1,700m2, the world-class centre also allows visitors to access a factory tour overlooking circulating coin production areas of the Royal Mint site. Located in Llantrisant, South Wales, an adjoining car park was built to accommodate visitor parking.

Rio senior associate Eldon Lewis said: “We worked closely with The Royal Mint to create a building whose concept draws on elements of the process of minting coins such as the use of quality materials and craftsmanship. The Royal Mint’s artistic endeavour is something to be celebrated and, as such, reflected in the design of The Royal Mint Experience attraction.

“We also worked closely with the client, contractor and design team to incorporate the requirements of The Royal Mint’s security department.”

Kawneer’s systems help to provide light into and out of the building, access and natural ventilation, with its aluminium composition providing longevity.

Anne Jessopp, The Royal Mint’s director of commemorative coin, said: “As Britain’s oldest manufacturer and the world’s largest export mint, our vision was to create an exciting new visitor attraction that reflected the quality of the centuries of craftsmanship and contemporary innovation for which The Royal Mint is known.

“The enthusiasm and flare that has gone into designing The Royal Mint Experience has given us a building that we can be very proud of – and it is certainly worthy of our aim to be recognised as the world’s best mint.”