MORE than 100 tonnes of unique tiles will help make a new £16m seafront attraction a sparkling success.
The exterior of the swimming pool and leisure complex under construction at Pier Parade in South Shields, is being clad with 21,600 kite-shaped terracotta tiles.
The glazed tiles, with horizontal, diagonal and vertical faces, will reflect light and sunshine to produce an ever-changing rippling effect .
This will mimic the appearance of light reflected on water.
Mike Lawless, design director of LA Architects, which is working on the pool project, said: “We wanted the building to reflect the environment around what is a very special site.
“It is on the edge of the beach, the edge of the sea and the edge of the horizon and the idea is to draw the land, the sea and the sky together.
“We wanted a building which transcends the normal and which is a public building people are proud to own.
“South Tyneside Council deserve a lot of credit for being brilliantly understanding and supportive in this.”
The project is due for completion in the spring.
LA Architects worked on a number of permutations for the tiles with German manufacturers, NBK.
The idea was for the facade of the building to visually change as people approach and move past the structure.
Each tile is handmade and individually sprayed, glazed and fired.
Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council and chairman of the Foreshore Working Group, said: “The new swimming pool and leisure complex symbolises our passion and commitment to provide the very best in community facilities.
“The building’s unique progressive look and design, sets a benchmark for our vision of South Tyneside.”
Mr Lawless said: “It has been refreshing the way South Tyneside Council has been open to innovative thinking. They have encouraged us to be creative and deliver the best quality possible. The scheme will be among the finest facilities of its kind anywhere in the country.
“We are truly excited about the project, as we’ve worked tirelessly over a number of years to develop the building from its original concept. We have pushed our team’s skills to the limit and have broken new ground in high level technology, manufacture, development and design.”