The newly built £4.4 million Craft Centre in Ruthin, Denbighshire, one of ten galleries to be shortlisted for the £100,000 Art Fund Prize, used VMZINC cladding and roofing throughout. In terms of displaying the best in hard metal contracting, the centre has undoubtedly set an enviable standard. It is of courtyard design with three new galleries, a café, six artist studios and educational and residency facilities.

Zinc’s popularity owes much to the fact that it complements such a wide variety of building materials and is the most sustainable metal used in construction today. In this case, the other primary material was reddish-pink cast stone used to blend with that of the local Clwydian hills. The zinc standing seam system is of pre-weathered Quartz-Zinc® which retains its colour while continuing to develop a natural patina as it ages. The roof was described by one architectural writer as having been “modelled with enormous sculptural verve”. Despite its low pitch, architects Sergison Bates have incorporated roof windows in a design which rises and falls along the length of each wing with cantilevers which provide cover around the courtyard perimeter.