Market Walk, Chorley

Both striking and natural, the use of Ceramic Granite Facade brings life back into the heart of Chorley town centre.

The Project

Maintaining a bustling high street with a mix of retail and leisure options for local people is a challenge facing many UK towns. In Chorley, Lancashire, the local authority has met this challenge head on by purchasing and developing the main shopping destination, Market Walk.


Bought by Chorley Council in 2013, Market Walk already comprised more than 30 shops and an outdoor parade, with excellent local parking. The local authority has since rolled out ambitious plans to attract both big brand stores and independent retailers to Chorley town centre, culminating in this major £17 million project. The Market Walk project includes a new six-screen Reel Cinema, an M&S Food Hall, An Escape Entertainment bowling and adventure golf complex and a Loungers bar and restaurant, along with public realm improvements.


The new facilities will offer an exciting variety of retail and leisure options for local people and support the local economy. The high calibre project has been designed to offer a quality environment that enhances the town centre both aesthetically and economically and the specification of QuadCore ® Karrier & Ceramic Granite Rainscreen Facade supports both of those goals.

Location :
Chorley, Lancashire
Sector :
Architect :
AEW Architects
Contractor :
Axis Envelope Solutions
Product :
QuadCore ® Karrier
Ceramic Granite Rainscreen Facade

Find out more about QuadCore® Karrier & Ceramic Granite Rainscreen Facade

Building the Custom Experience into the Specification

Market Walk, Ceramic Granite, QuadCore Karrier

A key element of the strategy for constructing the Market Walk extension was to encourage local residents to stay and spend in Chorley, rather than travelling further afield to larger city centres or out-of-town facilities. The enhanced facilities are also designed to attract footfall from surrounding districts into Chorley for both retail and leisure activities.

The new extension builds on that success by creating compelling reasons for people to come to Chorley and for local people to spend their time and money locally. That’s why it was so important that the specification for the project complements the character of the town and offers a high quality, enjoyable experience.

Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council 
Chorley Council 


Practical Approach

Market Walk, Ceramic Granite, QuadCore Karrier

The Market Walk project was designed by AEW architects. The practice’s brief was to design a building that would create impact, and this was achieved by using materials that combine a natural aesthetic drawing inspiration from the local built environment, with metallic, anodised aluminium.

QuadCore ® Karrier was selected as the rainscreen substrate, facilitating a fabric-first approach. This factory-engineered insulated panel system features an innovative hybrid insulation core with a closed microcell structure that can achieve U-values as low as 0.08 W/m2∙K.  Meanwhile, its unique castellated and symmetrical tongue and groove jointing achieves excellent air-tightness.

Initially, the planning department required the use of natural stone but the AEW team suggested a Ceramic Granite system as a practical and attractive alternative.The design team at AEW Architects compared samples of the ceramic granite with local churches to demonstrate that it would offer an appearance in-keeping with the local architectural context. Each 1198 x 598 mm panel was just 11mm thick, making elements of the facade more lightweight, easier to handle and faster to install than natural stone alternatives.


The Ceramic Granite system provided cost savings as compared to natural stone and, because it is non-porous, those cost advantages will be felt throughout the lifespan of the building because the facade will offer a low maintenance solution. It will not discolour over time due to weathering and offers resistance to both algae growth and graffiti.

Bernard Lam 
AEW Architects 

Easier Installation

Market Walk, Ceramic Granite, QuadCore Karrier

Specification of QuadCore ® Karrier & Ceramic Granite Facade also aligned with Chorley Council’s social value objectives for the project, by allowing facade procurement through a local supply chain.

The local supply chain provided benefits in terms of speed of procurement and helped to shorten the build programme. Panels were delivered to site on a just-in-time basis and were installed as part of a QuadCore ® Karrier Panel system. This innovative external envelope solution brings together high performance structural insulating QuadCore ® panels with the premium appearance and longevity of ceramic granite cladding. 

The combination of QuadCore ® Karrier & Ceramic Granite Facade enabled cladding contractor, Axis Envelope Solutions, to make the building watertight with the installation of the structural panels prior to installation of the facade. The completed hybrid system also delivers excellent airtightness and low U-values post installation, helping to ensure a high standard of comfort and energy efficiency.

High Quality, Low Maintenance

Market Walk, Ceramic Granite, QuadCore Karrier
QuadCore ® Karrier & Ceramic Granite facade system played a key role in delivering the aesthetic goals of the project while providing buildability benefits. The result is a project that has completed on time with a high quality, low maintenance facade that delivers the architect’s design intent within the public sector budget.
Market Walk, Ceramic Granite, QuadCore Karrier

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