SA-made cladding for London multimodal rail station

The new lift structures at Stratford Station in London, clad with Vitraclad heavy gauge panels supplied by Vitrex.London’s Stratford railway station is being smartly refurbished and is set to become the principal multimodal station for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

From the other side of the globe, South Africa’s Jet Park-based Vitrex has supplied its Vitraclad vitreous enamelled steel cladding panels to the project.


Cristian Cottino, sales and marketing manager at Vitrex, says the company has supplied heavy gauge Vitraclad panels in its Pure White colour for the external cladding of the freestanding lift structures between the ground and first floors.

“Although glass and stainless steel are the dominant finishes in the refurbished station, Vitraclad panels were preferred as the cladding material for the lift structures because of Vitraclad’s low maintenance requirements and greater safety compared to glass and stainless steel, particularly in the event of an explosion,” Cottino adds.

The contract called for flat, curved corner, parapet and rooftop vitreous enamelled cladding elements.

Stratford Station is close to the new Olympic Stadium under construction north-east of London. Its refurbishment forms part of London Underground’s upgrading programme to provide step-free station access for disabled commuters. The station is managed and operated by Tubelines on behalf of London Underground.

“Stratford Station will be a key transport hub for the 2012 Olympic Games,” says Cottino. “It will be a converging point for the Jubilee underground line, Docklands Light Rail, the new Cross Rail line, and Eurostar.”

Dennis Jordaan is the Tubelines architect who specified Vitraclad for this project. The installation was handled by Astec Projects of Reading in Berkshire and the contract was secured by David Shepherd of Vitrex Europe and Middle East.

Vitrex has been exporting Vitraclad panels widely for several decades. Also known as ‘porcelain steel’, the panels have been installed, for example, at various stations of the Land Transport Authority’s Mass Rail Transit system in Singapore, the Mass Transport Railway Corporation system in Hong Kong, Irish Rail in Ireland and the London Underground Limited system in London.

Vitraclad panels are available in a variety of coloured enamels and offer advantages such as colourfastness, resistance to corrosion, a hygienic surface, and durability. The panels can be used to provide acoustic and thermal insulation and have excellent electrical insulation properties. Vitraclad panels are also fully recyclable.

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