The hotel burned down under mysterious circumstance in 1971 but the island, located in the River Thames near Twickenham, West London, is still home to a bohemian artistic community, including architect and rock musician Henry Harrison.

After purchasing the site of the old hotel several years ago, it took Harrison seven years to get planning permission for his recently completed oak-clad mixed use development Syd’s Quay - named after the late Syd Barrett, founder member and former lead singer of Pink Floyd.

While modern in appearance, Syd’s Quay is also sympathetic to the island’s character and nautically influenced vernacular architecture. Constructed from SIPs (structurally insulated panels), its distinctive standing seam steel roof comprises around five tonnes of Prelaq Nova PLX from SSAB.

“The roof, featuring dormer windows and rooflights, appear very crisp and clean, and is fully compatible with the rest of the building’s design and materials,” says Sean McHugh from Newell Roofing Products, who, as UK and Ireland SSAB distributors of Prelaq Nova PLX, supplied the steel and assisted with design and installation logistics.

“PLX is also incredibly easy to work with. It does exactly what you want it too, with zero spring back. That’s important in a project like this where there is a lot of detailing and every millimetre can make a difference.”

Harrison describes PLX as an “amazing product”, and looks forward to using it again on other projects, possibly even for the re-roofing of an existing Eel Pie island dwelling.

Newell Roofing has worked extensively with PLX. McHugh was confident it would be the perfect choice for this project, as it offers the same formability as zinc and cooper, but expands and contracts only half as much. “At the same time, it still retains the properties of steel. It is just as strong and there is no cracking of the seams when installing in cold weather.”

The development’s environmental impact was an important consideration and, as well as being recyclable, PLX features a non-toxic coating.

Newell Roofing provided a 30-year guarantee for the PLX roofing, backed up by manufacturer SSAB.

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