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Vantage is the new building 15 storey building designed by Broadway Malyan Architects that completes the Metro Central Heights residential development in London SE1.

It provides a selection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments in a central and convenient location at the heart of Elephant and Castle and offers the opportunity for residents to enjoy cityscape panoramas that include views of St Paul's Cathedral, the City and Canary Wharf.

The construction of Vantage by Stephensons Shell & Core Ltd includes an insitu concrete frame clad with reconstructed stone finished precast concrete panels weighing up to 7T each. The detail design, manufacture, delivery and installation of these cladding panels was carried out by The Marble Mosaic Co Ltd and completed in May 2008.

The precast concrete wall cladding panels are typically storey-height units with large window apertures that were framed and glazed using Velfac windows before delivery to site. The 304 precast panels typically span between the structural floor slabs, thereby avoiding the need for any secondary backing structure for their vertical support or lateral restraint. The methods for their safe and efficient installation were developed to avoid the need for an external scaffold.

The reconstructed stone finished panels are typically 200mm thick and match the appearance of Portland limestone. Their colour has been achieved using special mixes of Derbyshire limestone with white cement. Their seen surfaces have been lightly textured using a controlled technique developed by The Marble Mosaic Co Ltd to achieve a notably consistent overall appearance. All the precast cladding panels have been manufactured with carbon steel reinforcement and fixed using stainless steel fittings. The joints between the panels have been pointed by specialist abseilers using a two-stage silicone-based sealant. Incidentally it should also be noted that, with the panels being cast using grade 45 concrete mixes, they provide a robust and durable cladding material that is inherently non-combustible and fire resistant with valuable sound-controlling properties. Whilst the precast cladding panels could have been supplied with insulation either as an internal core or as a backing to enhance their thermal performance, the required “U” value through the overall wall section has been achieved using an independent insulated dry-lining system on this occasion.

Stephen Maddalena, Marble Mosaic’s joint-MD, has commented “We are delighted to have been involved in Project Vantage and believe that the success of our long-standing working relationship with St George Plc is founded on our shared commitment to the uncompromising pursuit of excellence and quality”. The Marble Mosaic Co Ltd has been providing the precast wall cladding panels and structural balcony units for other St George Plc residential developments, including St George Wharf , Battersea Reach, Imperial Wharf and Paddington Central in work packages now totalling £25M since 1998.

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