Alfresco Floors install a new ‘invisible fix’ decking system for the Royal Opera House’s latest restaurant.
The new ‘Level 5 Restaurant’ of the Royal Opera House overlooks London’s Covent Garden Piazza. For the last 25 years this large, 600sqm terrace of hardwood deck had been allowed to weather away, exposed to the elements. Inevitably, when Stanton Williams Architects were asked to oversee the extensive redevelopment of this area, a brand new deck was an integral part of the plan.
Originally a rest area for staff at the Royal Opera House, the new decking area was to be re-purposed as part restaurant, part relaxation area, part meeting space and part open air dance training studio.
With all this in mind, outdoor flooring specialists Alfresco Floors were asked to consult and, having examined the site in detail, their recommendation was to retain the existing joist structure and use their Grad ‘invisible fixings’ deck system to provide a new ‘treated softwood’ surface.
Crucially on this project, the extremely low build-up dimensions of the Grad system meant that Alfresco Floors could install all the rails, clips and boards onto these existing joists, and still meet all the door threshold heights.
The Grad system uses a patented clip fixing which locks into specially milled grooves along the underside of each board so it leaves no fixings on show, either on the surface or even in the gaps between each board.
There are currently four treated softwoods which are manufactured to fit the Grad invisible fixings system; Thermo-Pine, Thermo-Ash, Accoya and Kebony. These new technology timbers are all rated to perform and last better than most hardwoods, but at a fraction of the financial or environmental cost.
There is a growing range of FSC compliant wood/polymer composite boards available for Grad as well.