Durham Gateway

We are proud to have worked with Laing O’Rourke and other partners on the Gateway building, an ultramodern, progressive and prominent project commissioned by the University of Durham on the city’s Stockton Road. Although aesthetically stunning, the concept presented several challenging issues.

gateway 7

Planning consent had been granted for a façade of timber and glass, with swooping slopes and curves alternating across several planes. The cedar shingle roofs, necessary to maintain the building’s striking aesthetic, would not be sufficiently steep at the top of the curved planes to prevent water ingress; the challenge presented to Barclay Roofing was to provide a solution that would ensure the building’s aesthetic value was retained, whist guaranteeing a watertight finish.


Working closely with Space Architects, we developed a waterproof sub-roof using Polyroof Protec, a liquid applied polyester resin coated onto a plywood base to provide the water resistance of the finished roof.  Bespoke stainless steel adjustable feet were then fixed to the faceted sections of the roof which followed the general outline of the finished profile before an additional coating of Protec was applied to ensure water could not penetrate the fixing holes. Curved rafters, manufactured off site to pre-designated radii, were then inserted into the adjustable feet which were raised or lowered accordingly to provide support to the base of each rafter.


Softwood treated battens were then fixed to the rafters & finished with Cedar Shingles. The roofs were complimented with Shiplap profiled Cedar wall finishings, all of which were fitted to follow the same pattern of swooping curves.

Lor Gateway

In the Gateway project, we feel we have contributed towards the completion of a striking, contemporary and highly functional building. Thanks go to the whole Laing O’Rourke team for having the confidence to allow us to proceed; Russell Nolan from Space Architects for his technical knowledge and collaborative input; our partnering suppliers and manufacturers including Polyroof Products, Foreman Metal, Woodtech and John Brash; and most of all to our team of roofing operatives and joiners who skilfully put the whole thing together.