The Think Tank

NEW BUILD | Aesthetics

Lincoln, UK

Download 16 new build case studies

Different from every angle

Rockpanel® cladding adds an extra dimension to this innovative building

This award-winning building embodies its purpose. Designed with sustainability in mind, Lincoln’s Think Tank innovation centre – a business incubator with offices, workshops and communal areas – used the latest materials and techniques to blend excellent environmental performance with cutting-edge aesthetics. The design harks back to history, too: the centre’s shape, colours and angles recall the first WW1 tanks, which were built and tested nearby.

Most striking for visitors to Think Tank, though, is the building’s colour, which shifts from shades of deep green through to bronze and orange depending on the light conditions and the angle you view it from. This effect is made possible by Rockpanel Chameleon®, a special grade of compressed stone wool cladding with a crystal top layer that refracts light, and appears to change colour as you move around it.

Chosen as a cost-effective alternative to fibre cement boards, Rockpanel cladding supports the architect’s sustainability goals as well as meeting the highest fire safety standards. It’s long lasting, 100 percent recyclable and made from a renewable natural resource, basalt rock. And in the case of the Think Tank, the cladding’s colour creates a subtle connection to the area’s manufacturing past, as architect Julia Marks points out: “The tank reference is not meant to be visible to every visitor, but I like buildings that echo their surroundings.”

Together with the Think Tank’s green roof, highly insulated envelope and groundsource heating system, Rockpanel cladding has helped create a building that will have a positive impact on the future.

Lincoln, United Kingdom

Project location

Ruston Way

Think Tank, Aesthetics

Think Tank, Lincoln, UK

“The tank reference is not meant to be visible to every visitor, but I like buildings that echo their surroundings.”

Julia Marks

Architect, Architects Marks Barfield

Project Data

Year 2008
Building Type Innovation centre
Application Façade cladding
Product type Rockpanel Chameleon

Lincoln Science & Innovation Park


Jacobs UK Ltd


Marks Barfield

Visit our different case studies