For a new mixed use building on Oxford Street in central London, our façade engineers devised a series of specialised solutions to achieve the challenging architectural design. The building's double-curved façade is composed of an articulated 3D glass skin. In addition, to maximise the area available to let the eight-storey structure features a curved glazed roof space that uses technology new to the UK.
The main body of the building is clad in a double-curved facade, constructed using a unitised cladding system. To accommodate the curvature, the glazing is faceted vertically and horizontally — an engineered solution that made the design buildable. For the street elevations, fritted glass artist-design panels are organised in vertical strips, alternating with metallic-finish ribs. To meet energy targets, solar control low emission coating has been used. Spandrel panels, 1.5m wide, run in horizontal rows where the floor slabs meet the façades.
At roof level, bespoke curved steel ribs support twisted glass double-glazed panels, continuing the idea of a totally glazed building. The panels were made using a new technique in which four pieces of glass are laminated and put together through hot-bending to achieve the twist — no moulds were used.
Prototypes for façade and roof elements were constructed and extensive testing carried out. Thermal analysis of the spandrel panels was undertaken to investigate the behaviour of laminated glass under high temperatures.