A modern touch for refurb

Flanagan and Lawrence has transformed an office block built in 1975 into a cutting-edge, modern building with the help of a triple-height structurally glazed atrium.

The scheme forms part of Bath Road Central office park and has undergone a major renovation and extension to create a new landmark commercial office building.

Only the core and structural frame of the previous building remain, and the outward appearance has been transformed by a lightweight skin that forms a striking new exterior.

The front of the building features seven full-height structural frames supporting a canopy to form an entrance that delivers a modern interpretation of a classical portico.

Behind this is the 15m-high glazed atrium, which fills the building with natural light while creating a strong visual link with its surroundings.

The walls of the atrium are constructed from structurally glazed units, supported by a low-profile framing system.

Michael Metcalfe, commercial sales manager at Pilkington UK, said: “This project shows how structurally glazed units used with curtain walling can create striking facades by removing external framing.

“From the outside, the system gives the appearance of an uninterrupted wall of glass, allowing designers to achieve very clean lines and adding to the visual appeal of the building.”

The double-glazed Pilkington Insulight Sun units comprise an outer pane of 6mm-thick toughened and heat-soaked Pilkington Suncool 66/33 and an inner pane of 10mm-thick Pilkington Optifloat Clear, also toughened and heat-soaked.

This gives the glazing the combination of insulation, solar control, transparency and structural strength that is needed to create a climate that can be kept cool in summer and warm in winter without excessive heating and air-conditioning costs.

“The UK may have a very stable climate compared with many parts of the world, but without the right glass in place, a triple-height fully glazed space can easily overheat in the sun or get cold during the winter months,” Michael said.

“The Pilkington Suncool glass we have used in this project keeps out 64% of the sun’s energy while allowing a high visible light transmission of 66%. This is possible thanks to an advanced multi-layered coating that filters out the invisible, but very high energy, UV rays in sunlight while still allowing most of the visible light to pass through.”

A second, internal atrium lets natural light enter the rear portion of the building. This is covered by a glass roof created using double-glazed units incorporating 13.5mm-thick Pilkington Optilam Clear.