Aluminium first

Elements from all of Kawneer’s architectural glazing systems portfolio have been used on a wide range of applications in Manchester’s new neighbourhood: the £500 million First Street Manchester.

The leading UK manufacturer’s AA100 mullion-drained curtain walling, swing doors and AA541 top-hung casement windows for high levels of natural ventilation have been used on the 279 individual luxury studios of the premier 11-storey Vita student accommodation from Select Property Group.

This features blocks of colour within the glazing that complement the geometric building design and includes a 5,400ft2 student hub offering a reception, lounge, games area, gym, movie room and group study space.

Kawneer’s AA100 curtain walling has been used again, alongside fixed lights, on the mixed-use elements comprising a pair of retail units, 700-space multi-storey car park, and four-star, 208-bed hotel – the first ‘Innside’ hotel in the UK from Melia Hotels International – also in First Street North.

The retail units and lobby to the 11-storey hotel featured reverse slope glazing by Kawneer which gave the design team some great internal atrium space, the glass roof giving a much sharper and cleaner line to the outside of the building. Solar gain was controlled using metal solar shading blades fitted to the curtain wall as well as high performance neutral glazing units.

The hotel design allowed for high levels of acoustic insulation and barrier loadings while maintaining the floor to ceiling glass which gives the occupants high levels of natural light and great views of the city. The Kawneer windows were designed and installed to accommodate live load floor slab deflections while still giving the vertical linear design intent.

The glazing by Kawneer was installed over a year by Bennett Architectural Aluminium for main contractor Carillion.

Director Rob Bennett said: “The co-ordination and logistics of the project presented many challenges due to the complex nature of the site itself, and a high degree of flexibility was required from our site team. Glazing operations frequently had to be carried out at weekends when the number of trades on site was reduced, ensuring a more efficient and safer installation.”