Flagship project in Greenwich

The mullion-only VS-1 glazing system from Glassolutions, which reduces sightlines and maximises interior brightness, has been installed at a new community hub in south-east London to create a “light, bright social space with a welcoming ambience”.

The Aperture building forms part of the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, an ambitious 150-acre project led by property developer Knight Dragon which is seeking to create a new culture district for London. Described as ‘a modern village hall’, Aperture is a mixed-use community hub comprising a retail unit, café, and flexible spaces on the ground floor, with nursery, prayer space, estate management facilities and gym on the floors above.

Commissioned by main contractor Kier Construction to manufacture and install the building’s facade, Glassolutions fitted a glazed building envelope comprising the flagship VS-1 curtain walling system, supplemented with traditional curtain walling.

A notable feature of architects DSDHA’s design for Aperture was the inclusion of high levels of glazing at ground floor level, with the aim of creating a light, bright interior to emphasise the open and welcoming nature of the community hub. These plans required Glassolutions to design and specify an attractive glazed building envelope with narrow sightlines and a minimum of visible fixtures to let in as much daylight as possible.

The VS-1 installation for Aperture is unique and bespoke, including continuous full high feature fins to minimise the building’s solar gain and enhance thermal and acoustic comfort. The original concept was to use standard curtain walling with a bespoke fin attached, but the properties of VS-1 suited the design perfectly and this was chosen as the final design solution.

VS-1 allows the facade to be held away from the mullion without the use of obtrusive bolt fixings or transoms. This vertical-only structure means that the glass wall visually ‘floats’, presenting an entirely glazed surface that lets in as much daylight as possible to enhance the building’s visual appeal as well as the comfort of its occupants.

For the areas of the building’s envelope fitted with the VS-1 system, Glassolutions delivered thermal comfort and security with the installation of 10mm SGG Securit heat soak toughened SKN 174 II glass paired with 21.5mm SGG Stadip Securit heat soak toughened inner panes, with a silicon seal creating the units’ 16mm cavity. The system also accommodated bespoke storey-height anodised insulated cladding panels, with perforated sinusoidal rainscreen, to meet the architectural concept.

For Aperture’s ground and lower floors, resilience and toughness were priorities for the glass specification. Glazing for these areas comprised outer panes of 8mm and 10mm Cool-Lite SKN176 II, heat soak toughened for extra strength and reduced breakability. This was paired with inner panes of 10.8mm SGG Stadip Protect, separated with a 90% filled argon gas cavity fitted with 16mm black warm edge spacers to reduce heat transfer.

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