Overcoming installation challenges

Products from Glasstec Systems were recently used in the refurbishment of 168 Upper Street, an historic buildings situated on the north corner of the parade of buildings between Waterloo Terrace and Barnsbury Street in London.

The building had remained empty since it was bombed during World War II, and its redevelopment was completed in 2017.

The redesigned building, by Groupwork + Amin Taha, now features intricate external mouldings and attractive window surrounds, as well as fine internal skirting, dado rails, and cornices. The external facade is constructed from cast terracotta to form a 0.5m-thick wall.

Featured within the external facade are bespoke patinated brass windows and large terracotta pivot doors, all supplied by Glasstec Systems.

The visual impact of the glazing solution in this prominent location was key to the success of the project; Glasstec Systems’ design team overcame a number of installation challenges, ensuring that each glass panel now features low iron insulated glass, some of which weighed over 400kg.

Laurence Cass, director of Glasstec Systems, said: ‘’Our skilled metal worker Alan Cowley and team deserve credit for their dedication to perfection. Seeing the brasswork up close is truly something to behold. The architect’s persistence in his choice of brass as a finish is borne out. The ageing process provides an undoubted richness of character. Low iron insulated glass panels, some weighing over 400kg, were a challenge in themselves to manufacture and install on this busy high street corner. The effect of the low iron glass set into patented brass frames is dramatic to say the least.”

Glasstec Systems’ glazing team worked with the main contractor to ensure that the installation was completed smoothly and on time.

Jason Coe, project architect at Groupwork + Amin Taha, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Glasstec Systems at 168 Upper Street. Their expert technical advice and workmanship was invaluable in solving complex technical challenges and delivering a bespoke, highly crafted yet reasonably priced glazing system that included patinated brass windows and large terracotta pivot doors.”