Project with a premium feel

6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, integrates five buildings in a historic Edinburgh square which, according to the joint design team of CDA and Hoskins Architects, is a striking contemporary counterpoint to the surrounding architecture.

The final design uses custom-made fins – some bronze and some stone – along with projecting lantern glass boxes and a grand double height entrance leading to a full height atrium.

However, the designers were also keen to respect the rich architectural heritage of the site by using the highest quality materials, including the glazing, which covers most of the building.

Michael Metcalfe, commercial sales manager at Pilkington UK, said: “The whole building has been finished to an extremely high standard, and that’s visible in the glazing. A great deal of attention has been paid in the installation to ensure near perfect alignment of the units.

“As a result, when the surrounding buildings are reflected in the facade, there is very little distortion, helping to lend a very premium feel to the whole project.”

To complete the facade, two different glazing technologies were used. The ground floor retail units and the soffit glazing on the underside of the projecting spaces were achieved using a Pilkington Planar structural bolted system. This uses low profile stainless steel fixings to provide frameless, glass surfaces.

The rest of the facade features a bespoke curtain wall system from Kawneer, onto which the bronze and stone fins are mounted.

“The fins play a critical role in allowing the designers to deliver such a heavily glazed building at this very sensitive site. When you face the facade head-on, they are narrow enough that you can hardly see them. But, as you move into the square itself, the building’s frontage appears to become solid.

“Thanks to the cleverly concealed full-height glazing, the interior is filled with daylight and occupants get the full benefit of the impressive views of Edinburgh Old Town and over the Firth of Forth.”

The building was developed by the Standard Life Pooled Property Pension Fund and joint venture partner Peveril Securities, who wanted the property to deliver modern energy performance standards. Therefore, Pilkington Suncool 66/33 T glass was specified across the whole building, which helps to reduce transmission of heat from the sun to just 33%, while allowing 66% of visible light through.

4000m2 of glass was used in total across the facade.