Soaring glass wall

A state-of-the-art office space was the brief for Isle of Man-based architect Savage and Chadwick when asked to design a new building at the Douglas headquarters of online gaming software business, Microgaming.

The new building sits adjacent to the company’s existing office, and both sites connect via a glazed ‘sky bridge’ across the road in between the two. Providing office space for the company’s expanding Isle of Man team, the new premises helps to attract employees.

The new building also includes a roof terrace, a canteen and coffee bar, a gym, and a gallery space.

The main focal point for the building is a full-height wall of Pilkington Planar glazing, which rises more than 25m tall and spans 9m wide. This encloses a five-storey atrium, creating a dramatic entrance to the building and flooding its interior with daylight.

The glass is supported by a lightweight tension structure, combined with low-profile stainless steel point fixings.

This avoids the need for any large framing elements, giving the appearance of an almost free-standing wall of glass.

The Pilkington Planar system is designed with an outer pane of 12mm-thick Pilkington Suncool Pro T – a toughened glass that provides high resistance to wind loads.

The glass also features an advanced solar control coating that reduces the amount of the sun’s energy entering the building while maintaining high levels of transparency.

Ollie Taffinder, managing director at installer OJ Taffinder, said: “We needed a system that would allow us to create a large, clear facade for the front of the building, without using bulky and unsightly framing.

“The tension structure is an evolution of more traditional rigid steel structures and provides a very elegant appearance, similar to that which can be achieved with glass fins. The clean lines and low profile of the stainless-steel bolts used by the Pilkington Planar system finish the design perfectly, delivering an almost uninterrupted wall of glass.”