The green door to Cardiff’s heart

Two types of curtain wallingand entrance doors by Kawneer, including the first use in the UK of a new severe duty welded door, feature on an award-winning building at the heart of the dynamic redevelopment of Cardiff’s Central Square.

Kawneer’s AA100 capped and zone-drained aluminium curtain wall, complemented by its structurally silicone glazed and mullion-drained sister product, have been used throughout the facade of the new headquarters building for BBC Cymru at Three Central Square.

They in turn are complemented by AA720 doors and the new dual colour AA190 TB severe duty welded doorswith class-leading thermal performance that is offered with a lifetime guarantee.

The project, designed by Foster and Partners and built by main contractor ISG Construction for developer Rightacres Property, won a 2019 Rics Wales award for Design Through Innovation.

Set over four floors, the building is the new home for 1,200 BBC Cymru staff and includes 16,292m2 of curtain walling and 3,572m2 of precast stone panels over 150,000ft2 of office, studio and production space.

The 2,000-tonne steel frame is an essential design feature, as part of the design’s focus on the building’s visibility. Itis left exposed underneath a glass roof garden canopy supported by 10 28m-high supporting steel columns, with the frame’s connections forming a diamond shape in the centre.

The project targeted BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ environmental accreditation with strategies such as chilled beams, locally-sourced and recycled materials, and an efficient envelope. Mechanical systems have been carefully integrated to create a highly flexible interior that can anticipate and respond to changing technologies.

Adam Newburn, partner atFoster and Partners, said: “The Kawneer system was proposed by the facade contractor, Dudley’s Aluminium. We looked at the product closely and found that it met the performance requirements of the design.”

The glazed elements are fundamental to Foster’s design which was to have large-format curtain glazing so the Kawneer products were instrumental in allowing that to happen.They met the aesthetic and performance intent of the design, enablingthe design intent to shine through and integrating seamlessly with the rest of the facade.