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Building an envelope.


Environmental Technology developed the design of two Entech products - external sunshades and internal luminaire units - for the new RAC Regional Control Centre, Bristol, by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. The external sunshades running around the building at two levels, consist of curved and faceted aluminium aerofoil nosings mounted on a suspended substructure. The specially constructed grilles screen horizontal sunlight and provide walkways for cleaning and maintenance of the external glazing at both levels. The assemblies were suspended on a tensioned system of stainless steel cables and mounting plates.

A very high degree of accuracy was required, both in the manufacture of the components and in their installation.

McCalls Special Products provided Guy Linking stainless steel bars and cables for secondary bracing, atrium roof truss ties, bridge support bracing, ductwork hangers and suspending external walkways. Macalloy 460 ties and fittings were used in the tower.

Environmental Technology, Entech House, London Road, Woolmer Green, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, UK +44 (0)1438 812812. Fax: +44(0)1438 814224

McCalls Special Products, PO Box 71, Hawke St Sheffield, England +44 (0) 114 242 6704 Fax: +44 (0) 114 243 1324


Sto is a well-known German manufacturer of protective wall coatings of various kinds, stucco, paints in glorious colours and plasters. The company is international, with a network of subsidiaries, branch offices, plants, warehouses and research laboratories around the world; and a reputation for innovation. The latest innovation is its own cladding system, presented in the spectacular form of a new regional depot - the Sto-Branch, by Michael Wilford & Partners near Hamburg - on the well-founded principle that this would be its best advertisement. The scheme consists of a warehouse, a barrel-vaulted office building and a training pavilion, each of which has a structural steel frame and external walls of the new cladding panel system, with panels being a composed of layers of insulation, stucco and weatherproofing. Wilford's geometric play with form and surface is emphasised by a glorious use of Sto colour. Outside is the Modernist brilliance of red, yellow, blue and white; inside, the definition of space by coloured planes - pink, yellow, green, purple - is extraordinary, and strongly reminiscent of Barragan.

Sto, Ehrenbachstrasse 1, D-79780 Stuhlingen, Germany. +49 7744 57 0. Fax: +49 (0)7744 57 2178


Josef Gartner, a specialist in the design and manufacture of high quality curtain walling, windows, claddings and architectural metalwork, was responsible for the glass entrance of the Bayerische Landesbank in Luxemburg, designed by the Munich practice of Wilhelm Kucker, with Klaus Freudenfeld. Glazed entrance walls form an integrated facade, composed of Gartner's system with a vented polygonal glazed steel roof.

Josef Gartner & Co, Gundelfingen, Germany +49 9073 84 2203 Fax: +49 9073 84 2120


The entrance pavilion of the new Broadfield House Glass Museum (see page 24) is glazed with Saint-Gobain's clear Cool-Lite K Neutral KN 169 and Screen-Lite glass. Designed by Design Antenna in conjunction with Dewhurst MacFarlane and Partners, the pavilion is believed to be the largest glass structure of its kind yet built. Toughened Cool-Lite was used for the outer pane of double-glazed units for walls and roof, with 10mm glass being used in the roof, and 8mm in the walls. Vertical glazing allows only 59 per cent of solar energy to enter the building, while letting in 61 per cent of natural daylight. Screen-Lite, fritted with white ceramic bars, was specified for the inner of the two laminated panes in roof units, so that the whole roof acts as a solar reflector, reducing entry of solar energy to less than 37 per cent. The Cool-Lite glass was produced by the company's subsidiary, Sas Glas, in Holland, but subsequent processing was carried out in the UK by the Saint-Gobain's company, Solaglas.

Saint-Gobain Glass UK, 19 Dunraven Street, Park Lane, London W1 +44 (0)171 409 0017 Fax: +44 (0) 171 499 6269


The Design Centre at Linz, Germany, designed by Herzog + Partner (AR May 94), is a low-slung, barrel-vaulted structure that dominates its featureless surroundings. The primary steel structure consists of 34 arches with a protective oversailing canopy grafted on to the structural steelwork. The whole vault works as a single system that admits daylight while deflecting solar energy. Three different types of glass have been used in its composition.

Seele supplied the rilled. opaque and thermally insulating glass system that makes up the main part of the structure. and tinted solar glass over perimeter bands of small offices.


A third kind of glass panel system, specially developed with Siemens for the project, forms an outer protective skin for the Design Centre that was minutely calculated by computer to respond to the seasonal angle of the sun. Each panel is composed of two insulating glass sheets enclosing a 16mm thick retro-reflecting grid screen coated on one side with aluminium. While indirect light passes through the screen, direct light is deflected.

Seele, Gutenbergstrasse 19, D-86368 Gersthofen, Germany +49 821 2494 0 Fax: +49821 2494 100

Siemens, AS 1 4 V414, Ohmstrasse 50, 83296 Traunreut, Germany +49 (0)8669 33 429 Fax: +49 (0)8669 33 684


MBM (Metalbau Mockmuhl) works with architects on the fabrication of special components of the architectural envelope. The firm was responsible for supplying the revolving door, minimally contrived in slender glass and steel, and set into the glass facade of the Hotel Kempinski, designed by the Chicago practice, Murphy & Jahn for Munich Airport. The door was specially made for this building, but the firm does make a few off-the-peg doors of high quality.


MBM was also responsible for executing the prefabricated structure of Les Facettes, a Frankfurt shopping centre (AR October 93) designed by Rudiger Kramm with Axel Strigl. The building contains shops arranged on several levels off an internal street that winds its way up and around a numinous atrium. It is enclosed by a multifaceted and layered envelope of metal and glass beneath an arched and cantilevered roof, whose transparency and colour changes with the light, both natural and artificial. This mutable skin also responds to the noise of the street, for specially designed computers transform acoustic signals into a changing spectacle of light.

Metalbau Mockmuhl, Postfach 1149, 74215 Mockmuhl, Germany +49 62 98 38 0 Fax: +49 62 98 38 13


The Bauwens Haus in the conservation area of Leipzig was designed by Henrich-Petschnigg and Partners. While making reference to the previous occupant of the site damaged during the war and later torn down - the architects have acknowledged modernity in the form of a transparent light-filled hall of filigreed steel and glass. The structure, manufactured by Seele, faces on to the street and encloses an interior courtyard that acts as a public space.

The thin facade is suspended from the outermost gable beam so that only the wind loads have to be absorbed by the horizontal framework of beams. The weight of the glass wall is borne by the roof, by means of fine tie rods.

Seele, Gutenbergstrasse 19, D-86368 Gersthofen, Germany. +49 821 24 94 0 Fax: +49 821 24 94 100


Refurbishment of the Fiat Lingotto building, designed in 1916 by Giacomo Matte Trucco, began in 1985 with the appointment of a team of consultants, including Renzo Piano, to develop the whole site, making it into a huge centre for science and technology and management studies, exhibitions and conferences, leisure and shopping. A series of basic components (glazing, light fittings, partitions and floors) were designed well in advance to ensure uniformity. After an initial glazing contract on the site, the Italian firm of Focchi was appointed in 1991 to carry out the glazed curtain walling in Piano's scheme for an exhibition centre. Rising 12m without intermediate supports, the design of glazed walls makes use of structural silicone technology. They are composed of outer panes of clear toughened glass, and internal bearing structure with solid aluminium mullions and special aluminium castings.

Focchi, Circonvallazione Ovest 9, 47037 Rimini, Italy +39 541 740055 Fax: +39 541 742167


On the banks of the Rhone in France, the new Cite Scolaire Internationale de Lyon, by Jourda & Perraudin, accommodates 830 primary, secondary and college students within a continuous rippling glass skin. The comfort and security of the occupants is controlled by the ventilation and smoke-release system. It consists of 2700 Naco mechanisms which, disposed over the whole length of the building, operate 18 000 adjustable glass blades. The advantages of the system are natural light and comfortable temperatures in winter and summer, while opening 2600[m.sup.2] of the building wall allows smoke to escape in the case of an emergency.

Caradon Naco, Corso d' Italia, 35/B 00198 Rome, Italy +39 6 84 15 766 Fax: +39 6 88 45 197


Architect Rainer Steffen specified Schuco's systems in the construction of the Clipperhaus, a glazed hall connecting two buildings, near Hamburg Airport. The steel and glass structure, with its saw-toothed silhouette, is made of the firm's FW 50 System. It creates profiled facades of thermally insulated, aluminium mullion and transom construction, with a 50mm face width. Isokotherm 74 was used for the thermally insulated, aluminium windows.

Schuco International Whitehall Avenue, Kingston, Milton Keynes MK10 0AL, England +44(0)1908-282111 Fax: +44 (0)1908-282124

Karolinenstrasse 1-15, Bielefeld 1, D-33609, Germany +49 521 - 783420


Shadovoltaic Wings, photovoltaic louvres from Colt, have been installed on the roof of a steel and glass pyramid built over the courtyard of an office building in Geneva. The building, which belongs to the Digital Equipment Corporation, has been renovated by the Swiss practice of Lecouturier-Caduff, which also designed the pyramid. The glass louvres, assembled on frames, can be opaque and coloured or semi-transparent, and are fitted to the exterior of the glass. The system uses solar power generation with photovoltaic cells so that the louvres automatically follow the direction of the sun and shade the interior while also generating electricity - the four sides of the pyramid are separately controlled by a solar data programme. When required, the louvres open fully to allow the maximum amount of light through; when closed they form a flat surface.

Colt International, New Lane, Havant, Hampshire, England +44 (0)1705 451111 Fax: +44 (0) 1705 454220


Schweger and Partner, Hamburg, specified Flachglas' products for the transparent envelope of the new Museum of Art in Wolfsburg, Germany. Where blind facades are clad in finely corrugated aluminium panels, transparent ones consist of steel and aluminium trusses with special profiles fitted with Thermoplus low emissivity insulating glass, or grey Delogcolor and Delogcolor Design glass panels, Solar control consists of a screen-printed grid of fine dark and light grey dots. A two-storey rotunda that forms the lobby has been glazed with Infrastop Grey 43/49 solar control reflective and insulating glass. Allstop bullet-proof glass, combined with solar control insulating glass, was installed in certain areas for security purposes.

Flachglas, Auf der Reihe 2, 45884 Geisenkirchen, Germany +49 209 1680 Fax: +49 209 1682053


A curved canopy clad with TECU-Patina pre-patinaed copper forms an important element in the design of Baggy House, Devon, by Anthony Hudson Architects. The copper sheets are specially treated in the factory so they immediately acquire the distinctive green patina that takes years to develop naturally. The composition of the factory-applied patina is similar to that of the natural, and the former changes slowly with time as old copper does. As well as being decorative, the patina protects from corrosion, requires no maintenance and is long lasting - important properties in this exposed coastal part of Devon. The house won this year's Sunday Times/Royal Fine Art Commission's Building of the Year Award.

KM-kabelmetal UK, 9/17 Tuxford Road, Hamilton Industrial Park, Leicester, UK +44 (0)116 246 1130 Fax: +44 (0)116246 1132


The Dutch practice of Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects specified Rheinzink's pre-weathered copper strips for cladding The Whale - the astonishing structure that floats over the headquarters of the National Nederlanden and ING Bank in Budapest. Containing the firm's boardroom and conference room, the structure is partly submerged in a sea of glass, an inclined roof supported by glass beams, over the internal courtyard of the nineteenth-century building. Permasteelisa, the Italian glass systems manufacturer, was responsible for the glass roof.

Rheinzink, Postfach 1452, D-45705 Datteln, Germany +49 2363 605 0. Fax: +49 2363 605 209

Permasteelisa, Beatty House, Suite 2, Admiral's Way, London E14, UK +44 (0)171-538 1061 Fax: +44 (0) 171-538 2869

Permasteelisa, Italy +39 438 4911 Fax +39 438 1606


A stadium roof can keep out the weather, but can also keep out light. The Gerry Weber Tennis Stadium in Halle, Germany, has been fitted with a transparent retractable roof that can be opened or closed over grass courts in about two minutes without any great change in lighting conditions. When closed, the roof transmits about 91 per cent of outdoor light, and play can continue. The retractable roof was made and installed by Koit Hightex, a member of the Koch Group. Supported by a lightweight structure, it consists of two halves that move separately, each made of four aluminium framed and transparent modules. The transparency is due to Velaglas, an extruded fluoropolymer membrane, which is lightweight, fire resistant and pliable. Its capacity to transmit light can be altered during manufacture and it can produce different effects such as shadowing. The material has anti-sticking properties so that dirt can be washed away by rain, and it will allow plants to grow beneath. The grandstands of the stadium seat about 12 000 people, who are protected by a pre-tensioned translucent membrane roof held on cable truss frames. The roof was manufactured and installed by Carl Nolte. Pfeifer supplied and installed the cable structure.

Koch Hightex, Nordstrasse 1, D- 83253, Rimsting, Germany. +49 8051 690941 Fax: +49 8051 690949

Carl Nolte, Postfach 1563, 48254 Greven, Germany. +492571 160 Fax: +49 2571 23 33

Pfeifer Seil-und Hebetechnik, Dr Karl Lenz Strasse 66, 87700 Memmingen, Germany +49 8331 140 Fax: +49 8331 14294


The Dodds Jaimieson Partnership, Edinburgh, specified E-Com roof and wall cladding from Composite Panels in the design of the Safeway Distribution Centre at Tamworth. The single-storey warehouse has a propped portal. steel-framed structure, with an adjoining office and administration building and several ancillary buildings. Composite Panels supplied E-Corn Super 4 panels with a Goosewing Plastisol finish for the roof; Metallic Silver PVF2 panels with the same profile for the warehouse walls; and its new E-Com Modular flatwall system for the walls of the administration blocks. The new system, with windows, consists of interlocking panels with steel facings bonded to a flat core of high density polystyrene. Panels can be flat or curved, and provide both weather protection and insulation in one operation. The standard of insulation complies with that laid down by building regulations.

Composite Panels, Newmains Avenue, Inchinnan Business Park, Renfrew, PA4 9RR, Scotland +44 (0) 141 812 6866 Fax: +44 (0) 141 812 7721


In Cambridge, the RH Partnership has designed the new headquarters of Ionica, the telecommunications company. The building is naturally ventilated. Its south side consists of a series of terraces with balconies and sunshades stepping back from a pool and sunken gardens. Set along the roof line are six wind towers above a glass-roofed atrium. AME-Euro designed and manufactured two main elements of the external cladded envelope: two 70m runs of a cantilevered aerofoil canopy, specially developed, and made from 3mm post-coated aluminium, and a facade system. This consists of an inner wall constructed from fully insulated, pre-finished, flat composite panels, and an external facade made from self-finished, silver matt G3 stainless steel.

AME-Euro, Unit 3, Paxton Place, West Pimbo, Skelmersdale, Lancs, WN8 9QH, UK +44 (0)1695 50658 Fax: +44 (0)1695 50652


Bennetts Associates specified curtain walling by Structal (UK) for the entrance and clerestory of PowerGen's purpose-built headquarters near Coventry. Joints between the glass panes in the system are recessed for a flat finish and to reduce the width of external aluminium components. The firm also supplied roof glazing.

Structal (UK) Ltd, Fountain House, East Wing, Great Cornbow, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3BL, UK +44 (0) 121 550 9987 Fax: +44 (0) 121 550 5123


The ship-like structure at Plymouth of the Western Morning News. by Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, links it with the maritime history of the area. The building's skin, curving with the contours of the site, consists of concave glass walls which, supported by external steel tusks, come to a point at the eastern end. On the western side, the wall is covered with sinusoidal steel cladding. McCalls Special Products supplied skeletal elements of the structure: Guy Linking's stainless steel hangar rods and fittings forming vertical supports for Pilkington's planar glazing: the curving steel tusks that define the shape of the wall: the four-legged spider-shaped cast stainless steel glazing bosses: and structural arms that, 2m in length, fan out either side of the tusks and provide horizontal support for the glazed wall.

McCalls Special Products, PO Box 71, Hawke Street, Sheffield, UK +44 (0) 114 242 6704 Fax: +44 (0) 114 243 1324
COPYRIGHT 1995 EMAP Architecture
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Architectural Review
Date:Aug 1, 1995
Previous Article:Architecture and practice: future directions.
Next Article:Hans Scharoun.

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