CLEARER INSIGHT INTO MANCHESTER PICCADILLY STATION

04 March 2005
Structural glazing systems from Pilkington Architectural have helped in the recent impressive transformation of Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.
Structural glazing systems from Pilkington Architectural have helped in the recent impressive transformation of Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.

Structural glazing systems from Pilkington Architectural have helped in the recent impressive transformation of Manchester’s Piccadilly Station. The massive redevelopment, costing more than £55 million, has involved the creation of a new low level concourse to the Fairfield Street entrance, linked to a new main concourse building via escalators, stairs and lifts, as part of a scheme that involved the pedestrianisation of the existing approach ramp and new car parking.

Architects, BDP Manchester, specified Pilkington Planarclad™ curtainwall architectural glazing system throughout the site on the main elevations, all entrances and most obviously on the 120m elevation along the London Road, which wraps around the main entrance area. Also, it is used as a major focal feature is the trainshed screen, which forms a link between the passenger concourse and the train shed itself. “The use of Pilkington Planarclad™ here is to allow clear views of the trains entering the station,” explains Peter Jenkins of BDP. “Overall, Pilkington Planarclad™ was specified as it provided the exact aesthetic impact that we required within the design. There was no requirement for opening windows or transomes, instead mullions were used as the main feature in the glazing construction and Pilkington Planarclad™ fitted this requirement. In the Virgin First Class Lounge, we also used Pilkington Planar™, which provides a flush surface.”

Pilkington’s Planarclad™ extruded aluminium mullion glazing system was used on the vertical walls of the elevations, with some panels used on the roof structure. In conjunction with BDP, Bridgetown Developments Limited of Stratford upon Avon, designed and installed the system, which comprised 10/16/6.26mm clear Low E Pilkington K Glass™ with laminated glass to the inner leaf. In total, over 1700 sq. m of glass was required for the project, one of the largest Pilkington Planarclad™ applications in the country.

BDP was responsible for the concept design of the whole regeneration and acted as detail architects for all phases except the new Satellite Lounge. “The key concept is that not only can passengers view into and around the station, but that they can also look out across the horizons of Manchester city centre,” explains Peter Jenkins. “Structurally, the Pilkington Planarclad™ curtainwall system provides strength and durability and aesthetically, it allows visual accessibility to both the train station and the city.”