Dragon Hall Adds A Touch Of Glass22 April 2008
The glazing is part of £1.8 million Heritage Lottery restoration of the Grade 1 listed building that has been transformed into a museum. Pilkington Architectural specified 135m2 of Pilkington Planar Optiwhite™ T Plus glazing, including supporting glass beams. The glazing helps to create a new space in the building known as the Gallery. It connects two wings of the building that were built in the 12th and 15th Century.
The Gallery was formed by extending glazing from the roof, connecting to a cantilevered, inclined glass wall stretching the full width of the courtyard. The glass forms a new, light and airy room that features exhibits about the history of Dragon Hall.
The low iron content of Pilkington Optiwhite™ provides excellent visibility and clarity, helping to showcase the original medieval architecture that the building is famed for. The Pilkington Planar™ system incorporates toughened laminated glass beams that allow the structure to be unobtrusive and subtle, complementing the building’s layout. Such is the versatility of the frameless structural glazing system, architects can employ it to produce designs from the other end of the spectrum, using glass to make bold architectural statements.
The glazing was installed by Pilkington Planar™ Accredited Installers, Ide Contracting Ltd. Ray Spillman, Technical Manager, said: “This project has allowed the creation of extra space to house exhibits that illustrate this building’s great history. A mini crane was used to install the glazing and the ‘vertical’ glass was installed at an angle to reduce reflection and allow a clearer view through it.”
Terry Hickman Smith of architects Lucas Hickman Smith, designed the concept. He said: “We considered various materials for the structure but decided that glass was the ideal solution. We contacted Pilkington to work out the feasibility and they were incredibly helpful throughout - the end product is identical to my original plans thanks to their expertise. Creating a structure entirely from glass has helped to maintain a visible connection with the external courtyard and has preserved the building’s architectural heritage; we have had a lot of positive comments.”