Pilkington Raises the Glass Ceiling

04 March 2005
A stunning new heated glass link-way has been constructed at the £20.4 million Northern Rock Bank’s Head Office extension in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, using a range of innovative glass products from Pilkington Architectural.
Pilkington Planar™ Northern RockA stunning new heated glass link-way has been constructed at the £20.4 million Northern Rock Bank’s Head Office extension in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, using a range of innovative glass products from Pilkington Architectural.

Aimed at centralising the bank’s administration in the North East, this eye-catching structure links four three-storey blocks around a central core creating a unified circulation zone.

Designed by Redbox Architects, the link-way’s 750m2 glazed barrel roof required a material that could perform structurally by meeting the stringent loading criteria, and perform environmentally by offering effective insulating properties, whilst still providing an aesthetically pleasing solution. To meet these demanding requirements Redbox specified the use of the Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system, the world market leader for bolted glass systems. Pillkington Planar™ structural glass systems can provide a complete glass envelope for building structures without the need for conventional frames or mullions.

Engineered by Pendant Aluminium in conjunction with Pilkington Architectural, the outer pane of the double glazed units used 12mm Pilkington Optifloat™ T Plus with a white screen-printed surface. This satisfied the important aesthetic requirements of the project as it allowed a passage of white diffused light to flood into the structure.

The inner pane comprised of a 14mm laminated glass composite of 6mm heat strengthened Pilkington K Glass™, an interlayer and a layer of 6mm Pilkington Optifloat™ heat strengthened glass, which was specified to meet the necessary U-value and load bearing requirements of the project.

Working within extremely confined conditions on-site called for several creative installation solutions owing to the enclosed nature of the project location. The challenges were overcome as engineers from Pendant Aluminium and Pilkington worked closely together. The design stage was critical and this time was spent overcoming key technical issues such as the substantial movement between different sections of the supporting steel structure.

Paul Roberts from Pendant Aluminium commented: “The creation of this fantastic glazed “street” at the core of this development is a demonstration of the adaptability and functionality of the Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system. The attractive white screen surface not only allows for the passage of diffused light but also provides the required level of solar shading, creating an exciting use of space.”