Soho Smartened with Pilkington Planar™

04 March 2005
Novello House, in the heart of London’s Soho district, has been stunningly rejuvenated, with the Pilkington Planar™ frameless glazing system from Pilkington Architectural playing an integral part in both the internal and external design.
Novello House

Novello House, in the heart of London’s Soho district, has been stunningly rejuvenated, with the Pilkington Planar™ frameless glazing system from Pilkington Architectural playing an integral part in both the internal and external design.

Built in 1906, the building was occupied by music publishers Novello until owners, Crown Estates, made the decision to convert the building into offices. The refurbishment includes a roof extension, remodelling of the core around two large atria and the renewal and replacement of staircases and other structural elements to give a clear, open plan space.

The most striking installation of the Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system is in the entrance atrium within the inner courtyard, where a vertical glass wall and roof have been created. This comprises double glazed Pilkington Planar™, 12mm/16mm/6mm using Pilkington K Glass™. Over 640 sq. m of Pilkington Planar™ was required to create an eye-catching focal point at the entrance to the building. Complementing the wall in one corner of the courtyard is a stair tower, with two external sides comprising 12mm/16mm/6mm Pilkington Planar™.

Internally, a number of staircases have been renewed using double glazed Pilkington Planar™ to create an airy, light environment. Charles Henshaw Ltd developed and installed the glazing to architects Rolfe Judd’s specification and also designed the structural steelwork required as a support for the glazing.

“The refurbishment includes pop out windows in the atrium,” comments Jerry Almond from Henshaws. “We worked as a partnership with the architects, main contractors Mace and Pilkington to devise a solution to integrate the steelwork and the glazing with the windows and the result is a great success. The use of Pilkington Planar™ glazing has transformed the appearance of Novello House.”

The success of the Pilkington Planar™ frameless glazing system lies in the interaction and operation of the whole concept, rather than the isolated performance of individual fittings or glazing components. Strength and durability are essential specification factors and the Pilkington Planar™ system offers both. This is achieved by the use of specially designed, highly engineered and tested 316 stainless steel bolts countersunk into the glass to provide a flush, strong glass exterior surface.

Crown Estates are the freeholder for the scheme and the developer is Benchmark Group.