Locomotion, Shildon

Architect: Austin Smith Lord
Fabricator: Saint-Gobain Solaglas
Awards: Shortlisted for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year and the Conservation Awards
Products: Trame Horizontale curtain walling, CD high traffic commercial doors


Glazing systems from Technal have been used for the first national museum to be built in the North East. Locomotion is an £11.5m development that combines a series of historic buildings with a new purpose-designed facility that houses 60 historically important vehicles from the national railway collection.


Designed by Austin Smith Lord, the museum is a major regeneration project located in Shildon, one of the world’s oldest railway towns. Since opening, the facility has exceeded all expectations, with visitor numbers three times above those predicted.


Technal’s Trame Horizontale curtain walling was specified as continuous bands of ribbon glazing to provide high level lighting to the long sides of the building. The horizontal emphasis of the system met the architectural aesthetics of the design and contrasts effectively with the gabion wall construction – galvanised steel baskets filled with local stone.


The Trame curtain walling system also features prominently to the main and rear elevations, which are curved at the eaves. The design maximises the amount of natural light entering the building to reduce energy consumption, in keeping with the strong sustainability theme of the project.