Architect: RCKa Architects
Workspace designer: David Leon & Associates
Fabricator: ADP Aluminium Systems
Main contractor: Thomas Vale Construction
Products: GEODE-MX62 curtain walling; FXi65 casement windows; CD commercial doors
Technal’s glazing systems were specified by RCKa Architects for a Technology Centre for De La Rue – the world’s largest integrated commercial bank note printer. The project at Overton Mill in Hampshire also included extensive refurbishment of an office building to house a new research facility.
The brief for the scheme was to create a distinctive, world-class building with a modern façade that would better reflect De La Rue’s aspirations as a leading global organisation, stimulate innovation and interaction, and blend well into its rural surroundings.
Creating a First Class Technology Centre
The new three-storey wing to the south east elevation has provided a state-of-the-art centre for the development of new products and security features. It accommodates a series of secure laboratories, open-plan offices with expansive views, and a visitor’s suite.
The building’s contemporary design has a sculptural form featuring deep reveals and projecting sills to provide shade from the sun in summer and to allow high levels of natural daylight during the winter. And by recycling and converting an existing facility, the client gained a brand new research centre to encourage collaboration and innovation, for significantly less than the cost of a new building.
Glazing to Unify the Building’s Existing and New Elements
The fenestration of the technology centre was designed to unify both the new and existing parts of the scheme and to reflect the activities inside – the ground floor of the extension has a solid ‘plinth’ with smaller FXi65 casement windows for privacy where research activities take place.
Aluminium Windows to Radically Improve Thermal Efficiency
The two upper floors have large spans of curtain walling to maximise natural light where the office spaces and facilities for visitors are sited. The GEODE-MX62 system was also used to enclose a new double height entrance lobby for the main brick-clad building, allowing views up to the top floor.
The FXi65 ribbon windows replaced the original steel windows which had reached the end of their life, radically improving the building’s thermal efficiency and reducing heat loss. The new systems have a projecting top hung configuration with fixed lights and were all internally glazed.
The Architect’s Perspective
Russell Curtis, Project Architect, RCKa Architects:
“The original building had deteriorated badly and had limited architectural quality. Our aim was to create a new wing that would enhance the appearance of the site, create a more sustainable, productive working environment, and better reflect the values of De La Rue as a leading global research organisation.”
“Technal’s façade systems met our requirements for cost efficiency, consistency of appearance, aesthetics, thermal performance and the GEODE-MX62 curtain walling option could achieve large spans with narrow sight lines to maximise natural light. We are very pleased with how the fenestration solution has unified both the existing and new elements of the building.”
“Technal’s assistance with the specification made the facade design process very straightforward, despite its complexity, and we are very happy with their team’s technical input. We would definitely consider specifying these systems for future schemes. The success of the overall project is testament to the vision of the client and the project team.”
Fully Integrated Glazing Systems for Creative Freedom
The GEODE-MX curtain walling is fully compatible with the FXi casement window suite for ease of specification and installation, and can be used to create a variety of architectural compositions from a single grid system. Design options include:
A Curtain Walling System to Accommodate Larger Dimensions
GEODE-MX62 curtain walling allows building designers to accommodate larger dimensions and increase natural light. The option features a 62mm module, and a maximum weight of 600kg per transom can be specified – compared to up to 400kg for the standard Visible Grid curtain wall. This enables architects and contractors to achieve even larger glass sizes to help reduce the reliance on artificial lighting, and meet their sustainability objectives.
MX62 is available in three mullion/transom sizes – 80mm, 140mm and 200mm for further design flexibility, and will accommodate 8mm to 44mm glazing as a flat façade. Structurally-bonded top hung concealed vents can be supplied for 36mm and 42mm glazing, allowing natural ventilation whilst maintaining a frameless appearance to make the sections of the vents indistinguishable from the curtain wall when in a closed position.
Images © RCKa Architects
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