The new MX curtain walling system from architectural aluminium systems specialist, Technal, has been specified by Cartwright Pickard Architects for a landmark 16-storey tower in Sheffield, which has now started on site.


The £850,000 contract has been awarded to fabricator and installer Dortech, in partnership with Technal.


Developed by Urban i, the I Quarter is a £12m mixed use riverside scheme, which includes construction of a spectacular fully glazed residential tower overlooking the River Don.


The form and position of the tower will create a strong urban landmark for the city and it will provide high specification apartments with retail units in the base of the building, whilst regenerating a key brownfield site.


Finished in dark grey and glazed in clear low E glass to the vision areas, Technal’s full height MX faceted curtain walling will be used to follow the curve of the tower.


The curtain walling will carry insulated glass panels with a ceramic coating in a palette of four shades of blue to conceal the building structure in a random pattern.  The colour scheme will provide movement and interest across the face of the building.  The effect will be a distinctly contemporary appearance for the external envelope, which will contrast with the rich colours of the listed buildings nearby.

Around 250 of Technal’s FXi65 top hung casement windows will be inserted into the curtain walling to provide natural ventilation for the apartments.  This high specification system is Technal’s most technically advanced window suite to date, and incorporates a 19mm flush polyamide thermal break and innovative gasket detailing for enhanced thermal efficiency.


The MX curtain wall is the first system in the UK to offer such a wide variety of design options from a single grid, including low to high rise, visible grid, faceted, structural, beaded and sloped glazing, and MX Trame Horizontale and Verticale.  It will achieve low U values in accordance with the most stringent Building Regulations, and offers consistent site lines and interfaces, exceptional design flexibility and ease of installation to reduce time on site.


Commenting on the glazing specification, Karl Brennan, Project Architect at Cartwright Pickard Architects, said, “The MX system has provided us with a cost-effective alternative to a glass-to-glass system, whilst allowing us to express the curves of the building.  It is a flexible system and we are impressed with its thermal performance qualities.  It has enabled us to easily achieve the required U values for Part L compliance.”


Cartwright Pickard Architects have specified Technal’s systems for a number of award-winning schemes, including the headquarters for Phoenix Natural Gas in Belfast and the Sixth Avenue Apartments in York.

I Quarter, Sheffield


I Quarter, Sheffield