Facade systems from architectural aluminium glazing specialist, Technal, have again been specified by AFL Architects. The latest project is the second phase of the Chelsea Football Club Training Academy Campus at Cobham in Surrey, which features Technal’s new MX Trame Horizontale curtain walling system.


Developed to provide a new purpose-designed pavilion for youth and community use, the scheme’s design is strongly influenced by the adjacent training academy completed in 2007. The main contractor was Leadbitter Construction.


The contemporary palette of materials helps to harmonise the building in its green belt location, and includes brass cladding to the gables and eaves, subtle ochre-coloured rendering and Technal’s curtain walling with a horizontal emphasis.


The MX Trame façade system is used on each elevation as high level ribbon glazing to the upper floors, recessed panels or protruding ‘boxes’ at the gable ends and full height glazing to the entrance and stairwells. This maximises natural light for the circulation areas, gym, offices, dining room and teaching areas.


The Trame Horizontale option was selected by the architects to accentuate the linear aspect across the glazed areas. This was achieved with Technal’s innovative system design – projecting aerofoil caps for the transoms and slender face trim gaskets, which soften the vertical sections. Concealed top hung vents were inserted into the curtain walling to provide natural ventilation where required.


Commenting on the glazing specification, AFL Architects, said, “Our aim with the glazing was to articulate and separate the layered elements of the façade and to allow lots of natural day light into the upper floors. We specified Technal’s MX Trame curtain walling system, which was used on the first phase, and the bull nose cap to provide a horizontal emphasis across the building. It is visually very successful.”


Fabricated and installed by Leay, the curtain walling was glazed in clear low E glass and finished in silver to contrast with the brass cladding. Technal’s fixed light FXi65 high performance windows were also used at ground floor level installed into the rendered walls, and CD commercial doors with an anti-finger trap safety device were inserted into the curtain walling.


Also available in a vertical option, MX Trame uses the same grid system as other design options in the MX curtain walling suite for ease of specification and fabrication. It will accommodate 6mm to 32mm glazing units, as a flat façade or faceted up to 10º. Concealed vents can be supplied in top hung open-out or tilt/turn configurations, and MX Acoustic is a further option for MX Trame Horizontale for applications where additional acoustic protection is required.


The first phase of the multi-million pound Cobham development, also designed by AFL Architects, was the world-class training facility for Chelsea FC’s first team – one of the most ambitious investments undertaken by a football club. This building was predominantly glazed in Technal’s Trame Horizontale faceted curtain walling and featured a curved green roof to help it blend into its rural surroundings.


Client: Chelsea Football Club
Architects: AFL Architects
Main contractors: Leadbitter Construction
Structural engineer: Web Yates Engineers
Quantity surveyor: Hand Deere & Cox
Façade system: Technal
Glazing fabricator: Leay

 Chelsea Youth Academy - Cobham, Surrey


Chelsea Youth Academy - Cobham, Surrey


Chelsea Youth Academy - Cobham, Surrey


Chelsea Youth Academy - Cobham, Surrey