Chelsea Academy, Surrey

Architect: AFL Architects
Main contractor: Dean & Dyball
Fabricator: Fox Aluminium
Products: Trame Horizontale curtain walling, concealed top hung vents, GXi sliding aluminium doors

The new multi-million pound, world-class training facility for Chelsea FC – one of the most ambitious investments undertaken by a football club – has been predominantly glazed in high specification curtain walling from Technal.

The architects’ design for the training academy at Cobham in Surrey has provided an inspirational environment for players at every level, that successfully integrates into the green-belt landscape. The campus style building features a curved roof, which drops down to ground level at either end and has a natural living surface to help it blend into the rural surroundings.

Trame Horizontale curtain walling was specified for its horizontal emphasis to express the linear aspect of the building. The system was used on three elevations to give the academy an open and spacious feel, and an eye-catching, contemporary design.

On the north and south elevations, the top mullions and pressure plates of the curtain walling were specially curved to follow the dramatic roof line. The system was finished in metallic silver, and glazed in clear solar control glass with fritted panels to conceal the building’s structure and services whilst maintaining a continuous glazed façade. Externally, the horizontal aerofoil caps to the curtain wall were silver, with contrasting black vertical profiles.

The glazing is shielded from solar gain by a series of vertical brise soleil ‘fins’ that are clad in brass panels, which will weather naturally over time. Concealed top hung vents were inserted into the façades to provide natural ventilation where required.

GXi sliding aluminium doors were also installed, opening onto the balconies from the managers’ suites and two larger sets provide access onto the players’ terrace.