Developing the design of the façade works on this project became an exemplary lesson in how close collaboration between Client, Architect, Main Contractor and Trade Contractor can deliver a successful on-time and within budget outcome for all.
This dynamic three storey building acts as a main gateway to the historic Slough Trading Estate, having been constructed on a site which originally included two office buildings, one built in the 1970’s and the other in the 1980’s, linked via a central atrium. The new building incorporates the basement and structural frame of the original development which were refurbished and expanded to create the current footprint.
The main entrance to the East Elevation features a 15m high entry colonnade with a glazed reception area. The dominating vertical feature fins are formed using aluminium composite panels fixed onto an SFS substructure which in turn is secured to the main steel columns. The fin design and construction was an innovative solution put forward by Dane as a more cost effective alternative to the originally conceived materials of choice, precast concrete or GRC, which, given the scale of these elements, created a dramatic reduction in weight and thereby to the imposed loadings onto the supporting foundations. The ACM material is also installed to the soffit and plinth areas.
The western core features a large glazed rooflight providing a full height atrium and creating an expansive area of attractive energy-efficient naturally lit office space.
Dane were interviewed and selected in 2014 as the chosen Façade Contractor; design and collaborative planning discussions commenced shortly thereafter with the construction works taking place in 2015/16. The result is a 6,545 square metre transformational contemporary office building providing a welcome new addition to the Slough Trading Estate.
The full height curtain walling to the entrance area was achieved using Schuco FW60 + Façade System, combining this with 250mm deep steel reinforced mullions and a secondary steel frame that provides a single point of support mid-span.
A full size mock-up of the large external vertical feature fins was produced and the use of 3D design software and C.N.C. machinery greatly assisted the production of the geometrically complex ACM panels. The vertical joint line which runs up the outer tip of the feature fins incorporates a Schuco cap thereby concealing the fixings beneath. As well as providing the dominant architectural feature of the building, the fins also have a practical application as brise soleil, reducing heat build up through the glazed facades.
The south elevation facing onto Bath Road incorporates a bespoke aluminium horizontal brise soleil fixed as cassette units.
To maintain consistency across the building, the Schuco FW60 + System was used both externally and for the vertical internal glazing in a single glazed format and for the atrium rooflight in an insulated double-glazed configuration.
Due to the proximity of Bath Road, and the volume of traffic, the facades are fully sealed and all ventilation is mechanical. It was initially thought that either triple or secondary glazing systems may be required to achieve the necessary sound reduction, however the performance criteria was ultimately met by using double-glazed units.