Kawneer's Curtain Walling Worms Its Way Into Cardiff's Heart
4 September, 2009
Two types of curtain walling from architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer have been used on Cardiff’s new state-of-the-art central library to meet both the aesthetic and performance requirements.
Kawneer’s dry-jointed AA®100 curtain walling with its 50mm sightlines and the AA®110 with 65mm sightlines were specified by architects Stride Treglown Davies for a large proportion of the buildings’ façade and for the roof to the main entrance.
“A major feature of the development”, the curtain walling comprises a stunning blend of clear, fritted and coloured glass panels, in three shades of blue to commemorate the canal that used to run through this area of Cardiff.
The fenestration is arranged in a series of tall, narrow units in representation of book ends, with many of these being punctuated by narrow, sun-louvre fins projecting vertically from the face of the curtain wall caps or horizontally from the silicone joints.
The glazing, while perhaps representing colourful, contemporary paperbacks, is complemented on the less public southern elevation by brass cassette rainscreen panels which as they weather to a dull brown could be seen to mimic older leather volumes.
Stride Treglown Davies associate Anthony Walsh said they specified Kawneer for Cardiff’s new Central Library because the supplier is “considered to be one of the market leaders in curtain walling systems.”
He added: “The curtain walling is a major feature of the development. It complied not only with the aesthetic requirements but also with the performance requirements, in particular the need to comply with BS 6180.”
“It has a significant impact on the building design. The glazing is an important feature of the primary elevations and its juncture with the brass rainscreen is clean and crisp.”
Originally designed to Stage D by BDP architects for joint venture developer St David’s Partnership and Cardiff Council who were committed to an “Excellent” BREEAM rating, the 40,000ft² building in Cardiff’s restaurant quarter is part of the £675 million St David’s retail scheme due to open in October 2009.
Moving the library from its old building on Frederick Street to The Hayes involved 8,500 crates, 200 van loads and more than 350,000 books – enough to stretch in a row from Cardiff to Swansea - as well as hundreds of CDs, DVDs and archive material.
For further information, please contact:
Kawneer UK Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 1928 502500
Fax: +44 (0) 1928 502501
Architectural Services Team
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