DELIVERING AT CENTRAL ST GILES February 2011
When acclaimed architect, Renzo Piano designed Central St Giles, a new 500,000 sq ft, mixed use development in central London, he created a bold scheme, with a number of distinctive, colour coordinated features, including a custom arrangement of Louvres and Blinds, from Levolux.
Comprising a 15-storey residential block and 11-storey commercial block around a central piazza, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated development breathes new life into a neglected part of London, making a striking addition to the city’s skyline.
As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was chosen to develop a unique solution, incorporating its external Screening Louvres, Custom Doors and Gates and its internal High Performance Roller Blinds.
A new custom Louvre, with a ‘Z’ profile and a 80mm pitch, has been applied extensively at ground floor level on the commercial block, with a total surface area of 510m2. With their continuous appearance and neat mitred corners, the Louvres create an attractive, ventilated facade, concealing unsightly service areas from view.
To maintain a seamless aesthetic at street level, Levolux engineered two giant, folding loading-bay doors, each measuring 7.6 metres wide by 5 metres high, based on an original design by Renzo Piano. Comprising a steel box section frame hung on heavy duty hinges, the doors are externally clad with ‘Z’ profile Louvres to blend in with the surrounding facade. The doors are designed to swing back and fold neatly away into recesses, allowing quick and easy access for deliveries and maintenance vehicles.
To facilitate safe and secure access to the underground car-park via two purpose-built car lifts, Levolux engineered and installed a custom aluminium motorised sliding gate, measuring 9400mm wide by 5300mm high. The sliding gate, designed by Renzo Piano, with its clean, modern appearance, moves smoothly, suspended from seven colour-coordinated yellow rollers. An intelligent control system prevents the gate from operating if physical force is applied or if an obstruction is detected and a manual over-ride ensures it can be operated in the event of a power failure.
The Screening Louvres, folding loading bay doors and sliding gate installed at ground floor level are all finished in a coordinated, cool grey semi-gloss powder coating, which contrasts with the red orange terracotta tiles above.
Elsewhere, at ground floor level on the residential block, Levolux installed a bank of steel, ‘Z’ profile, stackable Louvres, with a 50mm pitch, to conceal a naturally ventilated area, in which plant and equipment can operate efficiently. To complement the overall scheme, the steel Louvres were finished in a coordinated red orange powder coating, to match the terracotta cladding on adjacent elevations.
Completing the solution, Levolux installed 2,891 of its High Performance Roller Blinds throughout the commercial block, to control light and glare levels for office workers. The manually operated, bead chain Roller Blinds feature a white grey fabric with an openness factor of 5%.
The Central St Giles development is an iconic example of urban eco-architecture and has dramatically transformed the area around it. With its distinctive coloured terracotta tiles and bespoke Louvres, Gates and Blinds from Levolux, it demonstrates an effective blend of form and function.