February 2017

The recently completed Goldcrest House residential development in Lee High Road, Lewisham, incorporates a number of eye-catching features, including an external solar shading and screening solution, courtesy of Levolux.

Housing Association L&Q’s latest scheme, which was designed by Biscoe + Stanton Architects, provides 39 new build flats and maisonettes, arranged above 1,000 sq. metres of new retail space at ground floor level.

The substantial four and part five-storey building is located within a confined site, sandwiched between Lee High Road to the north-east and the River Quaggy to the south-west. The ‘L’ shaped building is considerably larger than the original single-storey terrace it replaces, with a frontage that extends 53 metres in length, following the gentle curve of Lee High Road.

To soften the visual impact of the building from the street, Levolux was invited to develop an external solar shading and screening solution, comprising vertical Aerofoil Fins and horizontal and vertical glazed panels. The solution applies across the length of the building and extends vertically, from first floor to roof level.

External walkways, with mesh balustrading, are concealed behind a series of multi-coloured, extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins. Each Fin, which is fixed vertically at 90 degrees, measures 200mm wide by 45mm thick, with lengths of up to 2.7 metres.

In total, 141 vertical Fins are distributed across three levels, with a combined height of almost 9 metres, with a pitch that varies from 950mm up to 1230mm. The Fins create an interesting visual buffer and provide a welcome distraction to the large and otherwise rather bland structure that lies beyond. The colour and angle of the fins create an interesting, dynamic aesthetic that changes as you pass along the façade.

To complement the vertical Fins, Levolux also integrated a series of vertical and horizontal glazed sections into the screening solution.

A series of vertical glazed sections are positioned to provide shelter to entrances for flats and maisonettes, accessed from external walkways facing onto Lee High Road.

In total, Levolux manufactured and installed 13 full-height glazed sections, each measuring approximately 3.4 metres wide. Glazed sections comprise 3 vertical glass panels, each measuring 1150mm wide by 2.8 metres high and formed from 25mm thick laminated glass, including a 1.5mm thick PVB interlayer.

To complete the screening solution, Levolux provided a continuous, glazed canopy that extends 53 metres along the building at roof level, with a projection of 1040mm. The horizontal glazed canopy comprises a continuous series of 13.5mm thick toughened glass panels, with lengths of up to 1.7 metres.

The vertical Fins, glazed sections and horizontal glazed canopy are secured back to the brick and steel structure using premium quality aluminium and stainless steel components.

For long-lasting good looks, the aluminium Fins have been finished with a highly durable powder coating, in one of 3 colours, including brown, orange and bright red.

The custom screening solution, which combines vertical and horizontal glazed sections and vertical Aerofoil Fins, performs a number of complementary functions for residents. These include, providing effective shelter and protection to external walkways, maximising daylight levels through glazed openings and introducing a form of privacy screen.

The Goldcrest House development, with its striking external screening solution from Levolux, has quickly become a popular local landmark. Distinctive mixed-use developments like this one, combine much needed affordable housing with new retail space, which is helping to regenerate a previously neglected part of London.