LIGHTING UP ST BOTOLPHS November 2010
The design of the new St Botolph office development in the City of London pushes the boundaries of contemporary architecture, including the internal application of vertical illuminated Louvres from Levolux.
Located on an island site near Aldgate, the St Botolph Building is a fourteen storey landmark building, designed by internationally acclaimed architects, Grimshaw. It provides circa 560,000 sq ft of office and retail accommodation, based around a dramatic 13-storey central atrium.
Access into the central core of the building is via a split level, double height reception and adjoining circulation areas. These areas are designed to effectively serve several high profile tenants, including international insurance, legal and financial institutions.
In order to create an impressive, ‘hi-tech’ appearance, Levolux was invited to develop a unique internal louvred solution for the reception and circulation areas, leading to the central core of the building. The bespoke solution incorporated vertical extruded aluminium Louvres, which clad the walls and form a balustrade on the first floor and running alongside eight escalators. In total, Levolux installed 1,750 Louvres with a ‘H-section’ profile, each measuring 185mm wide and 40mm deep, with a collective length of almost 7.3 kilometres.
To achieve the desired aesthetic, Levolux created a custom aluminium extrusion, to incorporate LED lights at the top and bottom of each Louvre. The single piece extrusion also incorporates a serrated diffuser, which distributes the light along the length of each Louvre. When all Louvres are illuminated together, they create a stunning, ultra-modern aesthetic.
This ‘hi-tech’ theme continues into the core atrium of the building, where 16 computer controlled lifts operate within eight transparent shafts, facilitating the coordinated and clearly visible movement of people to and from the offices up above.
Andrew Byrne, Grimshaw Associate in charge of the project, said: “We really appreciated Levolux’s collaborative approach during the design stages of this scheme. Their enthusiastic attitude towards the project led to stunning results.”
Secured to the structure individually, with stainless steel brackets and with a natural anodised finish, the bespoke vertical illuminated Louvres installed by Levolux, complement the overall scheme and are virtually maintenance free. As with all Levolux solutions, the installation of vertical Louvres at St Botolphs is backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.
Now complete, St Botolphs is an exciting BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rated office development which boats some unique design features, setting it apart from its neighbours. Perhaps the most imposing of these is the application of Levolux’s vertical illuminated Louvres throughout its reception and circulation areas.