June 2006

St George's Island

Glass balustrading and privacy screens

St George’s Island is a new residential development in Manchester’s Castlefield district, comprising five high-rise towers all fitted with glass balustrading and privacy screens from Levolux.

The development, which was designed by John McAslan and Partners, creates ideal city homes on a brownfield site that was previously an industrial wasteland. Flanked by Manchester’s Bridgewater Canal, the development occupies a choice site in Castlefield’s conversation area and forms part of a larger regeneration project.

Set within two-acres of private grounds, St George’s Island reinforces Castlefield’s status as Manchester’s premier residential hub. It provides 434 one and two-bedroom residential units, accommodated within five towers or blocks. The blocks range in height, with a nine-storey block in the south-west, followed by blocks of ten, eleven and thirteen storeys and a fifteen-storey block in the north-east.

The residential blocks are spaced and orientated to maximise daylight levels for residents. Apartments boast floor-to-ceiling glazing and generous balconies, offering occupants spectacular views across the Manchester skyline.

As the UK’s leading provider of balcony and balustrading solutions, Levolux was invited to design, manufacture and install glass balustrading and privacy screens for all balconies across the site.

The custom balustrading solution comprises steel brackets, aluminium posts, toughened glass panels, topped with an aluminium handrail.

First-fix steel brackets were fitted at an early stage to steelwork, before pre-cast concrete balcony slabs were installed. Levolux then supplied and fitted vertical extruded aluminium posts to the brackets, set at 1.2 metre centres. The 1.6-metre-high posts are engineered with integral fixings to accommodate the toughened glass panels and handrailing.

At intervals of up to 7.2 metres, the posts are twinned and extend approximately 2.9 metres in height. The full-height posts create a bracing structure between balconies on each block that continues from first floor balconies to roof level.

1.6-metre-high glass panels are used to form a continuous glass balustrade along each floor, extending up to 34 metres in length. The glass balustrading, which features on each of the five blocks, is formed from 10mm thick, toughened glass. The glass panels feature a frit pattern of opaque horizontal bands, measuring 25mm thick and spaced 100mm apart. This was achieved through the process of acid etching.

The glass balustrading is topped by a 50mm diameter tubular handrail, formed from extruded aluminium. The handrail runs continuously along the balustrading, fixed to the inside edge of the vertical posts.

In addition to the glass balustrading, Levolux also supplied and fitted custom, full-height glass privacy screens, to divide balconies between neighbouring apartments.

The glass privacy screens, each measuring 2.3 metres in height and 1.2 metres in width, comprise a 10mm toughened glass panel secured into an aluminium frame. The privacy screens are fixed to balconies above and below, using machined aluminium brackets. Each dividing privacy screen has been given an opaque, acid etched finish.

All aluminium components provided by Levolux have been given a durable, natural anodised finish.

The St George’s Island development, complete with private underground parking, landscaped gardens and full-length balconies fitted with glass balustrading from Levolux, becomes an aspirational place to live. It sets a new benchmark for residential projects in urban centres, such as Manchester and other metropolitan areas across the UK.