March 2017

The Bower is a redeveloped 1980’s office building, within Stockley Park, on the doorstep of Heathrow Airport. By harnessing cutting-edge technology, including an attractive solar shading and screening solution from Levolux, it becomes one of the most sought after HQ developments in the Thames Valley.

Designed by ESA Architecture to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, The Bower provides Grade A office accommodation, arranged over 3 levels. In its original form, the building was the centrepiece of a small cluster of buildings at Stockley Park, when it first opened for business in 1986.

The redeveloped building has been re-imagined and extended to the west, with a sheltered public piazza, which leads to the main entrance and beyond to a spacious reception area.

As a world-leading solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux was approached to develop a custom external solar shading solution for The Bower. The solution comprises a perforated canopy, extending to the west, and Aerofoil Fins fixed to the building’s south and west-facing elevations.

A perforated shading canopy installed above the public piazza provides a focal point for the development. In total, 180 perforated panels have been combined together, creating a horizontal canopy measuring 26 metres wide by 27 metres deep.

Each panel is formed from 3mm thick aluminium sheet, which has been folded and reinforced. Measuring 2.9 metres in length, by a metre in width, panels have been decorated with a pattern of square perforations. Four designs were created, each using around 900 perforations, which range in size from 15mm up to 45mm.

The perforated panels are evenly distributed across a grid of supporting steelwork at high level, above the public piazza. The canopy effectively filters direct sunlight onto the piazza and through to the main reception area.

All perforated panels used on the project have been given a cool, natural anodised finish.

Levolux also provided shading structures incorporating its Aerofoil Fins, applied to south and west-facing elevations. The extruded aluminium fins, each measuring 300mm wide by 56mm thick, have been incorporated into panels, arranged vertically and horizontally.

On the building’s south-facing elevation, 14 panels, each comprising 7 fins, have been used to create a continuous, horizontal shading structure. This extends to 43 metres in length and almost 3 metres in depth, with fins angled vertically, running parallel with the building’s façade.

Horizontal shading structures also feature on the west-facing elevation, at high level, either side of the perforated canopy. Panels of Aerofoil Fins combine to form horizontal projections, each measuring 21 metres wide by almost 3 metres deep. The fins, which are also angled vertically, are aligned perpendicular to the building’s west-facing façade, countering the position of the sun as it moves around the building.

To complete the installation, Levolux incorporated horizontal Aerofoil Fins within vertical panels at each end of the west-facing elevation. The vertical panels extend from first floor to roof level, with a depth of almost 3 metres, allowing them to link up with the horizontal projections above.

All Aerofoil Fins are finished in a highly durable, stone grey powder coating. In contrast, aluminium side plates have been given a light grey powder coated finish.

The eye-catching perforated canopy and highly functional Aerofoil Fins help to transform a 1980’s office building into a prestigious, state-of-the-art HQ development. In its new form, The Bower reinforces Stockley Park’s status as one of Europe’s premier business parks.