VISION Issue 50 - Page 13

13 What else does glazing help you achieve here? There are two halves to the building – the top and bottom – and so to express that we didn’t want anything connecting the two halves. In order to provide a transparent void separating the two parts, glass is obviously the perfect material. As well as that, where you walk out towards the reserve is completely glass with an electric door and a big piece of glass facing the entry side so in addition to a continuous ribbon around the building, glass fills in those quite large voids front and back. Any thoughts about the way you would work with glass now that you might not have considered 20 years ago? We look at it very differently now with new environmental standards, particularly in double-glazing. We also try to express its beauty like in this case where it’s just channel glazing with glass in a slender steel frame, rather than just putting it into a glazing rebate of chunky aluminium frame. We’re very interested in that elegance and the crispness of large double glazed sheets but also understanding the nature of the material and proportions. In this case they are very long pieces, which is tricky for handling onsite, so you have to understand those imperatives. What does your main contact with Viridian involve? When we need advice on coatings and reflectivity and environmental factors. We also need Viridian’s advice on thermal issues. Generally structural engineers will provide advice on thicknesses and wind-load and the like. We need to know from Viridian about new technologies in high-performance glass and we are finding that we need that advice more and more for environmental sustainability imperatives. “We’re very interested in that elegance and the crispness of large double glazed sheets but also understanding the nature of the material and proportions.” PHILIP HARMER, ARCHITECT