FGS’ façade contracting division was commissioned to design, specify and install the glazing profile for the new Lambeth Civic Office’s façade and atrium.
Located in the heart of Brixton, south London, Lambeth’s Grade II-listed Town Hall has been home to the Borough’s main civic functions for over 100 years. Now, the historic building has undergone an extensive programme of redevelopment and rejuvenation which was completed in December 2017.
Led by Lambeth Council with developers Muse Developments and architect Cartwright Pickard, the ‘Your New Town Hall’ project has revitalised Lambeth’s historic Town Hall, preserving the building’s features while modernising it inside and out to make it brighter, more energy-efficient, and more accessible. With office space, new homes, community areas and a new cycle hub all part of Your New Town Hall, the redevelopment aims to create an integrated public space in the heart of the Borough to serve Lambeth’s community.
Among the various functions located on the new Town Hall redevelopment site is the new Lambeth Civic Office. This has consolidated Lambeth Council’s civic enterprises, reducing the number of offices required to create financial savings of at least £4.5m a year. The newly-completed Civic Office comprises five floors of state-of-the-art office space for Lambeth Council, in addition to a Customer Services Centre at the ground floor. The space provides a light, accessible and welcoming environment for all visitors.
Working with main contractor Morgan Sindall to deliver the vision of architects Cartwright Pickard, FGS’ façade contracting division was commissioned to design, specify and install the glazing profile for the new Lambeth Civic Office’s façade and atrium.
A key consideration for the project was allowing for the fact that leading Lambeth live music venue Electric Brixton is located immediately adjacent to the Civic Office, and had to remain operational throughout the redevelopment work. For the glazing project this meant a reduced site footprint and working area, as well as additional safety and noise concerns to consider during specification and installation.
FGS’ flagship VS-1 curtain walling system was specified by Cartwright Pickard to provide the main feature glazing on the front elevation and atrium. No other system could accommodate the required design intent; VS-1’s ability to carry large spans of glass made it the ideal choice for the to atrium’s feature glazing, which is 25m high with only 1 midspan tie back. Its external-mullion-only configuration allowed FGS to create a large, unbroken internal expanse of glass, as well as allowing light-diffusing brackets to be hung externally to reduce structural load.
In addition to the VS-1 installation, capped and SG variants of Wicona’s Wictec 60 curtain walling system were used; these were proposed by FGS to meet the performance specification and client’s budget. WICLINE 75 evo fixed-light products, featuring superior thermal insulation properties and structural integrity, were installed to create the building’s windows.
For the glazing element, various products were combined to create sealed units with the ideal balance of properties for their locations. Products used included SGG SECURIT, a thermally toughened safety glass with significantly increased resistance to mechanical and thermal stresses; SGG COOL-LITE SKN 165 II, glass with a solar control coating to reduce heat transfer without compromising light transmittance; and SGG STADIP PROTECT, laminated safety glass which retains some residual strength when broken.
Additionally, electrochromic glass panes by Sage Glass were carried by the VS-1 system on the south elevation of the façade. This intelligent solar control glazing solution was specified to control the internal environment behind the large expanse of atrium VS-1 glazing.
Work on the ‘Your New Town Hall’ scheme commenced in April 2016. FGS’ installation was completed in February 2018, and the Civic Office officially reopened in March. The glazing work has helped the Town Hall redevelopment meet the ambitious sustainability milestones outlined in the architect’s plan, with the Civic Office securing a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
FGS project manager, Lloyd Devey, said: “Lambeth Civic Office was a challenging project from a structural point of view, but an immensely satisfying installation to have completed, and it showcases the capabilities of our VS-1 structural system to its full advantage.
“Through close relationships with Morgan Sindall and Cartwright Pickard, the FGS team was able to develop a structural scheme that met the architect’s design intent to the letter.”