A glazed façade with deep mullions and bronze pressed aluminium panel cladding, designed, specified and installed by GLASSOLUTIONS, helped to create the ideal balance between aesthetics and functionality at One Kirkstall Forge, a state-of-the-art office building at the brand-new Kirkstall Forge ‘urban village’ in Leeds.
The first commercial development as part of the pioneering new Kirkstall Forge ‘urban village’ in Leeds will culminate in the launch of Number One Kirkstall Forge, an office building offering over 110,000 sq. ft. of highly flexible workspace over seven floors. With floor-to-ceiling glazing at 2.8m height, Number One Kirkstall Forge will be a modern, light filled work environment with 360-degree views of the surrounding valley and River Aire. Work began on the first building in February 2016, with occupation due to commence in the autumn of 2017.
Located to the north-west of Leeds, Number One Kirkstall Forge is part of the 57-acre, £400 million Kirkstall Forge scheme which on completion will offer Grade A office buildings, contemporary housing, green spaces, cafés, bars and restaurants in a stunning riverside location. New road access, a river bridge and new dedicated railway station are all now open, with overall delivery of the scheme spanning the next decade.
Kirkstall Forge’s new dedicated train station connects the site to Leeds City Centre in just six minutes, as well as providing excellent transport links to Bradford and the Yorkshire Dales. Located just five miles from Leeds Bradford airport, Kirkstall Forge will offer residents a thoroughly modern slice of Yorkshire living in a historically significant manufacturing region.
Brought to the project by principal contractors Wates Construction, on behalf of site developer CEG, the FGS Contracting team was tasked with the delivery of designs by architects’ practice Cooper Cromar. This required the design, specification and installation of a glazed façade for the building, with deep mullions and bronze pressed aluminium panel cladding. In addition, the architectural plans featured a spectacular 8m unsupported mid-span entrance atrium which FGS was also briefed to deliver.
The glazing installation was required to be compliant with the highest environmental sustainability standards, as the building aims to achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating. Additionally, Number One Kirkstall Forge’s enviable proximity to the development’s own railway station gave rise to the need for acoustically-enhanced glass, to limit noise transfer and allow residents to enjoy the tranquillity of Kirkstall Forge’s woodland location.
To give Number One Kirkstall Forge the ideal balance between aesthetics and functionality, the FGS Contracting division specified a combination of WICONA aluminium systems integrating with high performance insulating glass units, spandrels and sandwich panels. The ‘stick’ curtain walling was fabricated using WICONA’s Wictec 50 systems, which provide a slim 50mm face width and ensure excellent thermal insulation through the incorporation of a uPVC thermal break. This was supported with bespoke aluminium cladding fabricated by Panel Systems, and Aerolite stone cladding tiles supplied by Tiles International.
For the glazing specification, it was vital to choose products which would help the building adhere to the high efficiency standards it was aiming to achieve, with low levels of heat transmission and solar gain. To meet this brief, FGS opted to install insulated glass units comprising Saint Gobain Glass’ SGG COOL-LITE XTREME 70-33ii, with single-glazed units used for the spandrel panels to combat overheating.
With a G-Value of only 0.33 and an excellent centre pane U-value of 1.0W/m2K, this specification reduces the need for both additional heating and cooling, making it ideal for delivering energy savings and improved thermal insulation. Despite this, SGG COOL-LITE XTREME 70-33ii can achieve an impressive light transmission rate of 70%, maximising daylight within the building to create a pleasant working environment. Aesthetically, the glass delivers a high degree of neutrality both in transmission and exterior reflection, giving Number One Kirkstall Forge a smooth, untinted glazed finish.
FGS’ work on the Number One Kirkstall Forge site began in July 2016 and finished in November; the full building was completed in November 2017, with the first occupants moving into the development in December 2017.
As one of the most high-profile new mixed-use developments in the region, the completion of Number One Kirkstall Forge has been making headlines. Paul Casterton, FGS’ Contracting Operations Director, says: “This was a fantastic project for FGS to be involved in. Our Contracting team has contributed to developments of different kinds all over the country, but it’s rare that we have the privilege to play a part in one which will have such a tangible effect on the appeal of a region to businesses and families.
“Number One Kirkstall Forge is set to provide highly desirable office spaces, built sensitively and responsibly as well as giving a respectful nod to the industrial heritage of the Aire Valley. To have played a part in a project like this feels very special.”
Tony Armstrong, Regional Head of Construction at CEG, said: “The high quality anodised aluminium cruciform cladding and glazing design is an essential part of Number One Kirkstall Forge which delivers a unique façade on the building that maximises the natural varying light and weather conditions in this wooded, riverside valley setting.”
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction in the North East & Yorkshire, said: “It’s immensely rewarding to see Number One Kirkstall Forge reach practical completion. It’s been a fantastic project to work on and our team has been honoured to deliver such a significant development for Yorkshire.”