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KAWNEER Systems Centre On The Hub

Curtain walling and glazing systems from leading architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer were specified by Glenn Howells Architects for The Hub - the apartment block at the heart of Manchester’s new £100 million mixed-use Piccadilly Place development - for their high performance, aesthetics and ability to achieve an Eco Homes rating.

Kawneer’s 1202S structural glazing system has been used on the main residential entrance lobby and AA®100 curtain walling on the north stair core, while its series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors and AA®605 low/medium duty swing doors form the residential entrances to Aytoun Street, a private piazza and communal green roof terrace on the ninth floor.

Specialist contractor SG Aluminium, for main contractor Carillion, also installed Kawneer’s AA®603 French doors on the Juliette balconies and the AA®100 curtain wall system again, as a rooflight on the atrium.

Glenn Howells Architects associate director Nicola Hopwood said: “We have worked with Kawneer on previous residential projects. The building envelope at The Hub is simple and elegant in design so the detailing and quality of specified materials was very important. The Kawneer products were selected for their high quality performance and sightlines.

“These, in conjunction with the glass specification, also enabled us to achieve the required Eco Homes rating, thus providing highly sustainable homes for future generations. Given the simplicity of the building, the glazing elements contribute greatly to its success.”

Designed to take full advantage of its site at the corner of Aytoun Street and Whitworth Street, The Hub (www.kawneer.co.uk/pr/th) occupies a stretched U-shaped footprint related directly to the structural grid of the basement car park below, wrapped around a new, hard landscaped residential piazza.

Providing 167 high-specification apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, on the first to tenth floors and 7,700ft² of commercial space on the ground floor, The Hub is an entirely pre-cast structure incorporating shear walls, twin walls, precast staircases, solid wall lift shafts and fair-faced architectural sandwich cladding panels.

The elevations comprise a grid of vertical pre-cast concrete piers extending the full height of the building (with a nominal 100mm set back at levels nine and 10) which emphasise the curved sweep of the corner site. These define three sections of the building by their colour – grey to the ground-floor commercial and two uppermost levels and white to the intermediate eight storeys.

The infill between each pier at the upper residential levels consists of the glazed full-height inward-opening Kawneer doors, metal Juliette balustrading and anodised aluminium-faced insulated panels which mask the high and low-level vents required by Building Regulations to the habitable rooms behind.

The metal uprights to the balustrade continue across the face of the insulated panel, a deeper anodised full-height metal fin is located between, further articulating the elevations. Cills are provided with anodised aluminium flashings to ensure staining will not occur to the face of the building.

The structure and pre-cast cladding were completed on a floor by floor basis with a four-week cycle, allowing following trades to progress their work below safely and efficiently.

This scaffoldless construction, combined with the incorporation of prefabricated bathroom pods and lightweight aercrete party walls, drastically reduced the programme and number of construction defects, reducing overall costs for the client, Argent Group developers.

Email: kuk.kawneer@alcoa.com


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Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
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News Categories : Structural glazing systems
Curtain walling
Aluminium curtain walling