From very early on, man has sought means of replicating natural light, and yet in landmark buildings throughout the country, there is no substitute for the real thing.
St Pancras International Station is an iconic building, one that is known for its stunning visual quality. The solution Saint-Gobain specified for the project further enhanced the original design of the building, thanks to an abundance of natural lighting techniques.
Constructed within the existing and extended Grade 1 listed Victorian building, first opened in 1876, the new St Pancras International Rail Station is one of London’s landmark buildings.
Building design and the choice of materials and equipment play a decisive role in building for visual comfort. Because natural light varies all the time, ensuring a constant quality of light involves controlling its levels by prioritising cool northern light, reducing too much incoming light by shading, or by compensating for low light levels with artificial light. Increasingly sophisticated control systems are able to manage all these variables, and help achieve a successful balance in the combined use of artificial light and natural daylight.
One of the many specific challenges faced with this project was to create a visually impressive environment that complimented the building’s original design. In addition, merging the original features of the Victorian Grade 1 listed building with products and technology from the 21st century demanded a sympathetic fusion to balance the English Heritage guidelines with the requirements of modern rail travellers.
A range of building materials were used on this iconic project to improve visual comfort. Manufactured to provide energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing options for modern buildings, 16,544 shaped panels of 6.8mm clear laminated glass were supplied to fit the iconic curved roof.
In total, 10,175m2 of individually shaped panels were fitted to the main station roof, also known as the ‘Barlow Shed’. Due to the shape of the building’s roof, each panel was shaped individually during the manufacturing process to ensure perfect fit and clarity.
In addition, Glassolutions also supplied over 1,000 rectangular panels of 6.4mm glass to other areas of the building, totalling a further 1,600 m2 of glass.
It should be remembered that there is more to exceptional visual quality than meets the eye. It’s not just about the installation of individual products, but rather how they work together to deliver a truly sustainable and comfortable environment. This is why the glazing solution specified also featured acoustic properties to minimise noise disruption.
In addition, British Gypsum’s Gypwall CLASSIC partitions, the industry’s original lightweight non-loadbearing drywall partition system, were used to create division walls to retain units, business lounge and ticket areas, to maximise acoustic efficiency.
At ground level, Saint-Gobain PAM also provided solutions to ensure superior strength and longevity needed for the station’s soil, vent and rainwater systems from its Timesaver and Ensign range of cast iron pipe products and fittings.
The Timesaver system is a trusted and durable solution, and was awarded the highly coveted BSI Kitemark in 1982. In addition, Ensign meets the requirements of ISO 6594 offering individual cast iron drainage systems for above and below ground applications, and is the only system tested and kitemark approved to the product standard BS EN 877 in the UK.
2,500 tonnes of ductile iron segmental tunnel linings were supplied, comprising more than 700 complete rings and opening sets.
As a world leader in sustainable building solutions, Saint-Gobain recognises the importance of the interrelation between multiple building elements, creating systems that enhance our daily lives, demonstrated in the specification of solutions that work together to deliver comfortable and sustainable environments.
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