Structural glazing lends design flare to cutting-edge bioscience centre

The Charnock Bradley Building is the centrepiece of the University of Edinburgh’s expanding Easter Bush Campus eight miles south of the city.

The designers brief was to create a building that would reflect the cutting-edge work happening inside, as well as providing a bright and modern space to attract world-class academics, students and businesses to the institution.

Bridging two elements
The heart of the centre is a dramatic full-height glazed atrium which incorporates a series of bridges at higher levels linking laboratory spaces in the building’s two distinct wings.

Atkins, the architects wanted to make the space as bright and open as possible, so specified a structurally glazed wall and a glass roof, to minimise framing and provide clear uninterrupted views in and out of the building.

To achieve this, Atkins worked closely with specialist façade contractor Charles Henshaw & Son and the Pilkington design team. This resulted in the Pilkington Planar system being used for the glass atrium.

High clarity and strength
The Pilkington Planar system installed in the atrium is said to have combined both strength and exceptional performance due to the selection of the products utilised in the system. The insulated glass units supplied on both the walls and roof contained Pilkington Suncool 66/33 OW on 12mm Pilkington Optiwhite a low-iron substrate said to provide excellent thermal performance, aesthetics and views both into the building and out to the stunning landscape surrounding the building.

The transparency and aesthetics of the atrium were further enhanced by the use of 19mm Pilkington Optifloat Clear THS toughened and heat-soaked glass fins to support the vertical glazing and laminated glass beams.

Additional features used in the roof glazing is the incorporation of a toughened laminate inner pane enhancing the structural performance and safety of the glazing and the use of a screen print dot matrix pattern which is said to improve environmental performance with limited impact on the quality of light entering the atrium.

Phil Savage, head of sales, UK processing at Pilkington United Kingdom, said: “This building is the focal point for the internationally renowned campus, which is set to continue to grow over the next 20 years. We’re proud that Pilkington Planar has been selected to play such a central role.

“The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a series of cutting-edge academic institutions that have chosen to glaze their buildings using Pilkington Planar, which is testament to our commitment to offering the most technologically advanced system on the market.”

www.pilkington.com