Glazing solutions mix old and new at iconic eye hospital to form new biomedical centre of excellence

A stunning glazed atrium, glass bridges and curtain walling are bringing together a grade II listed building with a brand new biomedical centre of excellence on the site of the former Royal Eye Hospital in Manchester.

The Advanced Facades division of Saint-Gobain Group company GLASSOLUTIONS has won the £2.5m glazing design contract for the Citylabs building, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.The 94,000 sq ft development will retain the heritage listed frontage whilst building new space to the rear, which has been designed to attract bio health companies to develop new products and services within BREEAM Excellent office, laboratory and networking space.The specification includes floor to ceiling Schuco curtain walling for improved thermal performance and to achieve a U-Value of 0.87 Wm2K.For a modern look and all-glass appearance a Spiderglass bolted system will be used on two elevations which form the entrance to an internal atrium. An architectural and practical feature of the development is an external maintenance walkway on each of the four storeys of the new building. An aluminium “veil” will provide access to the outside of the building and also act as brise soleil solar shading which will reduce glare and overheating in the building.

Daniel Birrell, Design Leader at GLASSOLUTIONS said: ”This is already a landmark building and is about to be given a new lease of life. It’s a vital building for the local economy as well as to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries,  which have a world class offering.”

The project is due to complete in Summer 2014.

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