The centre is designed to blend into its surroundings by evoking a copse of trees.The manufacturer, working with architect Denton Corker Marshall and installer Vitrine Systems, created a 4.3 metre-tall structural glass façade encasing one of the two pods that make up the building.
The concept behind the glazed pod – which contains a café, a gift shop and an educational area – was to allow unimpeded sight-lines in and out of the building, keeping visitors in close contact with the landscape outside. This was achieved thanks to Pilkington Optiwhite™ extra clear low-iron glass.
At the same time, the façade needed to be strong enough to stand up to the high winds that can travel across the site on Salisbury Plain, and also offer excellent thermal performance to maintain a comfortable climate for visitors.
The Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system chosen by the design team fitted the bill as it featured double-glazed units held in place with low-profile yet high-strength stainless steel fixings. Phil Savage, commercial sector manager at Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, said: “This project, with its demanding requirements both in terms of sensitivity to aesthetics and high performance requirements, is an ideal showcase for the Pilkington Planar™ system, and it is great that this has been recognised by the judges.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to delivering this project so successfully, both in our business and across the other teams involved in the project – we couldn’t have done it without such close co-operation between all parties.”
A video in which Terry Lidster, façade engineer at Pilkington Architectural talks though the project in more detail is available here: http://youtu.be/jEzhKiVX4aU