10th December 2018

Society of Façade Engineering awards success

Our Maggie’s Barts project wins the International Award in the “Outstanding Façade Innovation 2018” category at the Society of Façade Engineering awards.

Our Façade Engineering Group and Maggie’s Barts teams had good reason to celebrate after the project won the International Award for Façade Engineering Excellence in the “Outstanding Façade Innovation 2018” category at the Society of Façade Engineering awards. 

The international awards recognise projects which demonstrate excellence in technical design and/or research that has made a significant contribution to the discipline of façade engineering.

The project beat off stiff competition from around the globe to pick up the award which was presented at the Society’s Glass Supper. Held on the on 6th December 2018 at the Roundhouse in London, the event was attended by some of the world’s leading architects, façade consultants and manufactures.

Designed by internationally renowned architect Steven Holl of New York, Maggie’s Barts is a geometrically complex lantern-like structure, featuring curving junctions between glass, concrete and bamboo elements.
Its 470 sq m opaque glass façade with integral coloured patches (neumes) is composed of translucent glass panels rising over three storeys in a succession of wrapped bands which terminate at a rooftop terrace.

The panels are formed of coloured film sandwiched between two layers of extruded polymer capillary micro tubes, used to refract natural light into the building. The capillary assembly is in turn sandwiched between two layers of laminated glass to create a so-called polychrome insulating glass, a world first product developed specifically for this project.

The Kapipane capillary micro tube technology had never been used for curved or 3D geometry glass before. A long programme of research and development including prototyping and mock-ups was required as well as the writing of a unique glass stress analysis programme as no conventional finite element software was available for the complex glass shapes.

The complex curves of the structure, with the slump formed tangent ‘J-Shaped’ glass units, which curve in 3D on the sloping elevations, meant the geometry of the building presented an enormous challenge. 

Seven different types of glass units were required, including flat, cylindrical and slump formed tangent units. Our team worked with Arup Facades and Seele Austria to develop the multiple formats, also devising the installation methodology.

The result is an interior flooded with light, conveying meditative peace and security and offering an appropriate setting for the emotional and practical help Maggie’s provides.

At night the internal lighting turns the façade into a magical picture of colours and light shining as a beacon to life and hope.

For further information on the awards, visit the Society of Façade Engineering website.