Kawneer systems help set a public sector blueprint


Curtain walling and doors by Kawneer feature on ground-breaking health centre

Architectural glazing systems by Kawneer were specified for an award-winning health centre, which has set a blueprint for multi-disciplinary works within integrated primary care buildings.

Two types of Kawneer's curtain walling, AA100 mullion-drained and AA100 SSG (Structural Silicone Glazed), were used at the £1.78m The Shields Centre in East Pollokshields, Glasgow, along with AA100 concealed vents, AA542 horizontal pivot windows and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors.

They were specified by Anderson Bell Christie architects after market testing showed that, in terms of value for money, Kawneer came through as leader. The aluminium content also helped the project win a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating with an annual CO2 emissions target of 18kg/sq m.

The Kawneer systems in a dark-grey powder coating were installed with solar-controlled glass by approved specialist sub-contractor, Architectural Glazing Systems (AGS) of Dumbarton for main contractor, Central Building Contractors.

Anderson Bell Christie worked closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to design a refined building that reinforced the civic importance of public healthcare, but balanced this with an open and welcoming design - a challenge for this type of building.

The 743sq m health centre and community garden occupies a formerly-derelict corner of its inner-city, ethnically-diverse neighbourhood. Across the street, existing three-storey tenements flank a small community centre and the site of a new primary school by Glasgow City Council.

The Shields Centre comprises two GP practices which had previously operated from nearby buildings that were no longer fit for purpose. They are intrinsically linked with broader welfare services such as Pollokshields Health Shop, a diet and exercise programme, and pre-natal and social work, which operate directly from the building.

Three GP consulting/treatment rooms occupy the ground floor with practice manager's office, reception, patient waiting area and flexible office space, while the first floor adds another consulting/treatment room, more office space and a group room.

Arranged over two storeys, the centre is set behind a double-height colonnade spanning ground to eaves level. The simple monolithic form and restrained palette of materials presents a robust façade that is nevertheless well detailed.

Simple masonry brick has been coupled with Kawneer's curtain walling, with occasional dark-grey infill and louvered panels, and steel screens by botanical artist, Alex Hamilton, animating the lower levels between colonnades. The manifestation to curtain walling glazing, also designed by Hamilton, provides a gentle, diffused light in the reception and waiting areas.

Anderson Bell Christie associate, Jonathan McQuillan, said: "We wanted to use a SSG system as it allowed us to express a vertical rhythm with the press caps while keeping the horizontal glass to glass joints to give us the aesthetic we wanted. It allowed us to do anything we wanted to do with the system.

"The Kawneer systems were pretty fundamental to the project as 40% of the external façade is glazing so having the right curtain walling with openings was critical."

Kevin Grainger, managing director of AGS, added: “It was a project that we latched onto instantly when we first saw the scope of the specialist glazing works as it offered a challenging mix of new product technologies for us, so we engaged with Anderson Bell Christie to assist in the design of the interfacing and structural connections of the Kawneer systems.

"From the outset we knew we wanted to be involved in delivering the scheme as the end result would ultimately be a rewarding project for our team and a superb addition to our completed project portfolio."

The project was delivered via the Scottish Government's HubCo process. Alan Gilmour from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the design and process of the new building set a model for the development of similar buildings in the future.

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