China Shipping, Felixstowe

China Shipping, Felixstowe

Client: ISG Jackson
Architect: Colwyn Foulkes and Partners
Type of works: supplied and installed Levolux timber vertical and horizontal fins

The new headquarters building created for China Shipping, one of the world's largest shipping container companies, features western red cedar timber louvres from market leader Levolux to protect office workers from solar heat gain.

The solution, which also includes a UK-first series of custom timber support columns, will help to cut energy costs whilst retaining all the benefits of natural daylight and external views out to the North Sea at Felixstowe.

The steel-framed four-storey building was designed by architects Colywn Foulkes and Partners, and was built by main contractor ISG Jackson.

Situated just outside the central port complex, the 17-acre site provides a total of 3,458m2 of accomodation. It comprises a large area of curtain walling with a facade made entirely of glass and copper cladding. As a central focal feature, the reception and entranceway have been designed and constructed in the shape of a circular drum.

A series of vertical and horizontal timber fins and supporting columns from Levolux, were specified by Colwyn Foulkes and Partners. Manufactured in western red cedar for its sustainability, the timber louvres were chosen for their ability to withstand the elements, particularly due to the building's North Sea-facing position, and to further enhance its glazed external envelope.

300mm wide and 6,000mm long eliptical timber louvres were mounted horizontally on the building's southern and eastern elevations between bespoke, solid, one-piece tapered columns, also in western red cedar and measure 10m high. Six were installed on the south facade, and four to the east, to provide support to the Fins. The unique mast-like columns were included to complement the nautical theme of the building.

3 levels of vertically-mounted timber louvres were also erected on the curved entranceway feature, and were topped off by a further level to the upper meeting room.

The Levolux solar-shading system will minimise heat gain for office users by preventing the sun's rays from hitting the glass. The louvres help create comfortable internal temperatures for office workers, in addition to reducing energy costs such as heating and air conditioning.

Like all systems from Levolux, the timber fins are backed with the company's design, manufacture and installation package.

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