Over the course of two years, Vitral, now part of Velux Commercial manufactured and delivered a number of its innovative daylight glazing solutions to the iconic intu Mentrocentre in Gateshead, as part of an ongoing multi-million-pound investment programme by the operator.
Edinburgh-based architects, CDA Group were appointed to undertake the re-configuration of the former Mediterranean Village, which had originally opened in 1996. intu also wished to expand the centre’s dining options by adding a range of larger units. As Graham Watson, Project Director at CDA explained, intu sought to provide an “attractive contemporary environment to meet the heightened expectations of the public and the top catering operators, who were not previously represented at Metrocentre”.
Innovative systems maximising daylight
CDA’s design entailed enlarging the foot plate of the Mediterranean Village by extending over the service areas and changing the position and orientation of the mall.
Seeking to maximise the daylighting potential in these areas using both new and replacement rooflights, CDA considered the VELUX Glazing Panels, previously known as Vitral A74 roof glazing, as the most appropriate solution because they could be tailored to suit the project.
They offered several key benefits, which included, according to Watson, their suitability to be self-supporting, thereby eliminating or at least reducing the need for additional structure.
The glazing system does not have a carrier frame as with patent glazing and curtain walling as it is a four-sided frame. Furthermore, openable VELUX Glazing Panels could be integrated into the glazing scheme to allow for smoke-ventilation, thereby contributing to the centre’s fire strategy as well as fulfilling the requirements of the project specification. VELUX Glazing Panels are CE marked in accordance with BS/EN14351-1.
The VELUX Glazing Panels, together with core parts of the accessories, are also prefabricated, thus facilitating a quicker and safer installation on-site, a critical consideration if disruption to the mall was to be kept to a minimum.
Furthermore, the system’s slim and low panel joints would not only maximise the amount of light penetrating through the glazing into the mall, but they would also not detract from the modern aesthetic that CDA had intended.
Fully supporting the project from start to finish
Watson was complimentary about the support CDA received from VELUX Commercial’s technical team during the early stages of the project. The experts at VELUX Commercial provided technical guidance and drawings for this daylight solution, as well as comprehensive advice on how to successfully incorporate the very stringent requirements for mall glazing, laid down by intu. Together VELUX Commercial and CDA created a performance specification for the roof glazing, which was tendered by Sir Robert McAlpine.
Read more about how this innovative solution solved a challenging brief for the architect here.
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