Sunderland is located at the mouth of the River Wear in North East England and was originally established as a result of the coal and salt trade in the area. From the 14th to 19th century, people turned their attention to building ships. 200 years later, modern sectors have replaced these longstanding sources of income in the port city.
Tombola was founded in Sunderland in 2006. The family-run company develops and markets extremely successful online games and now has four branches worldwide. In 2018, to meet the demand for an innovative, high-tech employer, a new headquarters was designed and built by Ryder Architecture. The building, awarded a prize by the Architects’ Journal, is situated in Low Street in the center of Sunderland, on the southern bank of the Wear.
The main feature of the new building is its trio of roof pitches that merge seamlessly with the longer sides of the red brick outer shell. To contrast this, the fully glazed facade on the eastern side forms the “face” of the building and opens up the view of the nearby port. A central, open stairwell links the three floors and allows visual contact across all the levels.
The wide, single-flight stairway provides space for meeting others and the seating areas in the middle section invite people to linger. In the evening, the spatial transparency also becomes apparent from outside the building as the front facade loses its reflective effect and the inner levels of the building emit a uniform glow of warm light.
As one of the leading companies in the gaming industry, it was extremely important for the client to create an attractive, contemporary working environment. This can be seen in the open-plan office and communication spaces. The user comfort and climate design also needed to meet the latest standards. As most of the company’s staff work on a computer, it was essential to control glare at their workstations. Everyone agreed that the striking appearance of the pitched roofs and glass facade should not be diminished in any way by internal or external shading systems.
After extensive research, the team of architects discovered SageGlass. The dynamic electrochromic glass not only met the clients’ ambitions for the building aesthetically and functionally, it also provides major performance benefits such as lower HVAC costs and improved individual comfort. A total of 9,365 square feet of SageGlass Climaplus Gray was therefore installed at the new Tombola headquarters.
SageGlass automatically tints in response to the position of the sun, meaning that it can precisely meet the needs of the building’s users. The smart glass also reduces operating costs, as it allows comprehensive control of the heat and light entering the building.
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