The designers of the new offices for Stoke-on-Trent City Council wanted to create a landmark that combined modern design with references to the rich history of pottery manufacturing in the city. To make this plan a reality, the architects enlisted the help of Pilkington Glass.
Standard practice when creating coloured double glazing units is to apply the colour to face four on the inner pane of glass. However, this can reduce the vibrancy of the colour. To negate this issue, using state-of-the-art technology, Pilkington digitally screen printed the colours onto face two – the inside of the outer sheet of glass. They also used low-iron glass for the outer pane, allowing the colours to be seen in their truest form.
The façade needed to be custom designed and manufactured to deliver the required pattern. The variation in colours across the façade meant that few units were identical to each other, meaning they needed to be pieced together like a jigsaw. The team also took into account the sides of the building with the most exposure to the sun, fitting these areas with glass with a higher solar control rating to prevent the building overheating during the summer.
The resulting building is an unusual yet vibrant kaleidoscope of coloured glass inspired by the work of world-renowned ceramic artist Clarice Cliff, who was born and worked in Stoke-on-Trent. Five colours, green, blue, red, yellow and white, all drawn from the colour pallet of Clarice Cliff designs, are arranged along all of the facades in a geometric pattern reminiscent of the potter’s most iconic pieces.
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