IN A TWIST AT ONE FORBURY PLACE July 2016
Number One Forbury Place in Reading is a 186,000 sq ft speculative office development, owned by one of the UK’s largest property investors, M&G Real Estate, which has a particularly distinctive exterior, thanks to a custom solar shading and screening solution, courtesy of Levolux.
The eight-storey building is the second of three buildings that will complete ‘Forbury Place’. One Reading Central, now known as Number Three Forbury Place, was the first building to be completed in 2010.
Designed by Aukett Fitzroy Robinson architects, Number One Forbury Place is a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rated development and is easily distinguishable because of an unusual solar shading and screening solution, provided by Levolux.
As a world-leading solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux was approached to design, supply and install a custom solar shading solution, comprising a combination of horizontal and vertical twisted fins.
Horizontal, rectangular-shaped fins are utilised externally on the building’s faceted south-facing elevation. The extruded aluminium fins, each measuring 150mm wide by 50mm thick, are grouped into a series of vertical stacks, comprising three or four fins.
The fins are fixed externally at high level on each floor, creating an effective, yet aesthetically impressive shading structure. Based on Levolux’s popular Infiniti Fin system, each series of horizontal Fins appears continuous, extending more than 55 metres across the building.
In contrast, on east and west-facing elevations, twisted, vertical fins have been incorporated into the scheme. The large rectangular-shaped fins, each measuring 550mm wide by 50mm thick, are fixed at 1.5 metre centres. The fins extend vertically to more than 33 metres, from ground to roof level. While some vertical fins are straight, set at 90 degrees from the façade, others have been twisted by as much as 180 degrees along their total length.
The twist in each fin starts and finishes at a slightly different height, creating a ‘ripple’ or ‘wave’ effect. The wave of twists radiates out diagonally from the centre of east and west-facing façades.
All fins are integrated with the glazed curtain walling system using Levolux’s Triniti bracket, while the vertical fins also have additional lateral supports at each level.
The Triniti bracket used on this project is a high performance curtain walling bracket, with stainless steel fixings and a patented thermal break. This provides excellent structural integrity, while helping to prevent cold bridging and minimise noise transmission.
While the horizontal, rectangular-shaped fins have been given a durable dark grey matt powder coating, each vertical fin is finished in two contrasting colours. A light grey finish on one side, is complemented by bronze on the other side and on both edges. The two colours create a striking effect that is most impressive when the fins are exposed to sunlight, in the morning (east elevation) or in the afternoon (west elevation).
Levolux also supplied and installed its Contour XL Louvres to screen plant and equipment at roof level. A louvred screen, measuring 3 metres in height by more than 47 metres in length, incorporates two single louvred doors and a louvred double gate. The ‘Z’ profile louvres, which are finished in dark grey gloss powder coating, obscures the view of unsightly plant and equipment at roof level.
As Number One Forbury Place is now complete, its twin brother, Number Two Forbury Place, is already rising from the ground. This will complete the Forbury Place development, which will offer more than 600,000 sq ft of Grade A office space.