Recently the highly-respected daily national, the Irish Times covered the work of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architects, highlighting the superb quality of design and finish that the firm has delivered on high-profile projects in London. Featured work included the student centre at the London School of Economics, and the Photographers’ Gallery in Soho.
Journalist Frank MacDonnell described the LSE project as seeming to “defy gravity”, suggesting that it should be called the “London Angle.” He said the building invites further investigation, “it is intended to draw you in under the angular glazed canopy and up a broad terrazzo stairs…..”
The glazing Donnell refers to was manufactured by specialist glass processors, Diamond Glass. It was a hugely challenging project, as practically every piece of glazing was unique and highly specified. Director Michael Kelleher says “Besides the 700 sq.m. of external glass required and the aesthetic demands that the architectural glazing needed to meet, there were also complex functional requirements to address, such as solar shading, safety standards, energy management, sound reduction and more!” In fact the building extends to 6000 sq. m in total, with 9 floors – every one of which is different from an architectural and functional perspective.
Diamond Glass secured the contract through bespoke joinery firm Gem Joinery. M.D. Vincent Fay has been familiar with the Diamond Glass team for many years and the two companies worked hand-in-hand to deliver an outstanding result.
As the façade of the building is encased in handmade brickwork, bringing light through its interior was no mean feat. There were also very practical issues to consider such as how to clean all that glass, tucked behind the brickwork. Gem and Diamond Glass manufactured an inventive solution, whereby all the windows open inwards, for easy access.
Michael says “It’s an astonishing piece of architecture and we’re delighted that it demonstrates the depth of our expertise – it would be impossible to deliver on a similar project as the LSE building is truly unique but we look forward to seeing Diamond Glass products across a number of these high-profile buildings – watch this space!”
In line with its strategy to grow the business, Diamond Glass has recently acquired the assets of SmartGlass International, the leading Switchable Glass supplier, and this adds to its extensive range of superior, proven glazing products. See http://www.smartglassinternational.com/