Pilkington Planar™ Touches the Void
Pilkington UK’s world-leading structural glazing system, Pilkington Planar™, was used to dramatic effect at Scotland’s latest landmark sports complex, the International Rock Climbing Centre near Edinburgh, built in a former quarry.
The £26 million project comprises a 3,600 m² climbing hall incorporating a 25 metre-high natural rock wall, a central glazed atrium and a 10,000 m² building that includes offices, training and leisure facilities and accommodation.
Over 1,100 m² of Pilkington Planar™ was used on the structure’s roof and three vertical screens to create a natural transparent connection between the climbing hall and the surrounding landscape of natural rock faces, which are incorporated into the design to form the north and west walls of the climbing hall.
The architects, A Priori Design, were supported by specialist subcontractor Charles Henshsaw & Sons. A value-engineered approach resulted in large glass panels and an optimised steel support structure to answer the brief of creating a “natural status” sports facility.
Pilkington Planar™ laminated glass was specified for the roof and its supporting fins, to provide enhanced safety for the public space below. The three 24 metre-high vertical walls were specified as Pilkington Planar™ toughened and heat soaked glass. All the structural glass was installed to a fine tolerance of ± 5 mm, which reflects the accuracy of manufacture of the Pilkington Planar™ components.
Jerry Almond, Charles Henshaw & Sons’ Commercial Sales Manager, commented: “The value-engineered roof, with the large panels, introduced significant cost savings and gave the structure a lighter, more natural appearance. Laminated fins to the roof also helped to maximise daylight, which would not have been so easily achieved with steelwork.”
Pilkington Planar™ met the challenges of minimising the amount of steel used in the glass support structure and maximising transparency. The result was a spectacular structure that easily accommodated safety concerns.