A library situated in the south-west seaport town of Turku, Finland, needed extensive refurbishment and renovation. As well as ensuring a blend with the existing minimalist architecture, planners were asked to provide a showcase window affording library users a clear and panoramic view of the Puolala Hill – an area of natural beauty.
The size of the window – 25 m x 13 m – meant that careful consideration had to be given to ensuring minimum heat and energy loss and reduced CO2 emissions while at the same time providing protection against the harsh Nordic winter weather.
Architects also needed to make the optimum use of natural light and sunshine to provide students with the best possible working environment.
The glass façade, which took three months to complete, fulfilled all objectives by:
• Using triple-glazing with Pilkington Optiwhite™ in the outer and middle panes and Pilkington Optitherm™ SN in the inner. With its low U value achieved with a coating that prevents heat escaping, the highly transparent glass counteracts the solar losses that would normally result from having additional glass panes, maintaining a more comfortable temperature-controlled environment in which to study, while minimising the need for heating.
• Providing a complete glass envelope for building structures, without the need for conventional frames or mullions. Pilkington Planar™ offered a complete, modern, frameless solution providing a flush glass surface with fins that hold the weight of the façade in place.
• Using the Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system combined with Pilkington Optitherm™ SN to maximise light transmittance and solar gain without compromising on the thermal benefits.