London South Bank University

The Project

The £29 million glass and steel Keyworth II building will form the heart of the London South Bank University (LSBU) campus, providing a hub for activities and bringing life to the surrounding streets. Designed by renowned contemporary architect Nicholas Grimshaw, Keyworth II will house state-of-the-art teaching facilities for the Faculty of Health and Social Care and the departments of Education and Sports and Exercise Science.

The Pilkington Planar™ system played an important role in the aesthetics and functionality of the building providing two highly engineered glass walls.

Pilkington Planar™ Specification

Insulating Glass Units  (IGUs):

These were custom IGUs utilising laminated glass in both panes of the double glazed construction at the request of Grimshaw (architect) who were keen to use laminated glass on all elements of the structural glass façade. These units were designed by Pilkington Architectural as part of the project and had never previously been supplied for a vertical façade.

  • 6 mm Heat Strengthened Pilkington Optifloat™ Grey HN – 1.52 mm interlayer – 10 mm Toughened Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS / 16 mm Airspace / 6 mm Heat Strengthened Pilkington K Glass™ HN – 1.52 mm interlayer – 6 mm Heat Strengthened Pilkington Optifloat™  Clear HN

Fins :

The lower fins are sat on the ground and the upper fins are suspended from the top beam of the building. There is 40 mm wide movement joint running across the façade where the 2 sets of fins meet. At this interface a 30mm thick 14 m long steel blade also runs across the façade and between the fins to take the wind load back to the walls. If the façade had not been designed in this manner then the glass fins would have been considerably deeper to span a full height of 19 m and this would have denied the double sided atrium of valuable floor space.

The glass fins supplied by Pilkington utilise the DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer technology required to comply with the design challenges of the façade.

  • Lower: 15 mm Toughened Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS/1.52 mm interlayer/ 15 mm Toughened Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS
  • Upper: 12 mm Toughened Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear /1.52 mm interlayer/ 12 mm Toughened Pilkington Optifloat™ Clear THS

Fittings : Specially designed Pilkington Planar™ 905 bolts (external stainless steel caps) and stainless steel vertical strap splice.

Automatic operable smoke vents run across the top of the façade.


  Project ReferenceUK0082_ProRef
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Project Details
Surface Area
2150 m²
Keyworth Street , London, UK
Opening Date
Oct 2009
Building Type
  • Education
About the Architect/Installer
Grimshaw 57 Clerkenwell Road EC1M 5NG Tel: 0201 291 4141 Fax: 0201 291 4194
Benefit Led Categories
  • Glass Systems
  • Thermal Insulation