The long light walk

This dramatic link bridge, supported on T-shaped columns high above the ground, is a high profile attraction at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, part of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. It neatly solves the problem of providing a safe and attractive walkway for staff and patients between the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the new main building.

Designed by BDP architects with main contractors Balfour Beatty, the walkway is formed with Kalwall, pierced at intervals with clear glazed full height windows. This highly insulating cladding solution admits natural diffused daylight into the space to create an attractive ambience without shadows or glare. It not only provides privacy but is robust enough to resist impact.

For the hospital, the fact that the cladding is self-cleaning is a major benefit in reducing regular maintenance given the extreme height of the walkway. At night, the facade is transformed by its artificial light into an attractive glowing feature.

The Kalwall daylighting system is frequently specified for high density traffic areas. The reduced weight of the system means installation is less costly and less cumbersome that traditional glass. Typical applications include the Liverpool South Parkway Interchange, London tube stations, airports and other public sector projects. The system is particularly suited to these environments because of its resistance to impact damage and its reduced maintenance.

Apart from being specified for all types of new build, Kalwall is increasingly used for the refurbishment of cladding or rooflights on aged buildings.

Project and technical information are available from Structura UK, the exclusive distributor for Kalwall translucent daylight building systems for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a leading supplier, fabricator and installer of glass curtain walling, rainscreens, glass atria, windows and other architectural glass building products. Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd, Tel: 01233 501 504 or visit