MERO-SCHMIDLIN (UK) PLC have worked extensively with the architects, consulting engineers and main contractors at the new extension to BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place.
MERO-SCHMIDLIN were tasked with designing and supplying glazing and fixtures that would hold the glass in place and withstand a whole range elements. With the glass facade suspended seven storeys above the ground, the installation was always going to be complex. In some areas there are walkways between the outer building stonework and the glass facade to allow for maintenance. The ‘Horseshoe’ design of the building can also cause a vortex with high winds especially at high level so all of the bespoke stainless steel brackets had to be designed with that in mind in addition to the bomb proof requirements.
The glass is a mixture of acid etched and screen printed and is a very prominent feature of the design. The facade also featured precision cut Portland Stone panels to match the existing structure. With CAD computer and Robotic cutting techniques, natural stone can now be engineered to achieve incredibly slim profiles. Whilst the use of natural stone may have its detractors with regards to sustainability, these methods enable a block of stone to be cut so thin it can now be used as a rainscreen cladding rather than a supportive block. As such far less stone is required and it can now become a lightweight long lasting alternative to aluminium, steel or composite cladding.