Curtain walling from facade specialist, Wicona, has played a significant role in the construction of the Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow. The newly-completed venue is set to be a key sporting landmark for Scotland, and will play host to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Designed by architect 3DReid and built by Sir Robert McAlpine for Glasgow City Council, the £116m development is, one of the largest indoor sports facilities in Europe, and is Scotland’s first indoor velodrome. Not merely designed to attract sporting competitions of the highest calibre to Glasgow, the venue is also intended as a high-spec community facility and a point of lasting pride for the Scottish nation.
While the size of the complex is one of its most striking features, the flexible and innovative nature of its structure is particularly distinctive. The construction houses two stadia – a 5000 seat indoor arena, and a 2000-seat velodrome which will house key 2014 events such as cycling and badminton. Interconnecting these twin halls is a circulation space aptly named ‘the hub’, which accommodates ancillary facilities and the national sport federation headquarters.
The Wicona aluminium Wictec 50 curtain walling solution was specified by 3DReid to accommodate large unsupported spans of glass up to 4m long. Consequently, special connections for the transoms and mullions were engineered in order to support the heavier loads for the spans. The system also offered slim sections and consistent profile sizes across the project.
Fabricated and installed by Dane Architectural Systems as part of a £1m facade contract, the curtain walling was faceted for the curved contours of the structure – the curved bull nose caps accentuating the horizontal profiles of the facade.
The system spans four stories of the hub, with 77m-long screens of grid curtain walling used to enclose the arena. The atria and level two entrance also feature areas of glazing.
“The Wictec system could accommodate all the technical complexities of this project, in terms of spans, loads and uniformity of appearance for the grid and faceted elements,” says Rolf Basler, architect for the building envelope at 3DReid.
“The system was well fabricated and the project was supported by valuable technical input from the Wicona team,” he continues.
Used extensively both in the UK and internationally, the Wicona Wictec curtain walling suite offers a wide range of structural aluminium profiles to accommodate vertical, angled, sloped and faceted applications. Options for additional security are also available – from fire protection to bullet resistance – without altering the aesthetic of the facade.
The scope and versatility offered by Wicona curtain walling, in addition to its stylish uniformity, made it ideally suited for this project – ensuring that the outer shell of this landmark matches the ambitious sentiment behind its construction.