The Schueco Excellence Awards for design and innovation have become an annual event firmly established in the industry’s calendar, and continue to feature brilliantly designed and constructed buildings right across Ireland and the UK.

The awards – which are run in association with RIBA Journal in the UK – have won the respect of the UK and Irish building industry because of the high quality of the submissions they routinely attract. The only stipulation for entry is that each project should utilise at least one Schueco system and involve a Schueco UK Partner specialist contractor. This year, the Cultural Award was awarded to Irish company KCC Architectural for their work on the prestigious Newport Street Gallery in London.

Designed by Caruso St John for Damien Hirst, Newport Street Gallery has already won multiple awards including the prestigious 2016 Stirling Prize for Architecture.

KCC Architectural were subcontracted to manage the glazing element of the prestigious project and did so by introducing oversized Schueco glazing systems, which became a key design element of the building. Each of these pieces weighed almost 570kg.

According to KCC, the most challenging piece of the project was the seven structurally glazed secondary glazing units, fitted with bonded glass in Gallery 1 in the Victorian part of the building. They also fitted four further special secondary windows in Gallery 3.

‘The architect had the design intent and we had to make it happen,’ says one of KCC’s directors, David Skelly. ‘It was a significant challenge to work to almost zero tolerance on such complicated windows, and a lot of design work went into it because they were so large and heavy.’

Since the 1.7m wide x 2.3m high window size surpassed the maximum engineering constraints of the Schueco Jansen Janisol SG system, the project required design and engineering input from the team in KCC and the engineering company Clear Structures, which provided structural calculations.
The thermally broken profiles required heavy and durable steel reinforcement which was achieved through the design of bespoke large brackets which helped carry the units. Project specific tests had to be carried out on windload, fixings, bonding of the glass to the system and condensation levels, the latter being of particular importance due to the type of building being constructed.

KCC also created further windows in the project, using the same system, for newly built parts of the gallery, such as the main entrance building. These pieces measured up to 3.5m x 3m. The gallery also features Schueco Jansen glazed and flush metal overclad doors. The Judges of the 2017 Excellence Awards for design and innovation awarded KCC with the Cultural award and commended them on overcoming the challenge of the oversized glazing requirements, as well as its contribution to the overall design and feel of the project, which blends the new build with a terrace of listed industrial buildings.