Take a listed building at a prestigious London address in the heart of the City, add a floor made from the thick steel hull from a ship and a traditional wooden entrance lobby, then request a modern entrance which enables access and reduces heat loss.
This was the challenge faced by the UK’s leading manufacturer of door and window control systems, GEZE UK, at the Grade II listed 1 Finsbury Circus. The architectural firm Gaunt Francis was behind the comprehensive redevelopment of the historic building, which included a sophisticated, high quality and modern interior space with a spectacular fully glazed atrium roof.
At the entrance, elegant circular automatic sliding glass doors were specified to complement the ornate wooden lobby and the striking geometric floor, and GEZE UK’s discreet Slimdrive SCR was the ideal choice. But a bespoke solution was required, as it was impossible to dig into the listed, steel floor. Instead of creating a floor ring from hollow steel tubes, GEZE UK made a specially fabricated floor ring from a stainless steel sheet just 15mm thick. This was then machined on to the floor and every fixture was surface mounted.
In keeping with the vast swathes of glass used throughout the development, the circular doors were given a glass roof, maximising the feeling of light and space and to reduce heat loss, a matching semi-circular heater was installed on top of the outer door.
Operations Director Simon Bowden said: “Built in 1925 from the Portland stone which characterises this part of the City, 1 Finsbury Circus was a very beautiful but unusual project to work on. The building had once been home to a shipping company, which is why the floor was made from a ship’s hull. Together with the listed status of the whole building, it meant we needed to design a new way to install the doors, which was functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.
“It was the first time we’d attempted to make a steel ring in this way, which was an exciting challenge. We’re all delighted with the result – it’s a beautiful, elegant and functional entrance, which complements both the traditional exterior and the modern interior.”On the other side of the building, GEZE UK also installed a Slimdrive SL automatic sliding door to enable further access. Both operators are part of GEZE UK’s Slimdrive range, which means they are just 7cm high and can be mounted discreetly. They have also been designed and tested to meet the requirements of all relevant standards and regulations, including Building Bulletin 93, Approved Documents B and M, as well as assisting with the vigorous demands of the Equality Act.