How do you modernise the entrance of a leading research facility to ensure thousands of people can pass through safely every day, but which is part of a Grade II listed art deco building with a solid marble floor?
This was the challenge for the UK’s leading manufacturer of door and window control systems, GEZE UK, when it was asked to supply and fit new doors for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The school is an international centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health and with over 3,500 students and 1,200 staff, its main entrance is busy throughout the day.
Originally opened in 1929 by the Prince of Wales, the client specified that any new doors needed to be completely in keeping with the building’s historic character.
GEZE created a bespoke design using the Slimdrive SC GGS, an automated all-glass curved sliding door with high grade stainless steel fittings and a glass roof. It was fitted to the existing entrance to create an elegant semi-circular lobby and the curved sliding glass doors ensured more space and light.
As with all products in the popular Slimdrive range the entire drive unit is only 7 cm in height. The main advantage of the Slimdrive SC GGS in listed buildings is that it removes the need for unsightly rails, maximising transparency and enhancing the detail of the building. The very low construction height enables almost invisible integration into the façade and the final result allows maximum light into the School’s busy reception area.
Normally a track is installed in the floor, however in this installation the marble floor could not be lifted or altered for obvious reasons, so instead GEZE’s specialist team created a solution whereby a 15mm thick surface mounted stainless steel track was attached to the stone floor.
The Slimdrive SC GGS can be used with door leaf heights of up to 2500 mm and weights of up to 120 kg. It is approved and certified in accordance with DIN 18650.John Kinsella, Estates Project Manager at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine commented: “We are very proud of the building and any alterations needed to be completely in character, as well as practical. The final result is stunning. We also needed the building to remain open during the refurbishment, and the GEZE team worked with us to ensure the safe operation throughout the project.”