Two Schueco SU 90 unitised façade systems form an important structural element in Glasgow's new £74 million Riverside Museum of Transport, a stunning building designed by the much-admired international practice of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).
Conceived as a sectional extrusion open at both ends along a diverted linear path, the snaking zinc-clad building with a rippling zig-zag roof has a huge central display area of around 5,000 sq metres that is completely open and unsupported by columns. Both front and rear elevations have huge glazed façades with a large feature overhang to protect the interior from excessive solar gain.
ZHA decided to use Schueco's SU 90 unitised system to construct these façades because the irregular shape of the building meant that the chosen system had to combine a high unit stability with the ability to accommodate building movement with a sway of plus or minus 300mm. This meant very tight tolerances, hence the need for a factory-built unitised system able to utilise the benefits of prefabrication to guarantee the very high quality required.
The façade system specialist contractor responsible for the installation was Charles Henshaw Ltd. The project was commissioned and part-funded by Glasgow City Council, with other public money coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Work started on site in 2007 and was completed under the direction of main contractors BAM Construct UK Ltd and Capita Symonds Project Management in late autumn 2010. The Museum was officially opened in June this year and is proving to be popular with both visitors and local people.