Smoke control solutions strikes perfect balance

CASE STUDY - Centre Prouvé, Nancy, France

Creating visually stunning buildings without compromising on safety is one of the biggest challenges for modern day design. For a conference centre based in North Eastern France, a suitable smoke control system was required which would ensure the safe evacuation of visitors in the event of a fire without compromising the visual attributes of the building. 

As a leading fire glass specialist, Pyroguard was approached by the architect to offer a suitable solution.

Located in the city of Nancy, the Centre Prouvé offers a flexible conference space complete with a 3000m2 exhibition hall, two auditoriums, thirteen meeting rooms and a panoramic reception area. A former postal sorting facility, the venue was designed by architect Marc Barani of Atelier Barani, and due to its prominent location in the heart of Nancy, it was constructed to offer panoramic views across the city.

With glass playing an integral role in the building design, the architect required a proven smoke control solution which would not distort the aesthetics of the development while adhering to safety regulations. In addition, due to the high footfall of visitors, the solution would require no upkeep and maintenance. In line with these requirements, Pyroguard recommended Smokeguard, a permanent glazing solution which acts as a smoke barrier, keeping low-level toxic fumes at bay for up to half an hour to give visitors maximum time to exit the building safely.

Thanks to its perfect transparency, Smokeguard met the aesthetic requirements of the architect too – with the 8mm thick tempered monolithic glass offering 87 per cent light transmission, to provide the perfect transparent protective barrier with minimal visual impact. In comparison to smoke curtains, Smokeguard requires zero maintenance and has no maximum lifespan, which is particularly important in high footfall areas where ongoing repair and replacement may be impractical and costs need to be kept to a minimum.

More than 100m2 of Smokeguard has been installed in the atrium using its patented fastening system to mount to the ceiling. In addition, it has been installed in high traffic areas such as escalators and lifts, to maintain safe evacuation in the event of a fire and minimise the risk of smoke inhalation.

Neil Tilsley CEO of Pyroguard, explained: “Atelier Barani is renowned for creating breath-taking modern and contemporary spaces, so naturally we were delighted to be involved in the project. We were approached by the architect, Mark Barani thanks to our technical knowledge and ability to offer a solution which wouldn’t compromise the visual appeal of the building but ensure the safe evacuation of people in the event of a fire.

“Smokeguard is particularly beneficial in large buildings which have a high daily footfall. As it’s maintenance-free, it’s essentially a fit-and-forget system which can keep smoke at bay long enough to allow people to exit. Because of its versatility, it’s becoming an increasingly popular choice for architects who want to fulfil building regulations which stipulate fire safety, without affecting the overall look of the building.”

For more information about Smokeguard, please visit