Natural stone cladding from Cumbria-based Burlington serves to enhance the visibility and integrity of a new £26 million, 10-storey commercial office development that supports Glasgow City Council’s new lighting strategy and ‘Public Art in the City’ concept.

Designed by Glasgow-based architects, gm+ad, Sentinel cleverly combines natural stone cladding and a structural glazing system that uses previously unseen façade lighting technology here in the UK, to deliver a clean and simple, yet distinctive structure that stands as a visual delight for those who live and work in the building’s vicinity. .

Taking on an L-shaped form extending from the ground to the tenth floor, wrapped around a cube that appears as a cantilevered floating glass cube over a partially open entrance foyer, the two main elevations of Sentinel are clad in Burlington blue/grey Kirkby and silver/grey Brandy Crag stone. .

To add continuity to the external use of the natural stone cladding, both materials also appear within the building’s ground floor reception area. Burlington’s silver/grey Brandy Crag stone extends from the main elevation into the entrance foyer where it has been deployed to clad the main facing wall of the entrance foyer. In order to provide a distinct feeling of texture and form here, Murray Dunlop architects have specified rough-hewn riven Brandy Crag stone supplied with tolerances of some 30mm and combined it with a flatter flamed surface in a ratio of three to one. .

Additional texture and colour variation exudes from the use of the blue/grey Kirkby cladding supplied with a sanded finish that cloaks the building’s central stairwell tower. Here again, the Kirkby stone extends internally with a honed finish to frame a feature window within the reception area that offers views through to Sentinel’s glass staircase. Installed by masonry contractors, Realstone of Glasgow, a total of 600m2 of 40mm thick Brandy Crag cladding and 410m2 of blue/grey Kirkby stone has been supplied for the project. .

With the buildings two main clad wings serving to reinforce the street corner, it is design features such as these that mark the building as an entry to this part of the city – a sentinel. .

Complete with a random arrangement of clean and fritted glass panels, the architects have deployed an innovative lighting system to project a floor by floor spectrum of colour that blur the edges between solidity and void – between illusion and reality. .

Using LED light sources at selected windows that glow at night, Sentinel’s frontage offers a continuous and changing spectrum of colour, from red to purple to blue to green. By being integrated into the very body of the building, the lighting adds another layer to the elevations of the glass cube.

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