New Landmark in London
Office building on the Thames with a large range

Barsinghausen / Tuebingen, January 2011. In the heart of London’s city centre, close to London Bridge, the local offices of David Walker Architects designed a much talked about and prize-winning office building. A large number of SCHOLLGLAS products were used in both the building’s shell and the internal outfit of Riverbank House.

Completed mid-2010 the new office building replaces a sixties building. The sensitive location along the northern banks of the Thames requires not only consideration of the surrounding buildings but also, in particular, inclusion of the public space. The design of the outdoor space reinstates visual axes and view relationships – amongst others to St. Pauls Cathedral – and access to the river was made easier. At the same time the architects made sure that the technical systems on the roof cannot be seen from the balcony of the nearby tourist attraction “The Monument”.

The trapezoid layout of the glass cube is developed from the shape of the property between road and Thames. The ten storey building offers 29,000 square meters of flexible, open-plan office space arranged around a central core. The shorter building sides in the South and North interrelate with the longer, dynamic ones. Trapezoid balconies reinforce these dynamics, at the same time interrupting the blocky look of the cube. The recessed square of the two topmost storeys visually reduces the height and bulk of the building.

The glass-aluminium façade construction with its balconies is mainly responsible for the crystalline impression of Riverbank House. Both were implemented by Josef Gartner GmbH from Gundelfingen, Germany. The double back-ventilated façade, which covers 8,500 square metres, is fitted with adjustable sun protection blinds within the double-glazing cavity, thus ensuring a pleasant atmosphere inside the building.

The individual elements of the double façade usually measure 4.5 m x 3.85 m and are equipped with three ceiling-high maintenance pivoting wings measuring 1.5 m x 2.75 m. GEWE-therm® heat insulating glass from SCHOLLLGAS was used for the opening wings, resp. the internal insulating glass panes. The outer protective panes of the double façade were executed in GEWE-safe® laminated safety glass. This combination facilitates great user comfort throughout the whole year while meeting high safety requirements at the same time.

The façade profiles are kept in a natural tone towards the room side, and are black anodised to the outside. In contrast, the sun yellow bottom views of the projecting balconies set a strong colour accent. Their overhead facing should appear as a homogenous surface but has to be particularly sturdy and guarantee high residual load carrying capacity in the case of glass breakage. That’s why GEWE-safe® laminated safety glass was used as structural glazing construction. Smoothly joined together without visible joining means, the coloured surface reflects the water of the Thames up to the upper storeys on the balconies facing the river during good weather. The vibrant yellow lies, protected from the elements, as full surface enamelling on position 2 of the pane. This keeps the vivid colour brilliance alive for a long time. No solid balcony parapets impede the fabulous view. Safety glass from SCHOLLGLAS was used once again for the full glass elements which are only fixed from below, so that users and visitors of Riverbank House can always enjoy the view onto the Thames and the skyline on the other side of the river.

At a sensitive location in London’s City, Riverbank House successfully integrates itself thanks to its clear façade design and harmonious interaction of material and colourfulness.

Visit us at the BAU in Hall C2, booth 530

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