The Tallest Residential Tower within the Canary Wharf Estate
WICONA has designed a high-performance, unitised facade system incorporating two new door innovations for Newfoundland Tower, the tallest residential tower to be built within the Canary Wharf Estate. The manufacturer of highly engineered bespoke systems has developed these solutions to perform well in challenging high-rise conditions. The doors feature unrivalled weather performance, reduced sight lines and are aesthetically pleasing without detracting from the overall design intent of the building.
Newfoundland Tower is the first tall building to be designed and built by HCL Architects. Its slim flattened diamond plan responds to the narrow footprint of its tight site and the diagonal alignment of adjacent streets.
The landmark tower, which will provide 636 apartments, is situated directly above the Jubilee Line near Westferry Circus at the end of Middle Dock, one of three historic linear docks. The tower’s distinctive diamond pattern created by the external structure, provides lateral stability and is the most efficient way for a tall building to withstand wind forces.
The diamond concept of Newfoundland enables the building to be extremely tall and slim and gives it a dynamic and striking appearance enjoyable from up close and far away. The project has been designed to maximise views and sunlight, with an orientation that enables panoramic views of London.
A Bespoke Solution
The unitised façade system was designed as a bespoke solution by WICONA’s project engineering team in partnership with its client, Schneider GB Ltd.
WICONA’s bespoke project service, which involves collaborating closely with architects on a project-by-project basis, meant that it was well placed to design two innovative door solutions that integrated seamlessly within the unitised façade and provide comfort to the users whilst managing the challenging high-rise conditions of this building.
We have developed a fully customized project solution to fulfil the needs of high-rise buildings and design requirements. Tall buildings are becoming more and more important for the cities of the future and with these innovative door solutions we have put the comfort (daylight, ventilation and safety) of the building users at the heart of the development.
The first of these innovations is WICONA’s unique ‘Pull Slide’ opening mechanism to a sliding double glazed door with integrated Juliete balcony. Unlike a conventional sliding door, when opened, this easy to use bespoke, aluminium framed system pulls the door 8mm internally before it slides quietly and smoothly along its track. The action of turning the door handle releases pressure from the perimeter gaskets integrated around the door opening.
When closing the door, the highly engineered mechanism compresses the door against the gaskets tightly sealing it and providing exceptional high wind and water performance.
The first time we presented these door solutions was at Munich’s BAU 2017, where we received a lot of positive feedback and interest from architects. Since then, we have had requests for new building projects where these door systems will be used. This has proven that we are in step with the pulse of the market and can provide solutions for the future, thanks to our passion for innovation and technological challenges.
WICONA has also developed an inward opening Juliete balcony door that won’t slam shut in strong winds. The key to this innovation is the new two-stage turn limiter designed by WICONA. This integrated safety feature provides an anti-slam function, which is necessary where doors are installed at height and exposed to potential high pressures.
WICONA and Schneider have enabled us to achieve what we wanted for the project. We were very particular about what the building should look like and they have produced a product that meets our requirements. WICONA provided two 1:1 full scale [each] mock-ups of the proposed door solutions, a visual one, which allowed us to assess how the colour and distinctive diagrid pattern would look, and one mock-up for testing. These huge mock-ups demonstrated to us that the systems were good quality, well-engineered and worked extremely well.
Architect: HCL Architects
Fabricator: Schneider GB Ltd
Photo: John Kees