Wardian - a landmark with tailor-made aluminum facade for best comfort

Inspired by the 19th century Wardian Case of Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, which botanists used to transport plant specimens from remote parts of the globe, Wardian in London’s Docklands is being hailed as a landmark in sustainable development for the 21st century: with WICONA glazing systems having been selected to help achieve the twin properties’ aesthetic as well as energy, acoustic and other performance objectives.

The development by EcoWorld Ballymore comprises 50 and 55 storey residential towers containing 768 one and two bedroom flats, as well as penthouse suites, with views of Canary Wharf and a podium housing a private screening room, restaurant and retail units. The renowned design practice, Glenn Howells Architects was responsible for not only the overall concept and detailed design, but also much of the interior work. Meanwhile the decision to utilise WICONA’s WICLINE 75 doors, bespoke WICSLIDE 150PS sliding glazing and WICLINE 90SG windows - all integrated into the custom unitised façade solution - was taken by the Czech based façade contractor, Sipral.

With mechanical services being a hugely significant contributor to a building’s whole-life energy consumption, controlling solar gain and avoiding reliance on air conditioning has been a key principal in Wardian’s design ethos. Therefore as well as utilising roof gardens with mature trees to temper incoming air, the towers’ design makes impressive use of passive measures to protect the living spaces from solar gain.

A spokesperson for Glenn Howells Architects commented: “The project drew inspiration from botanical roots and Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward's Wardian cases, but sustainability was also a key factor. Wardian has been designed to reduce solar gain through the use of projecting terraces, giving a 42% cooling load reduction in comparison to towers with less shaded façades, which is projected to rise to 55% saving by 2050 as temperatures rise.

“Rather than rely on air conditioning, Wardian’s sky gardens cool incoming air as well as providing every home with generous shaded amenity. The greenery also contributes to air quality, as well as creating an environment that is relaxing and enjoyable to use.

“We further worked closely with Sipral to get the glazing specification just right and meet the requirements for solar gains, while we also had a lot of work to do addressing acoustics. On the lower levels facing the DLR*, we have a secondary layer of glazing and a good part of the elevation facing City Airport has acoustic glazing.
”Specified in relation to their position on the two towers’ elevations, the WICONA window and door systems installed by Sipral deliver either a 35 dB or 41 dB sound reduction: achieved both by careful detailing of the frames and the use of acoustic glass. The majority of the fenestration offers a U-value of 1.0 W/m2 K, including for the back painted spandrel units produced.

Both the apartments and the penthouses feature the use of WICLINE 90SG windows with more than a thousand units being installed across the two buildings. Sipral’s contract also included the installation of 3,525m2 of curtain wall incorporating more than 50 bespoke elements such as cover caps.

The WICLINE system offers both aesthetic flexibility and a high level of functionality, allowing the specifier to optimise energy performance, acoustic insulation and security. Like the other WICONA systems, it is compatible with the WICTEC façade options which extend from the classic stick assemblies to unitised and even structural glazed elevations. Compliant with the EN13830 standard for curtain walling, WICTEC is fully tested for weather resistance and fire performance, and is readily adaptable to almost any architectural style thanks to the availability of diverse profile types. Tim Rook, a Project Designer for Wicona, added: “Wardian was a challenging project, due to acoustic and other technical requirements, requiring a bespoke, unitised solution. Delivered by our customer, Sipral, this incorporates WICLINE 75 balcony doors, WICLINE 90SG windows and WICSLIDE 150PS sliding door; while the unitized façade itself features 54 new profile creations”

Sector Residential
Location London
ArchitectGlenn Howells
Fabricator SIPRAL
Developer Ballymore


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