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View up the atrium well to the Cable Net Glazed Roof

MERO 3D render of the roof structure

Close up on glass support system during installation

Close up on underside of cable net roof


The Point, Paddington Basin, London, UK

Designed by Architect Terry Farrell and Partners, ‘The Point’ provides a striking 10 storey office block in the heart of London situated on the waterfront of Paddington Basin.

The building’s footprint is determined by the path of the canal as it curves around the side of the office block, and it is this curve and its location that lends the boat theme to the building. In the middle is a huge glass atrium providing natural daylight down through the open plan office levels, topped off by MERO’s impressive atrium roof. Designed to represent the hull of a boat, the brief was to provide a stunning roof with the minimum amount of structure, to let the maximum amount of light filter through to the lower levels, whilst appearing as if it floated over the atrium well when viewed from beneath.

A near horizontal Vierendeel truss of tubular steelwork supported on two edges by tubular columns provided the main structure to the roof. 26 Tensile cables were strung across the top of the roof at 60/120 to each other, between anchor points welded above the outer truss members. These cables were then precision tensioned in a pre defined order to produce a strong ‘tennis racket’ grid of cables over the atrium well.

At the intersection points of the cables, two piece cast galvanised steel rings were positioned, into which six rotule assemblies were bolted, clamping both sides of the rings together. Articulated point fixing rotules in the insulated glass units and turnbuckles on the bolt assemblies allowed for precise levelling of the glazing panels once the cable net structure was loaded.

With the flush silicon joints between the glass panels directly above the cables, the support structure virtually disappears from view making the glass roof appear to be floating above the atrium well below..

[Download this project as a PDF document] 

_ _
Project Title:
The Point (Shell & Core), Paddington Basin, London
Package 3350 Atrium Roof
_ Scope of Works: Design, manufacture and installation of the structural steel, cable net (including tensioning), clamping rings, rotules, glazed panels, silicone jointing, flashings, louvers, doors, access latchway and internal ring attachments, to the atrium roof
_ Cladding Details:

284m Triangular insulating glass units comprising outer 12mm toughened heat soak tested solar control coated float + 16mm air gap + inner 2x8mm laminated float with 1.52mm pvb and bonded flush point fixing rotules.
169m Cladding panels comprising 3mm H14 Aluminium skin PPC with 75+30mm Rockwool insulation RW5

_ Steelwork Details: 230 tonnes grade 355 steel tube (Vierendeel Truss 323.9x16 and 219.1x10 CHS, columns 219.1x10 CHS), 70x70 SHS Cladding posts, 24No. Galvanised 26mm 1x19 strand high tensile cables with M36 Swaged ends (271m total length)
_ Year of Completion: 2002
_ Contract Duration: 13 months
_ Client: Paddington Basin Development Corporation
M_ERO UK Architect: Terry Farrell and Partners
_ Main Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease

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