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Aerial View on Unison HQ Glazed Freeform Roof

Internal View of Unison HQ Atrium Roof

Internal Render of Unison HQ Atrium Roof

External Render of Unison HQ Atrium Roof
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Unison HQ, London
London, UK


"MERO-SCHMIDLIN bought enthusiasm, and design rigor together with an over-riding desire to generate a uniquely special piece of engineering. A jewel in the centre of the new head quarters building"
Michael Poots, Project Architect, Squire & Partners

As part of the new headquarters for the union Unison, Mero-Schmidlin have designed, fabricated and installed a stunning lightweight freeform roof and façade over the central atrium area, linking the refurbished listed buildings of the former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital with the new build low and mid rise office blocks.

The roof geometry has been designed to interface with the differing heights of the new build and listed buildings forming the perimeter of the roof, with the meandering ridge of the freeform roof representing Unison’s logo.

Mero-Schmidlin developed the original architectural geometry, reducing the number of panels with a minimal fall from the design, to leave just a couple of panels at the perimeter remaining with a shallow fall, where cleaning access would be possible to remove any ponding residue that may accumulate.

The entire roof and façade glazing features a flush silicone external joint, with all glass panels and vents restrained using hidden toggle fixings supported on a fully ventilated and drained Raico bearing gasket laid directly onto the secondary steelwork.

In order to cope with the unique and differing geometry of the roof, each secondary steel member was custom designed and fabricated to the optimal level and angle, to ensure the glazing bearing gasket to all edges of each glass pane provided a flat plane with no steps at the corners that could cause waterproofing issues. This secondary glazing frame of 100x60 RHS members was then supported by Tee section rafters spanning from the new build office building side of the roof to the listed building side, where sliding movement joints in conjunction with spanning stainless steel tie rods were employed to ensure no horizontal loads were imparted into the listed building’s structure.

Download a PDF Case Study

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Project Title:
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Unison HQ, Former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, 121-144 Euston Road, London
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_ Scope of Works: Design, manufacture and installation of bespoke freeform glazed atrium roof and vertical façade with integrated opening vents
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_ Cladding Details:

21m x 5.5m glazed façade, 39m x 12.5m glazed freeform roof (383m² surface area, comprising 326m² glass and 57m² opening aluminium clad vents)
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_ Steelwork Details: Spanning Trusses fabricated from mild steel 229x305x70 TUB with 24dia stainless rod rigging connected to a vertical 76 dia CHS compression strut. The Tee section supports a glazing frame of 100x60 RHS at approx 1.5m centres via 100mm long 33.7dia CHS posts. Roof structure factory welded in ladder arrangements comprising two adjacent trusses with glazing purlins welded between, these are site erected and purlins between adjacent ladder frames bolted into position via hidden connections. Façade fabricated from 200x100 RHS for the outermost mullions and transoms at support levels, 120x60 RHS for all other façade mullions and transoms.
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_ Year of Completion: 2010
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_ Contract Duration: 14 months
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_ Client: Unison
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_ Architect: Squire and Partners
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_ Main Contractor: BAM Construction Ltd
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