RIBA North West Award 2016
Shortlisted for 2016 ICE Engineered in London Award
SimpsonHaugh and Partners
Waagner - Biro
The renovation of Manchester Town Hall (Grade I Listed) and Manchester Central Library (Grade II* Listed) by SimpsonHaugh and Partners includes a new Link Entrance between the two structures. Conceived as a undulating ,reflective stainless
steel ‘cloud’ roof sitting on transparent glass walls, the link sits in between the two historic buildings.
The Main Contractor for the project, Laing O’Rourke, appointed Waagner-Biro to detail design, fabricate and install the superstructure. EOC assisted Waagner-Biro by taking on and developing the initial scheme design of the glass - rationalising and detailing as part of their structural engineering process to full fabrication information.
The original structural concept was of stacked glass panels connected to glass fins which would support the roof above. EOC substantially rationalised this by removing the fins and utilising full height glass panels which would directly support the roof. The result was a more refined and minimal structure with fewer glass joints and less visible metalwork.
The curved glass panels are typically 7.2m high and are formed by tempering and laminating 3 layers of glass, each 12mm thick. The steel feature roof bears directly onto the glass via carefully engineered connections.
The glass panels are partially fixed at their base and are propped by the roof structure.
Joined together with structural silicon between adjacent panels, the glass wall acts as a monolithic shell to resist lateral loads due to wind.
EOC coordinated structural loads between the contractors responsible for the roof and substructure foundation. EOC enabled the approval of the innovative glass structure by Building Control.
EOC’s contribution enabled a specialist element of the design to be realised for this public structure in central Manchester - marking the renovation of two of the city’s architectural icons.