The Whiteley. Propak have been appointed by Laing O’Rourke to deliver the largest and most bespoke heritage steel window facade in the UK

  

Propak Architectural Glazing have secured the largest and most bespoke heritage retained facade window replacement in the UK.

The Whiteley development is a landmark project that will revitalise the Grade II listed department store, on Queensway in Bayswater, in to a new £1bn residential, retail, dining and hotel complex – designed by Foster + Partners.

Propak are delighted to have been chosen by Laing O’Rourke to deliver the heritage façade, being seen as the go-to company for retained façade projects with thermally broken steel glazing systems. We will be designing, manufacturing, and installing 154 highly bespoke windows in this iconic building with a contract value in excess of £10m.

 

Matching the original windows is a challenging process as the new windows need to incorporate many reclaimed items from the original fabric of the building and windows.  We have worked tirelessly to try and reclaim and incorporate as much of the original windows in to the new design in order sustainably reuse the historic elements of the building to mimic the original installation, but at the same time bring them back to life and in line with modern standards of thermal efficiency to meet and exceed building regulations requirements.

 

The windows take various configurations including arched heads, bay windows, incredibly complicated curved on plan and convex on plan windows that require the highest levels of skill and craftsmanship to manufacture.  All windows have structural steel to hold heritage fascia’s and mullions that have been reclaimed from the original building – the fascia’s alone weigh in excess of 500kg per window.  The weight of each items makes the engineering of the windows very complicated with incredibly complex weather lines, fire stopping and the skill involved in installing these items in a tight space between the retrained retain façade and scaffolding makes for a technically very challenging installation.

 

Our project team have worked full time with our designers over the past 12 months to meticulously plan the design to make certain the installation is of the highest quality, logistics is well managed and at the same time safety leads the way and is not compromised at any stage.

At 4m high, we knew that we were pushing the boundaries of what is possible in any system, particularly whilst maintaining minimal heritage sight lines to comply with stringent planning requirements, and at the same time paying homage to the original window installation.  Propak tested the windows in Germany to ensure that all of the performance requirements air, wind, water, acoustic, and thermal performance was met in order to satisfy the ER’s, planning consent, the architects and consultants specifications.  The system passed with flying colours and is now being incorporated as a standard that we are able to offer future customers.

We will keep you updated with further news about this astonishing project and you can also follow updates across our LinkedIn and Instagram accounts.