What were once underperforming sixties buildings for British Telecom have been transformed into the Bower, a new mixed-use quarter located adjacent to Old Street roundabout. Featuring 320,000 sq ft of modern office space, vibrant restaurants and retail zones, the Bower sets a new standard for commercial design in London. This project is shortlisted in AJ Architecture Awards 2019 in the Refurb of the Year category.
In Bower’s main office building, entitled The Tower, Planet designed, manufactured and installed FireStop, a product comprising bespoke fire-rated frameless screens.
Planet’s FireStop is a robust, durable system which offers supreme levels of fire protection without compromising on the industrial-look desired by the client. To maximise occupant safety, FireStop was installed throughout the building, with four screens on each level. Due to the system’s adaptability, the future addition of privacy baffles can be integrated within the double-height sections to meet the tenant’s wishes.
To ensure fire protection throughout, Planet’s FireTec lift doors were also specified, installing one set of doors on each floor of The Tower. For modern commercial offices such as The Tower, FireTec hits the mark on style and function; achieving both fire protection and the glass aesthetic.
One of the biggest challenges was to work within the parameters of the existing 1960s office structure with building tolerances varying significantly from Planet’s FireStop system. These tolerances had to be worked around to meet the design intent. Furthermore, the newly created and double-height, split-level offices required the development of a handrail-like component across the glazing system at mezzanine level. This component will act as a base to fix a screen privacy baffle, if it is required by a tenant at a later date to ensure they are not overlooked.
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