When your requirements are less straightforward it’s important to commission a glass specialist who can achieve the best possible result in more sensitive environments, more complex situations
Some glass balustrades simply involve repeated panels of glass fixed into the correct position. Easy!
But when your requirements are less straightforward it’s important to commission a glass specialist who can achieve the best possible result in more sensitive environments, more complex situations or when the glass balustrade involves changes in direction, levels or curves.
Difficult interfaces in glass: Sometimes it’s the interface between straight and curved glass panels that makes all the difference, or a seamless result that transitions from channel set balustrading to bolt fixed panels or spans of glass balustrade that smoothly accommodate a change in levels.
In other projects, especially glass balustrades in heritage environments, it’s the interface between the glass panels and the origin fabric of the building that makes the installation more challenging.
An Ion Glass project in a barn conversion features a concrete spiral staircase leading to a mezzanine floor and a bridge spanning the interior of the building. The glass balustrade fits perfectly around the spiral, cut to accurately follow the line of each individual step.
The glass panels are bolt fixed to the stairs and the bridge, transitioning smoothly from curved to straight panels before interfacing flawlessly with the glass panels of the bridge.
In a recent installation in a renovated Martello Tower in Folkestone a mix of curved and straight glass panels forms a continuous sweep of frameless glass balustrade. Channel set glass fits tightly around the curve at the top of the staircase, seamlessly combining with the bolt fixed glass balustrade across the mezzanine floor. Despite the change in fixing mechanisms, the glass itself follows exactly the same visual line, maintaining a precise distance between each panel.
The balustrade also accommodates a change in levels with a single glass panel bolt fixed to the steps down to the lower level mezzanine, creating a smooth angle that is both easy on the eye and effective in use.
Glass balustrades in churches or other heritage buildings:
Glass balustrades offer an ideal solution in heritage environments, meeting contemporary functionality with minimal impact on the original architecture of the building. But it’s likely you’ll need to consider the interface of glass with hand-hewn stone or the position of ancient wooden beams. Our computerised measuring techniques will shape the glass to follow the irregularities in a stone wall, or ensure that the glass panels work perfectly with the original timbers.
At St Clement’s Church in Hastings for instance, the glass balustrade on a mezzanine floor had to fit around an existing wooden beam in the church. Accurate measurements and detailed preparation ensured that the cut out in the glass panel didn’t just fit accurately around the beam, it also sits in the centre of the panel, maintaining a precise and even spacing across all the panels throughout the installation.
The more recent barn conversion had a similar situation with the huge timber beams that crossed the roof space, interfacing with the concrete bridge. Accurate cut outs of the glass panels around the timber achieved a flawless and aesthetically pleasing result with bolt fixings to the metal stairway linking the mezzanine floor to the bridge.
Every project we undertake is unique. Our ability to achieve beautiful glass balustrades in complicated situations truly sets us apart. It’s the detail that makes the difference.