'The Frames' completed

AKT II Envelopes

We are pleased to announce the completion of The Frames at 1 Phipp Street.

Our Envelopes team worked with architects Squire and Partners to develop the design of the façade for this four-storey 80,000 sq² flexible work space close to London’s Old Street, which incorporates a mix of brick and Corten-clad windows, and a two-storey glazed mansard with bespoke, twisting aluminium fins.

We were initially appointed to develop a solution for the twisted metal shading fins; the client was not initially convinced they were achievable in terms of manufacture/procurement and cost, but we delivered a design that provided assurance that they were indeed achievable within the project constraints.

The fins have a complex geometry, twisting and untwisting along their length by up to 90 degrees and transitioning into flat portions that run either perpendicular or parallel to the façade. Combined with the high perforation density and the architectural intent for minimal and visually light but consistent-looking fins, this was a challenging design element. We developed a parametric tool which allowed various parameters to be quickly optimised and analysed in real time using finite element analysis.

We were then appointed to the next stages through to the construction, working on the façade for the whole building. A key issue was the Corten weathering steel, chosen for its natural rusting properties that contribute to the building’s desired warehouse aesthetic. We wanted a level of control and consistency over this rusting, so we agreed on strict quality control procedures for its manufacture, handling and storage, in addition to on-site measures.

Once construction began, we made regular site inspections and progress reviews as well as reviewing weather testing of the façade. The final building looks even better than the renders and the architect and client is extremely pleased.