Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system has been used to stunning effect at a new library in the southwest seaport town of Turku, Finland. The library showcases a triple- glazed feature window, which stands at an impressive 25m x 13m, incorporating Pilkington Optiwhite™ in the outer and middle panes and Pilkington Optitherm™ SN in the inner pane.
Pilkington Planar™ offers a complete and frameless solution for the project, providing a flush glass surface with fins that hold the weight of the façade in place. The fins' transparency characterises the triple-glazed system as an example of minimalism, which the city library accentuates.
Users of the library now benefit from an uninterrupted view of the Puolala Hill, an area of natural beauty - the glazing brings natural light and sunshine indoors, giving students the best possible surroundings in which to work.
The use of Pilkington Optitherm™ SN in the inner pane was also important, as it provides valuable protection against the harsh Nordic climate in winter. The glass has a low U-value and a coating that prevents heat escaping out of the library, maintaining a more comfortable temperature-controlled environment in which to study.
The feature window was designed by JKMM OY, and took around three months to complete. The chief architect for the project, Mikko Rossi, said: “Pilkington Planar™ was essential for this job. Not only does the frameless system give the building a seamless look, but the triple glazing also offers protection from the cold outdoors.
“Pilkington also provided high quality technical advice throughout, offering guidance on the most suitable products for this application.”
The Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system can provide a complete glass envelope for building structures, without the need for conventional frames or mullions. For this project, the light transmittance and solar gain were maximised without compromising on the thermal benefits of using Pilkington Optitherm™ SN. For projects in warmer climates, the Pilkington Planar™ system can incorporate solar control glass, to strike an appropriate balance between solar gain and thermal comfort, by reducing the heat loss from workspaces to the outside in winter, while buffering them against solar heat gain in the summer.
Pilkington Planar™ can now incorporate Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, allowing the design freedom that comes with frameless glazing. Additionally, the dual-action cleaning process ensures the building remains looking its best, whilst also reducing future maintenance costs.
The Turku City Library re-opened in late 2006, after an extensive refurbishment and the new main building was built on the old library building's site. The project effortlessly combines the new construction with the governor's chancellery and the library building.
Further details are available by e-mail to Pilkington@respond.uk.com or by telephoning the Pilkington Technical Helpline on 01744 692000.