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Wolverhampton Civic Hall Penoyre & Prasad Architects

working details: A gallery bar with a frameless glass facade

The refurbishment of the Civic Hall, completed in 1938, includes two new gallery bars with frameless glazed facades.They are upper floor extensions above the original single-storey cloakroom blocks on the north and south sides of the building.

The concert hall auditorium is flanked at ground and upper floor levels by a gallery promenade which gives access to seating.

Originally the cloakrooms opened off the ground floor promenade while the upper floor promenade was lit by glazed double doors, opening onto balconies.

The two single-storey blocks have now been reconfigured to form three floors - WCs, cloakrooms and bars on the ground floor, backstage spaces on an intermediate floor, and the new gallery bars on the upper floor with access through the original double door openings.WCs have been installed at the ends of the bars.

Each gallery bar has a new exposed steel roof structure of UC beams supported by a series of 89mm-diameter CHS columns set behind the glazed facade at 3.6m centres.

The facade, and the frameless glazed roof and floor panels which run alongside it, are fixed to three sets of projecting tapered steel fins.

The upper fins are splayed and welded to the roof structure; the middle fins, also splayed, are bolted to the columns and support a precast concrete balustrade/ shelf. The lower fins support an angle fabricated to hold the bottom edges of the frameless glass panels and the side edges of the glass floor panels.

The WCs are enclosed with an aluminium curtain wall, screened with a series of 320 x 65mm precast concrete louvres.They are bolted to flats which project from stainless steel ladder frames.

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