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Office building, Edinburgh Reiach and Hall Architects

Glazed walls recessed within stone-clad columns and beams

The five-storey office building occupies an urban corner site.

On the south-east elevation the glazed openings lie virtually flush with the ashlar stone cladding; on the northwest elevation the glazing - a curtain wall system - forms a series of bays recessed within a framework of stoneclad columns and beams.

In each bay an aluminium louvre screen is positioned to slide flush with the face of the stone.The screens and the depth of the bays give privacy to the glazed interior spaces and assist in preventing glare from late afternoon and evening sun.

The framework of 325 x 200mm concrete beams and 400 x 200mm columns, clad with ashlar stone, is set 600mm proud of the main cast in situ concrete frame structure. The glazing - a silver anodised aluminium curtain wall system - and spandrel panels of microribbed anodised aluminium - are fixed to the main edge beams. At each floor a galvanised steel walkway on steel angle supports gives access to the sliding screen and to the curtain wall for cleaning.

The concrete columns and beams are clad with small 75mm-thick stone slabs of Blaxter sandstone which were hand-fixed with stainless steel restraint cramps. The lowest row of slabs on each floor is supported on stainless steel angles to bear the weight of the slabs above.

The sliding screens are designed to be as transparent as possible; each is fixed at the head to a concealed sliding track and restrained to a balustrade - an inverted Grade 316 stainless steel 180 x 90mm channel - which runs across each bay. The ends of the channel are fixed through spacers and toe-to-toe angles to the concrete columns.

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