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Working Detail: Arup Headquarters, London, by Sheppard Robson

[WORKING DETAIL 15.04.10] Horizontal fire curtain

Arup Headquarters − The open atrium promotes visual interaction between office floors and a feeling of unity among Arup working groups. It is designed to be flexible so that it can easily be enclosed by vertical glazing if individual floors are re-let. Regulations dictate that open atria are enclosed at their upper-most levels to create a smoke plenum in the event of a fire.

They normally incorporate vertical fire curtains that enclose the atrium so it functions as a separate compartment in fire mode. As vertical fire curtains required cumbersome and obtrusive guiderails, we sought to negate this requirement and provide a sense of openness throughout the entire height of the atrium.

Bespoke concealed horizontal fire curtains are activated by the computerised building management system, separating each floor horizontally into compartments in the event of a fire. These retract into an integrated slot around the perimeter vertical cladding panel at each floor.

Mark Kowal, partner, Sheppard Robson

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