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Astragal: Shattering news at Park Hill

Parkhill glass crop
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Reports have reached the AJ of misbehaving windows at Hawkins\Brown and Studio Egret West’s regeneration of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate.

Some 15 incidents have been reported of glass spontaneously shattering in parts of the estate’s 260-home first phase. 

One 12th-floor resident told the AJ: ‘It made a sudden loud bang like a gunshot at the moment the glass shattered.’ 

Urban Splash, the estate’s developer, said: ‘We have been advised that this imperfection, caused by nickel sulphide, is a known occurrence which can happen to glass post-completion.’ 

It insists the problem has only affected a tiny percentage of the hundreds of windows in the scheme, and says it is working with the glass manufacturer and expert advisers to resolve the problem.  

A revised agreement signed earlier this month between Urban Splash and Sheffield City Council means the development will finally be completed in 2022.

It never rains but it pours

Kew garden glass covered courtesy from tfw5

Kew garden glass covered courtesy from tfw5

It’s been an October to forget for BDP. First, the triple-laminated glass floor of the viewing platform at the practice’s giant beehive-like Hive structure in Kew Gardens, south-west London, had to be cordoned-off after cracks were discovered.

The hive, designed with artist Wolfgang Buttress, was originally the centrepiece of the UK’s Milan 2015 Expo offering. Buttress said there were unconfirmed reports the glass had broken after a young girl dropped a hefty rock on it. Kew said there was no danger of collapse and has laid a carpet over the damaged floor while ordering a £7,500 replacement section of glass.

Then, last week rain in Manchester (yes, really) caused problems at the city’s Victoria Station, which BDP revamped last year as part of a £44 million upgrade. An EFTE panel on the 10,000m² roof ripped following a heavy north-western deluge, sending gallons of water gushing down on commuters below and injuring two.  

Eye-witnesses saw the roof panel sagging like a soggy pillow under the weight of the rain.

Experts have questioned whether bleed valves had been fitted, which would allow excess water through to stop massive build ups. At the time of publication Network Rail had yet to respond.   

Quinlan 1: Francis 0

Francis terry twickenham crop

Francis Terry, Twickenham 

Francis Terry is having less luck with the residents of west London than his father Quinlan did 30 years ago. On leaving his dad’s practice to set up on his own earlier this year, Terry junior took with him a project to regenerate a riverside site in Twickenham

But locals are unhappy with the proposals, located a mile and a half down the Thames from Quinlan’s seminal 1980s Richmond Riverside scheme.

A local referendum on the scheme, which consists of a Regency-style building comprising 40 flats and a shopping arcade, attracted only 66 votes in favour, with more than 1,000 against. 

Grumbles include its size, the blocking of river views from Twickenham’s main shopping street, and concerns that the design does not fit the town’s character. The vote backed an earlier survey, where 134 people concluded that ‘Twickenham is not Richmond’.

Will pool go down the plughole?

Ooze architecs outdoor swimming

Ooze Architect’s outdoor swimming pool

Earlier this week a flashmob of swimmers descended upon Argent’s King’s Cross development, armed with rubber rings, flippers, and snorkels. 

The 40-strong group were campaigning against the closure of the Ooze Architects-designed natural swimming pool, and hoping to persuade the developer to make the pond a permanent fixture of its scheme. 

Designed in collaboration with Slovenia-based artist Marjetica Potrč, the chemical-free pond has become one of the capital’s popular outdoor bathing spots, but the temporary installation is due to close today (27 October). 

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