Balcony balustrades by Sapphire add signature style to London apartments

Sapphire’s glazed balcony balustrades are being used to stunning architectural effect at Century House, a new high-rise residential development near Tower Bridge. Sapphire manufactured and installed around 1,000 linear metres of glass balustrading from its Crystal® and Aluma ranges to apartment balconies and terraces. The transparent nature of glass creates the illusion of light and space from inside the apartments, whilst also delivering a sleek and stylish finish to the outside of the building.

Situated in Bermondsey, one of the capital’s newly regenerated areas, Century House consists of a single, curved building that ranges from six to nine storeys in height. A central landscaped communal courtyard sits at the heart of the scheme, providing an attractive outdoor space for residents to enjoy. Whilst balconies have been used on both sides of the building as a key architectural signature, the projecting balconies for apartments at Century House form an integrated part of the structural facade, with balustrades fixed into the concrete deck with resin anchors.

Sapphire’s Crystal® frameless, structural glass system was specified for the concrete balconies’ balustrades to the street side of Century House. Uninterrupted by upright posts, the Crystal® clear glass infill panels complement the clean, contemporary lines of the building’s façade which features a palette of traditional and contemporary materials. The careful design achieved a good interface with other products whilst ensuring compliance with relevant British Standards. The glass panels of the glazed balcony balustrades are manufactured from toughened laminated glass and are supported by aluminium base fix U-channel systems. The minimalist effect of the balustrades is completed by slimline metal cappings.

Balconies facing into the central courtyard at Century House were manufactured from Sapphire’s Aluma aluminium balustrade system and feature Sapphire’s innovative semi-frameless fixing option, creating sleek glazed balcony balustrades. Typically with the Aluma system the glass infills simply slot into the Aluma baluster uprights and/or handrail profiles, removing the clutter of traditional patch lugs, leaving a sleek, crisp appearance. With this project, to match the visual design intent, Sapphire created an offset glass solution to allow the glass to seamlessly flow beyond the balusters. Sapphire’s innovative enhancement for the Aluma range provides specifiers with a cost-effective alternative to traditional framed balustrades while integrating the style of a structural glass balustrade. The range not only provides excellent aesthetics but gives ultimate corrosion resistance through the use of high grade aluminium extrusions.

All balustrades for Century House were purpose-designed by Sapphire to satisfy relevant structural performance standards and design loads, as well as specific safety regulations relating to residential applications. Nick Haughton, Sapphire’s Marketing Manager concludes: “Sapphire’s standard systems are very flexible and drawing upon our considerable experience and expertise we were able to achieve the design intent of this project with another innovative solution – delivering the dream as well as compliant solutions that meet each unique technical and aesthetic specification.”