Traversing 3D facade on the Thames

Six years after the first designs by Japanese architects JUN AOKI & Associates, the outer shell of the exclusive members' club on Heron Quay is complete. The London-based architectural firm Adamson Associates was commissioned to realize the prestige project at Canary Wharf. The well thought-out, corrugated facade elements capture the movement of the Thames and offer the viewer a dazzling play of colors with a 3D effect. Over 6,000 square meters of aluminum facade with special surface coating have been decorating the Quay Club since summer 2020.

The Canary Wharf office and shopping district is located in the heart of London's former port area. Where once maritime trade with the Canary Islands flourished, an alternative to the financial district of the City of London was to be created from the 1980s onwards. At the beginning of the 2000s, the hoped-for demand increased and large companies such as J.P. Morgan and Thomson Reuters settled in Canary Wharf.
"Heron Quay Pavilion"; exclusice facade with 3D effect on the thames
"Heron Quay Pavilion"; back ventilated rainscreen facade by POHL

Project data

Heron Quay Pavilion
Heron Quay
"Heron Quay Pavilion"; POHL Europlate system facade by POHL

Fantastic view over the port area

The majority of the building stands on wooden piles in the water. The entrance area borders directly on Canary Wharf and is designed with wavy marble elements up to the second floor. From the roof terrace of the five-storey Quay Club, members can enjoy a fantastic view over the Middle Dock of the old harbour area. Inside the club, a bar and lounge area as well as a restaurant with private dining rooms invite members to linger. In addition to an elaborate fitness and SPA offer, a boutique hotel for members' guests completes the offer.

Play of colors on the water

The exclusivity of the club is also reflected in the outer shell of the building. Around 1,700 aluminum facade elements in three sizes reflect the wave movements of the Thames. The largest cassettes measure 1840 x 2040 mm, the smallest 920 x 420 mm. In addition to the sheet metal panels, perforated facade elements loosen the building envelope. Corner joints or window cutouts move in similar dimensions. To transfer the iridescent waves to the aluminum, the Cologne-based facade specialist POHL works with the help of templates and forms based on 3D drawings. However, the special curvature of the aluminum alone does not make the illusion of a shimmering water surface perfect. JUN AOKI's vision lets the building change color depending on the incidence of light and the direction of view. When the sun shines, the Quay Club glows in a warm golden hue; when the sky is overcast, the facade shimmers silver. To achieve this effect, a special 2-layer lacquer was developed in Cologne - the icing on the cake of the architectural vision. To protect the aluminium cassettes from the harsh weather conditions caused by water and industry, they are given a Seaproof pre-treatment (chrome-free, corrosion class C4).
"Heron Quay Pavilion"; rainscreen aluminum facade by POHL Facades

Rainscreen facade system POHL Europlate

For the Quay Club, the architects chose a ventilated curtain wall. The VHF is always constructed according to the same scheme and convinces with many constructive advantages. The substructure is mounted on top of the supporting structure and the insulation, rear-ventilation and cladding are mounted on top of it. Thanks to this construction, the building is effectively protected against environmental influences or mechanical stress. The use of stainless steel wall brackets also prevents thermal bridges and meets the highest energy requirements. The project was awarded to POHL Europlate, a bolt and hook system with sharp-edged appearance. The Europanel cassette is delivered pre-assembled and then hung into the supporting rails of the substructure via POHL bolt. Individual facade cassettes can easily be removed and reinstalled. In addition, the multiple pre-punched wall brackets make it possible to compensate carcass tolerances of +/- 25 mm.

System facade reduces planning costs

Already in the planning phase the engineering effort can be considerably reduced by means of a POHL system facade. Preconstructed basic details or even finished static component tests are clear advantages of a well-established system.
"We provide our partners with all drawing details of our VHF system facades in 2D and 3D. BIM-based planning is also possible, says Peter Marquardt, head of engineering and project management at Christian Pohl GmbH".
Together with an engineering office for glass and facade construction as a DIBt certified body, POHL determined the load-bearing capacity of the system components of POHL Europlate and POHL Europanel by means of component tests last year. For example, the number of bolts per plate is an important factor for planning, material and statics costs. For the maximum sheet size of 2 x 6 meters POHL can now prove the deflection due to wind loads with tests. The result is a load capacity up to 30 percent higher than previously calculated.
Wooden high rise with aluminum facade

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