Monday, 23 February 2015

Levolux grid covers cars in Leeds

Following a £9 million refurbishment project, the 50 year old Merrion Centre multi-storey car park in the centre of Leeds, has been dramatically revamped, including a custom Screening Solution from Levolux.

Following the completion of the refurbishment in January 2015, the Merrion Centre car park, which is operated by CitiPark, is now one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the UK. It features the latest industry technology, including automated number plate recognition (ANPR) systems, contactless pay stations and LED lighting with integrated PIR sensors. The external façade has also been transformed, and the 6-storey structure is unrecognisable to its previous form.

Car park design has changed significantly since the 1950’s, particularly with respect to the external appearance of multi-storey structures and their impact on the environment. As a result, the refurbished Merrion Centre car park, designed by the Harris Partnership, now benefits from a comprehensive external screening solution, to satisfy challenging design criteria.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading and Screening specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom Screening Solution for the multi-storey car park. The solution incorporates rectangular-section Fins, arranged in a ‘diagrid’ pattern and horizontal aerofoil-shaped Fins. 
The unusual ‘diagrid’ arrangement of rectangular-shaped aluminium Fins, each measuring 200mm wide by 100mm deep, extends to screen an area with a combined length of almost 160 metres and a height of up to 11.5 metres. 

The latticework assembly of Fins is fixed between vertical steel supports at 5 metre centres, creating a series of bays that continue along north, east and south elevations. The Fins are illuminated at night, thanks to the incorporation of colourful LED lights that are fixed where the Fins interconnect.
While the ‘diagrid’ screen is relatively open to maximise daylight levels on each floor and allow good outward visibility for occupants, an alternative screening arrangement was required to obscure unsightly entrance and exit rampways and service areas.

In these areas, Levolux utilised its innovative Infiniti Fin system to incorporate 200mm wide aerofoil-shaped Fins, arranged horizontally to form a series of vertical stacks. The Fins, which are angled at 60 degrees and fixed at a vertical pitch of 350mm, combine to screen an area measuring 32 metres in length, with a height of up to 11.6 metres.

All rectangular and aerofoil-shaped Fins are engineered from extruded aluminium components that have been given an attractive, natural anodised finish.
This iconic development marks the latest in a new wave of multi-storey car park projects that are confounding critics of such structures, by making them visually striking, cost effective and environmentally considerate. 

The application of interesting screening solutions like the ‘diagrid’ arrangement of Fins at the Merrion Centre car park and other solutions delivered by Levolux in Crawley, Swindon and the Athlete’s Village in London, demonstrate a positive shift in car park design.

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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Levolux shapes up at Mabledon Place

A transformed 1970’s office block at One Mabledon Place in central London has been reborn as ‘The Halo Building’, with the addition of a distinctive roof screening solution, from Levolux. 

The 80,000 sq ft, eleven-storey office building, which is attached to a five-storey annex building, was originally home to the trade union Unison. Following a multi-million pound refurbishment project it has been completely refurbished inside and out, including alterations to its existing façade and extensive roof level works. 

Located on one of London’s busiest high streets and designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating by Bennetts Associates, the project demanded meticulous planning and a collaborative approach, particularly when it came to delivering the highly visible roof screening solution.
As the UK’s leading solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux was chosen to, supply and install a custom screening solution, comprising vertical mesh panels, topped by extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, arranged into horizontal panels.

In total, Levolux installed 244m2 of fixed, vertical mesh panels, measuring 2.3 metres high, extending around the perimeter of the roof. The vertical panels are designed to screen unsightly plant and equipment from view. Each panel is formed from galvanised steel for long lasting good looks and features rectangular perforations measuring 76mm by 25mm.
Above the vertical mesh panels are 62 horizontal panels incorporating 12 Aerofoil Fins. Each Fin measures 100mm deep by 23mm thick, and is fixed between aluminium side plates. The horizontal panels are fitted within a steel frame by others, allowing them to project 1.9 metres out across a perimeter walkway and an outer balustrade, extending past the building’s external envelope.

The horizontal panels are divided into two continuous sections which are faceted to follow the building’s curved façade at roof level.
All aluminium components, such as the Aerofoil Fins and side plates, have been given a highly durable and attractive green brown metallic, powder-coated finish.

By combining vertical mesh panels and horizontal Aerofoil Fins, Levolux has succeeded in screening unsightly structures at roof level, while creating a distinctive architectural feature that resembles a ‘halo’. This projecting structure is attractive during the day and becomes even more striking at night when it is illuminated.

With this in mind, it seems very appropriate that developers Stanhope chose to present the refurbished office development at One Mabledon Place, to the city as ‘The Halo Building’.

For more information, please visit