Faceted glass balcony balustrades, manufactured and installed by Sapphire, have been chosen to enhance the unique visual spectacle of Baltimore Tower, London’s latest landmark for luxury living. Each apartment in the 46-storey building has its own private balcony which varies in size as the apartment levels rise, while the outer balcony ‘ring’ shifts and steps slightly to create the Tower’s distinctive flowing twist. The centre apartment core also ‘rotates’ at levels 8, 22 and 29 to correspond with the alignment of the balcony ring. The project’s challenging specification, requiring in excess of 1,000 tonnes of glass for the balcony balustrade and glass floors, is a showcase for Sapphire’s intelligent engineered solutions and personal service from concept to completion.
Balustrades for integrated balconies to apartments in Baltimore Tower are being manufactured by Sapphire using its Crystal frameless, structural glass system. The balustrades’ clean, continuous lines, with no vertical support posts, ensure clear views across Canary Wharf’s iconic skyline and the Greenwich Peninsula. Around 10,000 structural glass panels, 220 per floor, are being produced to form the faceted glass balustrade, which creates the desired elliptical shape without the time and cost associated with curved glass.
Etched glass panels supplied by Sapphire are providing privacy screens between individual apartment balconies at Baltimore Tower. As part of its comprehensive product and service package, Sapphire has also developed an innovative new base fixing method to enable rapid installation of balustrades which, once installed, are completely concealed. In addition, triple laminated obscured glass panels will be set into the balcony decks to produce the prestigious glass floors which form a creative feature that twists around the building.
An innovative method of installing balcony balustrades at Baltimore Tower shows Sapphire’s intelligent engineering in action. Sapphire’s unique screening system is being used, rather than traditional scaffolding, to install balustrades starting at the lowest level and working up the building. The system saves contractors both the time and cost of erecting and dismantling scaffolding and also ensures the safety of installers without the need for harnesses through the use of a creeping shroud concept which moves up the outside of the tower.
Sapphire’s Marketing Manager, Nick Haughton, says there are two fundamentally important elements in creating major iconic buildings like Baltimore Tower: firstly intelligent engineering to create the dynamic aesthetic design, which gives an exciting new dimension whilst ensuring the design captures everything from BS EN standard compliance to replacement strategies. The second major factor in success is ensuring the balcony and balustrade supplier has the ability to deliver on its promises and provide the high level of service that is required for these kind of projects.
Projects like Baltimore do present many logistical challenges, because of the scale of the operation, so it is critical that the supplier can achieve the demanding requirements.
As demonstrated so far at Baltimore Tower and many other prestigious residential projects, Sapphire Balustrades can help make a difference with a combination of high quality systems, technical expertise and personal service that is unrivalled in this demanding sector. Testament to this, Sapphire has now won the second building on this site which is a 17 storey building with structural glass balustrades on projecting balconies which will match the balustrades on the main tower.