How to create an industrial style office with steel look internal glazing

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Internal glazing for office partitions, doors and office screens

The interior design of modern offices has followed the trending industrial style. Over recent years, many residential properties have been using industrial style glazing and reclaimed fixtures and finishing to create this charming aesthetic. Industrial style is all about unpretentious aesthetics and perfect ergonomics which has been adopted in recent commercial architectural projects. The charm of this interior design has slowly made its way from kitchens and bathrooms through to luxury apartments, office fit-outs and boutique shops.

Office meeting space with structural glass walls and roof and steel industrial look beamsThe allure of industrial style interiors has seen architects design the full refurbishment of an office building based on this traditional style. Steel became widely used in architecture during and following the Industrial Revolution in Britain which saw new building materials and building techniques become more readily available. Many people believe that without steel, the Industrial Revolution wouldn’t have achieved such great success and recognition of British labour. The industrialisation of steel saw many Brits realise what hard labour can achieve (the adaptation of the factory system), which is why using steel in today’s architecture is a beautiful appreciation of this hard work.

Many London offices are adopting this interior design trend to bring the essence of that rich history into modern working environments. Steel is such a versatile material that creates a beautiful artisan finish which creates a real recognition of the hard work that went into the Industrial Revolution. One of the main appealing factors of using steel in interior design is the process it goes through during manufacture; the steel profiles for glazing are worked by hand to form the exact design to the size specified in the architect’s drawings. This manufacturing process results in a sophisticated aesthetic and the occupants of the office can appreciate the craftsmanship.

How can I create a broken plan office?

Interior designers combine traditional and modern design for the new trendy industrial style offices. Within these working spaces, there are often many contemporary elements to meet the latest technology, ideas for collaborative working spaces and broken plan spaces. Industrial style internal glazing for offices is an excellent method when trying to create a broken plan office.

Reception area with industrial style partitionSteel internal glazing is the solution to create broken plan offices as the steel framing creates a delicate partition between two spaces that isn’t a solid barrier. The crisscrossing effect of steel-framed glazing is a subtle divider that offers a nod to traditional glazing techniques. Due to the bespoke nature of steel-framed internal glazing systems, the crisscrossing glazing bars can be designed how the architect or interior designer would like; whether there are only a few glazing bars for larger areas of glass, or more glazing bars to result in smaller squares of glass.

Broken plan offices can be created with internal screens that form various ‘working pods’ throughout the main office space. These internal screens can have internal steel doors integrated within the design for fully separated working spaces (that can be brought back into the open-plan space when the doors are open).


What glass options are there with internal steel-framed glazing?

Internal glazing can also be used to create a meeting room within an open-plan space. Many people think that with steel-framed glazing systems you cannot achieve any privacy, but in fact, there are many glass options to create an element of privacy to the glazing design.

Office meeting room with structural glass walls and industrial style steel frames The meeting room at IQ Projects Ropemaker Street is a great example of this. The meeting room was designed with three rows of glass squares, the top and bottom rows were filled with clear glass squares while the middle row was installed with fluted glass squares. Fluted glass is created using various reeds of glass which distorts vision but allows light to flow through, which creates an ideal glazing solution for spaces that are looking to maintain light but increase the level of privacy.

Internal glazing used for offices is becoming more and more advanced with many new technical glass solutions coming to the market designed to provide privacy within these spaces without obstructing natural light. Some of the latest glass technologies include glass that distorts digital screens, so when you look through the glass a computer screen will look blank. These types of technical glass solutions are great in today’s working environment when privacy and security is being rapidly increased.


Will steel look internal glazing make interiors look dark?

Traditionally steel glazing systems have black or dark toned finishes to the frames, but with most modern systems there are many colour options to choose from.

Reception with steel industrial look sliding doors Even though there are many finishes available, many people choose a black framework to maintain the traditional style. Many architects and interior designers use the dark framework to inspire a juxtaposing colour scheme that complements the framework without making the internal spaces dark.

25 Savile Row is an excellent example of how a contrasting colour scheme can result in a light and spacious feeling interior design. Piercy & Co designed this refurbishment of an Art Deco office which reflected the heritage of the building while celebrating artisan craftsmanship. The interior design was carefully detailed where the colour palette was limited to oak, leather, travertine and steel which carefully juxtaposed hard industrial elements with warm, soft-toned materials.


Can industrial style glazing be manufactured in another material other than steel?

Yes. There are several options to create steel look internal glazing, one being aluminium internal glazing systems. IQ Projects use the ADL system which is an Italian aluminium system. These glazing products can be manufactured to provide a similar aesthetic to traditional steel-framed glazing but with a more refined and less artisan style. The Mitika range from ADL beautifully recreates the crisscrossing glazing bar style. The aluminium Mitika frames come with a wide choice of frame finishes for interior designs that do not want such a strong contrast between the frames of the glazing and the wider interior design. 

The aluminium ADL internal system that IQ Projects use has many collections which each create a different aesthetic as well as a range providing a traditional crisscrossing aesthetic. This internal aluminium system comes in a range of configurations to suit modern offices spaces looking to create broken plan layouts. From bifolding screens through sliding doors, the aluminium internal glazing from IQ Projects is a very versatile product.

Are you looking to create an industrial-style office space? Speak to the team at IQ who can advise you on the best system and glazing options for your project. Either email or call 01494 722 880.


Exposed industrial look office space with glass walls

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Emma Greene

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