The Ageas Bowl cricket ground (the home of Hampshire Cricket) and 171-room Hilton Hotel was officially opened in July 2015 by Catherine Zeta-Jones. The Media Centre and Sky Sports camera gallery glazing design was completely bespoke and engineered entirely by IQ Projects with 20m of frameless structural glass and frameless sliding glass doors on multiple levels to create a frameless glass facade. The frameless interior system allows the façade to slide away for a clear camera shot of the sports ground below.
The hotel has eight different meeting rooms and also hosts the largest ballroom in the region, holding up to 700 people, other facilities include the first UK Hilton Eforea spa. The 20 meters of frameless structural glass was a key design feature with the hotel overlooking the Ageas Bowl cricket grounds, where seamless views were desired.
EPR architects designed the Hilton in a strategic way for the structures to wrap around the stadium’s bowl in order to increase the permanent and temporary capacity, bringing business, leisure, and hospitality facilities to the ground. The design was carefully built to create flexibility by purposefully incorporating pitch-facing guest rooms converting to hospitality suites on major match days and the central function room transforming into the center.
IQ provided and engineered all the frameless glazing to the media centre. The glass used in the media centre on the lower floor was fixed toughened glass with low iron content for additional clarity.
The Sky Sports camera gallery on the top floor included rows of sliding glass panels fitted into roller carriages to create frameless sliding glass doors. The frameless glass elevation was angled slightly outwards to match the architect’s design which required additional engineering to the sliding mechanisms. The frameless glass panels slid open to create an opening for the cameras.
All glass was low iron – for additional clarity – and anti-reflective – to minimize reflection from both the view areas and outside.
The floor-to-ceiling glass frameless glass façade offers spectacular views overlooking the picture-perfect Ageas Bowl and the surrounding woodland behind it. To finish the contemporary frameless glass façade, decorative glass was used to create back painted spandrel panels for a smart design finish.
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