Projects provided specialist glazing elements to the refurbishment of Somerset House in London including a glass floor, frameless glass balustrades and frameless glass light well infills which were installed to allow light transmittance through floors but to also reduce acoustic transfer.
The glazing works by IQ Projects were part of Phase III of the larger renovation plan for this Grade I listed building. The masterplan was to renovate Somerset House as well as bring it up to date with current environmental and technical performance criteria.
IQ designed and installed a structural glass floor into what is now known as the Archaeology Room in Somerset House. The clear glass floor is able to showcase some of the original foundations of the Tudor House that were uncovered during the initial phases of the renovation project. The foundations uncovered were part of the original Somerset House built by Edward Seymour in the 16thcentury and were made, in part, using re-used medieval footings from buildings that previously occupied this site.
The room is used as a drinks reception venue and meeting space, big enough for up to 120 people. If you look closely you can see small ceramic dots, known as ceramic fritted patterns, have been applied to the surface of the structural glass floor for slip resistance. This option for slip resistance to structural glass is most often chosen when transparency is required through the walk on glass surface which was important on this project. The room can still be utilised but the glass floor allows the historical foundations to be on display.
Elsewhere in Somerset House IQ designed a series of frameless glass installations that were used to fill in the light well voids between each floor. The use of structural glass was to designed to allow natural light to pass through each floor as well as to reduce noise transfer between different areas of the building.
To the visitor’s entrance IQ also designed the frameless glass balustrades to the accessibility ramp leading up to the entry door of Somerset House. The base fixings for the cantilevered structural glass panels were hidden using bespoke panels of Corten and timber handrails were integrated into the glass structure.
The renovation project was ‘Highly Commended’ in the RICS Building Conservation Awards 2013 and achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating.