Curved steel arches and zigzag ladder frames are clad with glass panels to create a special architectural aesthetic appearance to the redevelopment of the 150-year-old Olympia development in the heart of London. The canopy covers part of the public realm which acts as an above grade level arterial link between the new development plots and will host bars, cafes and restaurants bringing new life to this area of West Kensington. Octatube is commissioned to design and build this eye-catching canopy.
The canopy consists of five large curved structural steel arches, each with a span of 22m. 52 Steel zigzag ladder frames with lengths up to 12m span between the five arches. Octatube has developed a glass carrier system using bespoke gaskets and bespoke aluminium extrusions as pressure and capping profiles, making it possible to clad the tapered ladder frames with a total of 520 rectangular low-iron glass panels. Three of the five arches are clad with aluminium which hides the drainage for the canopy, resulting in a clean, sharp and transparent canopy with a surface of almost 1000sqm.
The canopy has an integrated access strategy. In the unlikely event of a broken glass panel, a bespoke rig is designed to replace the glass panel without the use of a crane in order to minimize the impact on the surroundings and the other functions of the Olympia project.
Before starting the production of the main works, a CWCT fragility test was performed to check the serviceability of the glass roof including our bespoke glass carrier system. Parallel to engineering the actual project, we have engineered and built a large visual mock-up that was presented to Future Olympia. In close collaboration with Laing ‘O Rourke, Adamson Associates, Heatherwick Studio, Wintech and Eckersley ‘O Callaghan, we ensured an efficient design development and made sure that the visual mock-up meets the expectations of the team.