The team behind the new landmark Transport Interchange in Rochdale has been celebrating a series of award successes and recognition for excellence in architecture and engineering.
Designed by AHR Architects and built by Kier Construction, the £11.5m Rochdale Interchange features a highly innovative, energy-efficient and specially-adapted glass and aluminium façade solution from Wicona.
The scheme has now been recognised with the award for Lancashire Regional Project of the Year at the North West Regional Construction Awards, and the award for Best Medium Project at the North West Structural Awards organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers. The project was also shortlisted in two categories in the RICS North West Awards and for an LABC Constructing Excellence Regional Award.
Fundamental to the building’s design was to construct a fully enclosed single concourse with a high degree of transparency to create a dramatic and impressive gateway to the town for visitors and daily users. The project has successfully delivered an enhanced experience for users, exceptional passenger facilities, capacity for growth and is one of Europe’s first hydroelectric powered transport interchanges.
Around 1,400m2 of Wicona’s WICTEC 50SG structurally glazed curtain walling was used at first and second floor levels and as large spans to enclose the retail units inside the building. The glazing for the external façades and shop frontages was fabricated and installed by Glassolutions Installation and was designed to create a frameless, glass-to-glass appearance and achieve visual consistency across the project.
The WICTEC 50SG system was sufficiently robust to carry spans of glass up to 3m high, allowing 360° views from inside the concourse. This maximises natural light, helping to reduce the building’s reliance on artificial lighting and energy consumption. The curtain walling was also faceted to follow the curved contours at each end of this striking building.
This was a particularly complex façade project because the interchange is located on a sloping site, resulting in the angle increasing from one mullion to the next, which meant every single pane of glass is different. The scheme also features distinctive stepped and tilted roof plates to reflect the gradient of the site.
According to Alistair Branch, Project Architect at AHR Architects, “This was a challenging project because of the incline of the site and the fact that there are so few straight lines in the building. The WICTEC system was sufficiently flexible to deliver all the technical requirements for this scheme – spans, loads and faceted elements, and to fit into a complex building envelope. It also met the client’s requirements for providing a seamless external façade with contemporary clean lines for a modern appearance.”
He added, “The Wicona solution is performing very well and has proved to be cost effective, bringing value engineering opportunities to the project.”
The new interchange has capacity for around 160 bus movements an hour and has 14 bus stands which are co-ordinated by electronic passenger information displays. The concourse is complemented by three pods of accommodation, incorporating operational and driver facilities, a travel centre, public conveniences, retail outlets and café.
Engineered in Germany, Wicona’s WICTEC aluminium curtain walling suite has been widely used for complex façade projects in both the UK and worldwide. It features a wide range of structural aluminium profiles for vertical, angled, sloped, and faceted glazing, allowing optimum creative freedom. The suite includes classic ‘stick’ curtain walling, unitised and structural glazing, and double skin façades to realise almost any façade requirement and building design.
WICTEC 50SG structural glazing has a contemporary flush design with slim silicone joints between the glazed units to allow the creation of glass-to-glass walls as well as sloped roof glazing. As with all Wicona products, the WICTEC 50SG option is based on one single system and common components, tooling and processes to simplify specification and reduce time and costs in fabrication and installation.