Façade constructor seele is responsible for creating the unitised façade in glass and aluminium at the project 60 Holborn Viaduct in London, UK.


unitised façade


twisted aluminium fins

60 holborn viaduct

Holborn, a district in central London, can look back on a chequered history, which today manifests itself in the colourful mix of architectural styles. Joining this ensemble on one of the principal axes of this area is an impressive office and retail development designed by international architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF): 60 Holborn Viaduct.

BREEAM ”Excellent” rating was the goal for this new building with more than 20,000sqm of energy-efficient office space on nine levels. Flexible interior layouts are possible and retailing can be found on the ground floor.

A key element in the design is the Gate House, a corner building in traditional stone architecture that “mediates” between the new development and the adjoining Victorian buildings. To the side of and behind this, a modern steel-and-glass façade with exterior shading elements encloses the enormous main body of the building. Projections and returns in the line of the façade plus set-back upper floors give rise to a powerful dynamic presence. One particular eye-catching feature are the aluminium fins in front of the unitised façade. With each one twisted about its own axis at a different height, these shimmering fins allow different views into the building.

  • Their twisted form gives them the appearance of being constantly in motion. This is the first time that seele has produced extruded aluminium elements with this complex form. The intricate unitised façade behind the fins also called for exact 3D design work from seele. A large number of one-off items were needed for the façade with its numerous rounded corners plus the projections and returns, also for the junction with the Gate House. This is seele’s convincing response to the design brief – an uncompromising realisation of an extraordinary façade while adhering to the tight production and erection schedule.

    Images: © Timothy Soar


Client AXA Real Estate Investment Managers
Main contractor Balfour Beatty
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Engineer Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG
Date of completion 2013
Scope of seele supply
  • Design, production and erection of 7,600sqm unitised façade incl. approx. 1,400 twisted aluminium fins
  • 220sqm glass façade at ground floor level
  • 130sqm two-storey glass façade supported by glass fins